Three-way tie in Championship Division at LPGA T&CP National Championship
Cusimano setting sights on being first player to win Championship, Senior Division titles
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WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Sept. 14, 2009 There's a three-way tie at 1-under-par 70 for the top spot at the LPGA Teaching & Club Professional (T&CP) National Championship. Susan Ginter, of Ridgefield, Conn., (38-32); Sarah Johnson, of Flagstaff, Ariz., (34-36) and Missie Berteotti, of Presto, Pa., (34-36) lead the Championship Division.ï¿½
In the Senior Division, Dede Cusimano, of Basalt, Colo., said she is hoping to be the first player ever to win the LPGA T&CP National Championship both in the Championship Division and Senior Division.ï¿½ The 50-year-old teaching pro at River Valley Ranch Golf Center (Carbondale, Colo.) carded the low round of the day at 2-under-par 69 (36-35).
The leading Championship Division trio all were able to card four birdies on a course they said was set up well.
ï¿½My short game felt better and my chipping game felt better than it has in a while,ï¿½ said Ginter, who said the 17th and 18th tee boxes along the James River were some of her favorites when she played the course as a Tour member in 2003.ï¿½ ï¿½It (the rough) is thick.ï¿½ It's Bermuda ï¿½ we don't play that in Connecticut all summer; it's a different kind of grass.ï¿½ We hit a lot of chips yesterday in our practice round to try to get some feel.ï¿½ I lived in Florida, so some memory of how to hit it.ï¿½
Johnson, an assistant golf professional at Forest Highlands Golf Club (Flagstaff, Ariz.), agreed. ï¿½I hit a few good iron shots pretty close.ï¿½ The greens were really holding nicely, since it's been so wet,ï¿½ she said.ï¿½ ï¿½It's fun.ï¿½ It's in good shape.ï¿½ I think it's playing a little longer than courses we've played in the past couple years. ï¿½I think that probably plays to my advantage a little bit.ï¿½
Many of the pros are unable to play as much as they'd like due to their instruction schedules.ï¿½ Many noted they were happy to be at the event; shooting a low score was a bonus.ï¿½ Berteotti ï¿½retiredï¿½ from playing when her 10-year-old son was born, but played in four Duramed FUTURES Tour events in preparation for this week.
ï¿½I'd never been here before.ï¿½ I was anxious to see it and was looking forward to playing a course that the Tour played and just looking forward to playing in competition.ï¿½ Just getting into that tournament mode is fun,ï¿½ said Berteotti, who won the 1993 PING Welch's Championship on the LPGA Tour.ï¿½ ï¿½Golf is golf; Missie is Missie.ï¿½ I just wanted to see, as a 45-year-old, what my perspective would be versus a 20-year-old.ï¿½ It's still the same game.ï¿½
Just one stroke back is Laura Witvoet, of Apache Junction, Ariz., at even-par 71 (36-35).
Cusimano, the 2003 LPGA T&CP National Championship winner in the Championship Division, not only owned the low score of the day, but noted the strength of the Senior Division, as well as the overall condition of the course.
ï¿½In two years, this Senior Division will be probably one of the best out here, just because you've got a lot of us coming up, now, and turning 50,ï¿½ she said.ï¿½ ï¿½The golf course, number one, is playing great.ï¿½ It's in awesome shape.ï¿½ I drove it really well today and just made some great putts.ï¿½ I think I hit about 14 greens today.ï¿½ My putter got on fire there for a little while.ï¿½ I had a good group today, so it was fun.
ï¿½I kind of look forward to this tournament,ï¿½ she continued.ï¿½ ï¿½Just so I can come out and play with the girls.ï¿½ But, it's getting bigger and better and I just hope we can continue to have this tournament every year because there are so many good players coming out here every year, which is great.ï¿½
Cusimano is two strokes ahead of Sally Austin, of Chapel Hill, N.C., who is at even-par 71 (35-36).
Other notable finishes were Senior Division defending champion Linda Nevatt, of Churchville, Pa., tied for third at 1-over-par 72 (38-34) and Championship Division defending champion Laura Shanahan Rowe, of Bedford, N.H., is tied for fifth at 1-over-par 72 (39-33).ï¿½ Recent LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame inductee Lorraine Klippel, of Camp Hill, Pa., with nine-hole scores of 39-37 for a 5-over-par 76 to be in a five-way tie for ninth in the Senior Division.
The annual event is being contested on the Kingsmill Resort & Spa's River Course for the first time in LPGA T&CP history.ï¿½ The event was a biennial event from 1983 to 1993 and then began to be played each year after that.ï¿½ The LPGA T&CP counterparts on the LPGA Tour, however, have made this Williamsburg stop for the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill since 2003.
Second round tee times for the 2009 LPGA T&CP National Championship are at 7:30 a.m. off the first tee.