(Image courtesy Niagara Falls Country Club. Stats courtesy Golfstat.com)
Friday wrapped up the 5th Women’s Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, NY. The conditions of play were great (sunny, pleasant and windy, 20 mph or so) and so was the quality of play.
Here is yesterday’s article that gave the background to the event and the 1st round recap;. Here is link to 2nd round recap of the tournament. As a reminder, this year’s Buckeye contingent is Zoe-Beth Brake, Jessica Porvasnik and Niki Schroeder.
So how’d things go on day three?
The overall winner was Lois Kaye Go, from Cebu City, Philippines. Her final score of 208 (-8) was powered by an incredible final round 65 (-7). Congratulations to Lois, a freshman at Boston College.
Now, for the good stuff, with due respect to Miss Go.
Jessica shot a final round 73 (+1) to give her a three round total of 222 (+6) to finish in a three-way tie for 22nd place.
On her final round, Jessica was even par through seven holes, then went into a stall with bogeys on holes #8 through #10. A birdie on the par-5 11th got her back on track and she closed out her round with a birdie on the uphill par-5 17th hole.
Through the three rounds, Jessica had 37 pars, ranking her T-3rd. In the final round, Jessica doubled her birdie output with three to bring her total to six, ranking her T-34th. Again, she’s not letting any hole get away from her, which is good, because a score of even par is a good score this week.
In par-3 scoring, Jessica averaged 3.40 strokes, +6 to par, putting her in T-30th place. For par-4 scoring with an average of 4.21, +5 to par, placing her in T-12th place. In par-5 scoring, Jessica averaged 4.67, -5 to par, putting her in T-14th.
Zoe-Beth had a final round 74 (+2) to give her a three day total of 220 (+4) and a T-17th finish. Z-B began her round with a double bogey (it happens now and then) then played the rest of her round in even par; 2 bogeys, 2 birdies, 13 pars. That is a very consistent and well played round..
For the tournament, Zoe-Beth has 33 pars, good for T-15th. She has 9 birdies, placing her in T-14th.
In par-3 scoring, Zoe-Beth averaged 3.20, +2 to par, sitting at T-13th. In par-4 scoring, Z-B averaged 4.33, +8 to par, placing her T-28th. She led the Buckeyes in par-5 scoring with an average of 4.53, -7 to par, placing her T-4th in this metric..
Niki shot a two under par 70 to finish at 218, +2 for the event. Her T-5th position was the highest of the Buckeyes. Her final round tied for the 3rd best round of the day as she moved up 14 spots. Niki started out pretty ‘meh’ with three bogeys through her opening four holes. An eagle 3 on the par-5 5th hole got her round to +1 and she made the turn at +2 for the day.
Niki’s back nine was a different story; she opened with three pars, then went birdie-birdie on holes #13 – #14 to bring her round back to even par. She capped her round with another eagle on the par-5 17th hole to end her day at 70 (-2)
Through three rounds, Niki had 28 pars, good for 40th place. Parring half your holes is generally a good thing. Especially since Niki made birdies and eagles, too. Her 11 birdies placed her 6th in this category. Her 2 eagles in her final round ranked her 1st in this category. Throughout the three round event, no other player had more than one eagle.
In par-3 scoring, Niki led the Buckeyes with an average of 3.13, +2 to par, placing her in T-8th in this measure. In par-4 scoring, Niki is averaging 4.21 strokes, +5 to par in T-12. In par-5 scoring, Niki averages even par, 4.67, placing her in T-14, a marked improvement over her first two rounds.
Takeaways / Miscellaneous Thoughts
Niki continued to know down flag sticks on the par 3’s, Jessica easily walked through the par 4s and Zoe-Beth was still overpowering the par 5s. There was a little something for everyone.
I was impressed by the way the Buckeyes played the par-5 hole 17th and the iconic par-3 18th hole. At 460 yards, #17 isn’t particularly long, but it can be a challenge. It has a narrow, scalloped fairway that widens and narrows at the green-keeper’s direction. Additionally, there is approximately a 20′ uphill grade to the hole. It’s not much, but it is a gradual, continuous slope. After walking the back nine, with a lot of elevation changes, one of the last thing you want is an uphill walk to the clubhouse.
The 18th hole is a straight-forward hole with minimal elevation change. However, the green is surrounded by four substantial bunkers. After wading though 17 holes, you need to catch your breath and be precise with a mid-iron tee shot.
For the 17th hole, the Buckeyes averaged 4.44 strokes while the field averaged 4.85. Over the course of three rounds, Niki/Zoe-Beth/Jessica picked up over a stroke on the field. That’s a good thing.
For the 18th hole, the three Buckeyes averaged par, 3.00, while the field averaged 3.31. again, over three rounds, that’s bettering the field by a stroke.
In 2016, Zoe-Beth shot +5 to par and placed 5th. This year, Zoe-Beth shot +4 and placed T-17. Last year, Niki shot+9 to place 9th; this year she shot +2 and finished T-5th. A year ago, Jessica shot +11 to place T-12th; this year Jessica shot +6 and a T-22nd place finish.
Each player improved their scoring from last year. While Niki was the only Buckeye to finish higher than last year, the fact the the scores for all three improved from last year is a good sign. Overall, I think this was a good tournament for the Ohio State contingent. I know the “locals”, particularly the host families, enjoy having the young ladies as guests and NFCC enjoys hosting this event. I look forward to seeing another Buckeye contingent in 2018.