(Image courtesy woga.org, tournament information courtesy Ohio State Athletics Dept, LPGA Tour, PGA Tour.com)
It’s Friday and we have a lot of catching up to do regarding Ohio State-related golf. Nothing happening on the PGA Tour, but the Web.com, LPGA and LatinoAmerica tours have activity. The LPGA/Symentra tours are bustling with Buckeye activity.
Bo Hoag is at the WinCo Foods Portland Open this week. His opening round score of 69 (-2) on Thursday had Bo in T-32nd place. His front nine of 35 (-1) was matched by his -1 (34) back nine. Bo had 2 birdies, 1 bogey on the front and 3 birdies, 2 bogeys on the back.
At the time of this article, Bo is -2 through three holes and has moved up to T-21st, with plenty of holes to play today. I’d think Bo is a pretty safe bet to play this weekend.
Tee-K Kelly is off this week. He’s at the mid-point of the LatinoAmerica Tour season and is doing well at this point. He currently sits 5th in the LatinoAmerica Order of Merit. This is impressive and important. At the end of the year, the top five players in the Order of Merit receive a promotion to move up a level to lay on the Web.com Tour. The OoM winner gets full fledged status while players #2 – #5 get conditional status. It’s one step closer to The Show.
Congratulations to Tee-K and fairways & greens for the balance of the season.
Rachel Rohanna opened play with a 69 (-2) on Thursday and backed it up with a 71 (E) on Friday. Her two round score of 140 (-2) has Rachel in T-15.
Jaclyn Lee accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in Ottawa, Canada. However, her two rounds of 75-74 149 (+7) put her well over the projected cut line of +1.
LPGA/Symentra Tour Qualifying
OK no we’re getting into some really good stuff. The LPGA is conducting its Q (qualifying) School for aspiring professional golfers and amateurs who may intend to turn professional in 2018. Three Buckeyes are teeing it up to qualify; Katja Pogacar, Jessica Porvasnik and Rio Watanabe. Katja and Jessica have concluded their collegiate eligibility and have declared themselves professional. Rio is entering her final year of collegiate eligibility and is water-testing for 2018.
The low 125 and ties after three rounds will make the cut to play on Sunday and the low 90 and ties following the final-round will advance to Stage II of LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Venice, Florida.
The field will be cut following Saturday’s round. For the first three rounds, competitors will play one round each on the Palmer, Dinah Shore and Gary Player courses with the final round on the Dinah Shore course. All players who complete 54 holes will earn Symetra Tour status for the 2018 season.
The second stage will be played at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Fla., Oct. 16-22.
There were 360 ladies entered into this Q-School event, so Katja, Jessica and Rio hope to finish in the top 1/3 of the field. Here’s their 1st round results:
Jessica shot an opening round 71 (-1) which has her in the T-43 spot. She’s well within the top 125 at this point and just needs to maintain her level of play to advance. Jessica had a fairly clean opening round with two birdies and a bogey.
Rio shot an opening round 73 (+1) which has her T-113. The group at +2 is spot number 148 and up, so Rio needs to get a couple under par Friday to give her some cushion entering Saturday’s final round. Rio had four bogeys and three birdies on Thursday, so she is capable of making up some ground on Friday and Saturday.
Katja shot an opening round 75 (+3) which has her T-181. She has her work cut out for her heading into the Friday and Saturday rounds. There are 72 players that were at +2/+3 on Thursday. Katja needs to climb out of this morass. She had four bogeys and a birdie on Thursday, so it’s not like the round got away from her.
I got in eighteen holes this week, nine on Tuesday and nine on Thursday. Both days were beautiful (low 70’s, sunny, light breeze) although the eves (Monday night and Wednesday night) saw torrential rains. Torrential enough to prohibit the use of carts. It didn’t bother me since I walk/carry, but the course was quite soaked.
Tuesday’s round was a slosh-around 40 with the standard formula; decent driving, mediocre iron play and good chipping and putting. Not too bad, but still not quite right.
For Thursday’s round, I made a couple adjustments regarding ball position and posture. It made a significant difference. The first three holes was an exercise in ball striking mediocrity; only one of thee fairways hit and no greens in regulation. My bacon was saved by my vintage Acushnet putter; I sank close to 40′ of putts in the three holes. After settling in with ball position/stance changes, I hit 5 of the next 5 fairways and 4 of 6 greens. It was encouraging. Will the improvement take root? I’ll find out next week.
I’ll have brief daily updates Saturday, Sunday and, hopefully, Monday on Bo, Rachel, Jessica, Katja and Rio. Please stop by.