Braselton, Ga., September 23, 2013 – After first-round play of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) National Championship, Charlotta Sorenstam and Jessica Carafiello are tied for the lead in the Championship Division with a 1-under-par 71. The 26th staging of this annual event is being held at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Ga., Sept. 23-25.
“I’m happy I’ve made some putts: that’s the difference in score,” said Sorenstam. “I’ve missed a couple of shots, but I missed in the right way.”
Sorenstam has been “playing smart,” in her words, which means hitting fairways and greens in regulation, taking advantage of the shorter holes, and playing ok on the harder holes. “Most greens are rolling well,” she added. “You just have to be patient on the others.” Sorenstam is the Director of Golf Operations at the Annika Academy in Orlando, Fla.
The top six finishers of the Championship division will go on to represent the LPGA T&CP in the 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship, a major tour event.
Carafiello, who finished her round earlier in the day, was informed by phone that she was tied for the lead. She was in nearby Atlanta seeing the sights at the time. “I played pretty well overall,” she said. “The course fits me!”
Carafiello, who is the Assistant Pro at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va., went on to say that she didn’t capitalize on the par 5’s or short par 4’s, and she missed a couple of birdie putts, but she hit her wedges well on the back nine.
Pecora leads Challenge Division
Jessica Pecora of Milton, Ga. shot a first-round 74 to take the lead in the Challenge Division of the tournament (5,900-6,200 yards). Pecora started off with two pars on holes #10 and #11. She birdied holes #12, 17 and 18, but double-bogied #6 and bogied #15 for a par 36 on the first nine. Two bogies on the last nine put her two strokes back from par, but with the lead in the Division.
Tough Senior Division led by Cusimano
Three-time National Championship winner, Dede Cusimano, started her round on hole #10—and more slowly than she hoped—with a missed putt for a bogey. “That just got my juices flowing,” said Cusimano.
And flow they did! She birdied the next two holes, both par 5’s and the 17th on the front nine, plus hole #7 on the back for a first-round score of 69.
“I almost eagled the 18th,” said Cusimano, smiling. “I played well. I’ve been playing well.”
Cusimano knows what it takes to win a T&CP National Championship; she won the championship division in 2003 and senior division in 2009 and 2010. “The Senior Division is getting so competitive, you have to grind it out and play well,” she said. “I’m going to rest tonight and keep doing what I’m doing!”
Susan Bond, LPGA/PGA Professional at Weekapaug Golf Club in Westerly, R.I., sits two strokes back from Cusimano, carding a one-under-par 71 in the first round.
The LPGA National Championship was created in 1983 to provide additional playing opportunities for LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. The three-day event has since grown to become recognized as the premier tournament for women golf professionals in the world. The tournament features three divisions: Championship (6,300-6,500 yards), Challenge (5,900-6,200 yards) and Senior (50+; 5,600-5,800 yards). Each division will be cut to the Top 70 and ties after 36-holes.
Second-round play starts at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 off front and back nines on the Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Ga.
The first round is complete. The scoring is as follows (in alphabetical order):
|Chung, Chung Ran||Challenge||94|
|Goslak, Anne Marie||Champ||73
|Morrisey, C. Byon||Senior||91
|Nogues Fraile, Teresa||Champ||74|
|Shanahan Rowe, Laura||Champ||77|
|Zimron, Jamie Leno||Senior||78|