LPGA T&CP National Championship
August 25, 2015
The second round of the LPGA T&CP National Championship concluded on Tuesday with former LPGA Tour member Lisa Grimes (Alexandria, Minn.) sitting atop of the Championship Division leaderboard at 4-under par 140. Grimes matched her first day score of 2-under 70 and holds a one-shot lead over three-time defending champion Jean Bartholomew (Garden City, NY), PGA Professional Karen Paolozzi (Roswell, Ga.) and Liz Caron (West Hartford, Conn.).
The 36-hole cut was made with 40 players making it in the Championship Division (11-over 155), 23 players in the Senior Division (12-over 156) and 12 players in the Challenge Division (13-over 157).
Melissa Williams (Bradenton, Fla.) and Jennifer Bermingham (Long Beach, Calif.) shot the low rounds of the day and both posted rounds of 3-under 69.
There’s a three-way tie at the top of the Senior Division at 1-under par 143: Allison Finney (71-72), AnneMarie Palli (71-72) and Tina Tombs (72-71) will take a two-shot lead into the final day over Sally Austin (74-71) and Jan Kleiman (68-77).
Defending champion in the Challenge Division Susan Fasoldt (Sarasota, Fla.) shot 2-over 74 and holds a one-stroke lead over Angela Ause (St. Paul, Minn.) at 5-over par 149.
The tournament features three divisions: Championship (6,242 yards), Challenge (5,911) and Senior (50+, 5,577 yards). For complete scores, visit http://www.lpga.com/tcp/2015-national-championship-live-scoring
DETHRONE QUEEN JEAN
Lisa Grimes came into this week at Reunion Resort with really only one simple goal.
“Trying to dethrone Jean,” Grimes said with a laugh. “That’s kind of all of our goals. Not just mine but everyone as a group. I invited her to go kayaking today but she declined. Probably a good idea.”
Grimes put herself in great position to do just that and took the second-round lead on Tuesday after a round of 70 that included four birdies and two bogeys. She said a few good par saves early on kept her round together.
“Just steady hitting a lot of fairways,” said Grimes. “I missed a few today and got in a little trouble but got out of it well with some saves.”
The Minnesota native and teaching pro out of Alexandria Country Club is coming off the heels of her junior camp back home and said the break from teaching and opportunity to compete was a welcomed one.
“July and August are my busy months and I just finished up my junior program on Friday with 100 kids on Thursday and Friday so it was sort of a relief to fly out Friday night,” said Grimes. “The weather hasn’t been good and I’ve been busy so I have to take advantage of whenever I can play 18 holes.”
Grimes finished tied for third at this Championship last year and will be trying to make her 8th appearance at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a top-8 finish this week.
“It’s humbling. I enjoy it and don’t expect a whole lot,” said Grimes. “I strive to make the cut (at KPMG) but watching the kids – and they are kids, most could be my daughter – and playing practice rounds with all different players. It’s great that they have us there and they should. I take it all in.”
Grimes said the now rotating schedule for venues for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is an added perk for her and would love to make the trip to Sahalee Country Club outside Seattle next summer.
“I like how they’re changing the venues,” said Grimes. “It makes it more interesting for me. I’m not going to the same venue that these girls have played 20 times in a row. I’ve never been but I heard it’s great. If I qualify, that’d be great.”
GET MORE ZIP
Jean Bartholomew let her foot off the pedal a little on Tuesday allowing for the field to close in on snapping her three-consecutive National Championship streak. She shot even-par 72 in the second round and will trail Lisa Grimes by one shot heading into Wednesday’s final round.
“Just didn’t hit it solid all day,” said Bartholomew. “Didn’t hit it close when I had the chance to do it. It could’ve been worse. Still had four birdies.”
Bartholomew said an unexpected early wake up may have slowed her down a bit.
“I think it might have been the turn around,” said Bartholomew. “I got here way too early, I woke up at four and somehow miscalculated. Some days you just have no zip and can’t get it to the pins and wasn’t hitting it solid.”
The New York native contemplated getting some more practice in after her round but figured a load of laundry for her trip next week to the Legends Tour event in Indiana would suffice.
“I might go hit a few balls to go find some rhythm but definitely not a lot,” said Bartholomew. “I have to go to French Lick tomorrow night so I might go repack and do laundry. That will keep me busy. I need to practice but you don’t want to be out there in the heat.”
How does she plan to get more zip in her game for the final round?
“Drink more coffee.”
BATTLE OF THE TOP TWO
It almost looked to be de ja vu from last year’s Championship after Monday’s first round with Jean Bartholomew and Karen Paolozzi battling it out. The duo finished 1-2 last year and was paired together for the first two rounds this week. They’ve matched each other both days with rounds of 69-72 respectively. Paolozzi said it helped to see Bartholomew struggle a little bit on Tuesday and knew she wasn’t giving away too many shots.
“I mean it definitely does help,” said Paolozzi. “When I saw the pairings to begin with I was excited to play with Jean just because she’s fun to play with and a good player. But it does help that you know you don’t have to panic too much. We don’t know what some of the other girls are doing.”
The Georgia native matched Bartholomew with four birdies and four bogeys as well but said her ball control was all over the map. A few early bogeys led to an added intensity to the round.
“I didn’t feel like I had very good control over my golf ball,” said Paolozzi. “It would go right, left, fat, thin. Then it would go good. I made two bogeys out of the gate. It fires me up and makes me mad. My goal was to finish the front nine even and I did that. I hope I can have an idea where the golf ball is going tomorrow and make a few more putts.”
FINAL STRETCH SAVE
Allison Finney started the day three shots off the Senior Division leader Jan Kleiman but used a solid ball striking day on Tuesday to move into a three-way tie for the 26-hole lead.
“Ball striking on my first nine holes was excellent, really good,” said Finney. “Missed a short putt on the 18th hole, for a bogey to shoot 2-under. Putting was worse today for sure. Didn’t putt as well.”
Finney said some fatigue settled in halfway through the round and had to rally herself together late in the round to finish strong.
“When we made the turn, I just got really hot,” said Finney. “I was exhausted and had trouble concentrating. I had a really bad hole on the third hole, my 12th; I pulled my second shot a little bit and went in the waste bunker and it buried in a foot print. So I had to smash it as hard as I could just to get it out sideways and then I hit it on the green and tried so hard to make the cut but of course I three putted for double.”
Finney would bogey the par 3 5th hole but followed it up with a birdie on No. 6 to close out even par.
“And then I had six more holes and felt like I was pressing but I thankfully settled down and played the last six in even,” said Finney. “I could’ve really lost it. I feel really good about that.”
She’s tied for the lead with AnneMarie Palli and Tina Tombs as they carry a two-shot lead into the final day. Finney’s plan for the final round on Wednesday?
“Just stay aggressive and have some fun.”
FINAL ROUND TEE TIMES
• First tee times will be at 7:30am ET
• Play is expected to finish at 2:00 pm ET