LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals National Championship
The Donald Ross Course at French Lick
French Lick, Ind.
August 20-22, 2012
First-Round News and Notes
First Round Scores >>
Jean Bartholomew and Lisa Grimes Jump Out to First Round Lead
LPGA Tour veteran Jean Bartholomew and Lisa Grimes shot first-round 1-under par 71’s to take the lead at the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) National Championship.
Both players were plagued by the undulating greens at The Donald Ross Course at French Lick including a three-putt bogey at the first hole for Bartholomew.
“It’s the same for everybody, these greens are very undulating,” said Bartholomew. “I three putted the first hole out of the gate and I wasn’t upset at all because I was just in the wrong spot. On this type of course you just have to accept your misses that aren’t that bad and take what you can get.”
Bartholomew made one additional bogey on the front-nine then recorded two birdies to make the turn with an even-par 36. A Teaching Professional at PGA National, Bartholomew faltered with back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11 but quickly moved back to even-par after an eagle at the par-5 14th.
Bartholomew took advantage of the short par-5 and hit a seven-iron to eight feet then made the putt for eagle.
After recently playing in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic on the LPGA Tour, Bartholomew threw her back out forcing her to undergo significant swing changes leaving her expectations low for this week.
“It was just one of those days, I was happy and I had no expectations,” said Bartholomew. “I threw my back out in Toledo a few weeks ago playing in the tour event. I was really sore this morning but once I got moving it was okay but I know my swing isn’t going to be normal but it might be a good thing because I don’t try to hit it as far.”
The winner of this week’s T&CP National Championship receives an exemption into next year’s Wegmans LPGA Championship. Bartholomew is already exempt after her victory at the Southeast Section Championship which elevates a lot of the pressure of this week.
“I’m just going to try to enjoy it, I have no expectations,” said Bartholomew. “I did win the section so that gets me into the LPGA Championship so I think I have a little less pressure on me to win this week. I like this course. It’s fun, it’s a challenge and I’m just going to go out and have no expectations.”
Grimes got off to a quick start on Monday’s first round with a birdie on the second and an eagle on the par-5 fifth. Grimes striped her drive down the fairway then hit a three wood to 20 feet and converted the putt for eagle. Despite shooting a 3-under par 33 on the front-nine, Grimes quickly fell victim to the undulating greens on the par-5 10th.
“I was three under on the front,” said Grimes. “I started the back and three-putted 10. I made a birdie on the little par-5 and after that I had two more bogeys.”
Grimes hit an impressive 14 greens in the first round and according to her, it was nothing spectacular.
“It wasn’t a boring round but I hit a lot of fairways,” said Grimes. “I got in trouble once but I hit a pretty good shot out of it to hit it on the green and two putted to save par. It was nothing spectacular except for the eagle, that was fun."
The Director of Instruction at Alexandria Golf Club, Grimes has had a busy year as she competed in the Wegmans LPGA Championship and U.S. Open.
Grimes and Bartholomew head in to tomorrow’s second round with a one-stroke lead over Kristen Samp and Lisa Strom who opened with an even-par 72.
Tuesday’s second round will begin at 7:30 a.m., off the first and tenth tees, with the afternoon tee times starting at 11:20 a.m.
A 36-hole tournament cut will be made to the low 70 and ties following Tuesday’s second round.
Bennett, Cusimano, and Daughtery Lead the Senior Division
A trio of players including Karen Bennett, Dede Cusimano, and Diane Daughtery all shot 1-over par 73’s to lead the senior division (for pros ages 50-over).
Ball striking was key for Bennett who carded five bogeys and four birdies during today’s first round.
“I played well, I struck it very well and kept the ball in play the whole time,” said Bennett. “I hit solid iron shots which kept me in the game.”
Despite solid iron play, Bennett faltered a bit after failing to get up-and-down from greenside bunkers on numbers one and four.
“I didn’t have too many challenging up-and-downs,” said Bennett. “On the first and fourth holes I was in the bunker and hit good bunker shots just didn’t make the putts. They weren’t gimmies, I hit good putts they just didn’t go in.”
The Head Golf Professional at Dick’s Sporting Goods, the highlight of Bennett’s day came after a birdie at the difficult par-4 eighth.
“My highlight of the day came at the eighth which is a brutally short dogleg hole,” said Bennett. “I hit four-iron, eight-iron to about seven feet and made it.”
Cusimano got off to a bit of a shaky start on Monday after opening with a two-over par 38 on the front-nine of The Donald Ross Course at French Lick.
“I didn’t start off so well on the front-nine,” said Cusimano. “But on the back-nine I stayed very patient because this is a very patient golf course.”
A Teaching Professional at Roaring Fork Golf Club, Cusimano quickly rebounded on the back-nine to shoot a 1-under par 35.
“I made some good putts out there,” said Cusimano. “I started hitting some shots very close so I made a couple good birdies on the back side.”
Cusimano is no stranger to seeing her name atop the leaderboard at the T&CP National Championship as she claimed back-to-back victories in the senior division in 2009 and 2010.
Much like Bennett and Cusimano, Daughtery got off to a rough start in today’s first round with a bogey on the first hole. Daughtery quickly rebounded with a birdie on the par-4 fourth before faltering again with back-to-back bogeys on the par-4 third and par-3 fourth. Determined to regain control of her round, Daughtery then birdied the par-5 fifth and pared out to shoot a one-over par 37 front-nine.
Daughtery went on to record bogeys on the par-4 10th and par-4 12th but responded with birdies at the 14th and 16th to finish the day with a one-over par 73.
Lindsey Leads the Newly Created Challenge Division
Luck was on Shari Lindsey’s side on Monday as she shot a first-round 6-over par 78 to lead the newly created challenge division.
“You have to have a little luck,” said Lindsey. “You can’t get upset, you can’t get mad, you have to keep on playing.”
Unfazed by a shaky start, Lindsey’s hard work prevailed as she held on to record one double-bogey, five bogeys, and one birdie to take a one-stoke lead over Deb Zamprelli and Louisa Bergsma heading into tomorrow’s second round.
“The day started off pretty rough,” said Lindsey. “I couldn’t hit a fairway but I just kept working hard to even make bogey or par. I was actually going through the day saying I’m going to make bogey so I might as well accept it and luckily I had some good shots out of the rough so it worked out well for me today.”
This year marks the first year the challenge division has been added to the Teaching and Club Professional National Championship. Any player competing in this year’s championship can enter the challenge division and play at a shorter yardage than the championship division and slightly longer than the senior division.
”I like the challenge division,” said Lindsey. “I can’t compete with the youngsters anymore and I am 50 but I decided not to play in the senior division, so the challenge works out well. I still hit it okay so I figured I would try it. It’s actually really good.”
Topics: Teaching and Club Professionals