Colorado’s Ashley Tait Leads; Suzy Green-Reobuck in Hunt at Michigan PGA Women’s Open
THOMPSONVILLE – Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., is 29 and still chasing the dream, and she would like to chase down a Michigan PGA Women’s Open title in the process.
Suzy Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor is 49, a two-time champion, and still believes there’s a chance for a third state title.
“I wouldn’t enter if I didn’t think I had a little bit of a shot,” said Green-Roebuck, a mother of three, former LPGA Tour player and winner of the Michigan Women’s Open in 1994 and ’99.
Tait, who shot 71 to settle at 4-under 140, had a one-shot lead through two rounds of the 54-hole $37,000 championship, which is being played on the Mountain Ridge course at Crystal Mountain Resort.
She will start Wednesday’s final round chase of the $6,000 first-place check just ahead of three players, including Green-Roebuck, Canadian Anna Yougjin Kim, who is making her pro debut, and Symetra Tour player Jenny Coleman of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
The field will use a two-tee start on Nos. 1 and 10 for the final round with play starting at 8 a.m. and the final group going at 10:06 a.m.
Green-Roebuck shot 69 for her 141, including holing out from the fairway for and eagle-2 on the par 4 No. 4 hole. Kim, who recently graduated from St. John’s University in New York, also shot 69, and Coleman made birdies on the final three holes in a 74.
Amy Ihm, who just graduated from the University of Iowa and is making her professional debut, shot 72 for 142 to round out the top five.
Former Michigan State University standout Lindsey McPherson shot 71 for 143, and former University of Michigan golfer and Central Michigan assistant golf coach Lauren Grogan, who led after the first round with a career-best 65, shot 78 for 143.
Tait, a sixth-year Symetra Tour professional, is playing in her sixth Michigan Women’s Open where she has three top-5 finishes, including a second to Laura Kueny in 2011.
“I’ve been in this position before here, so it would be nice to close on the final day – finally,” she said. “I’m very familiar with this golf course. “It sets up good for me. It has the same grass and feel as back home in Colorado. I enjoy playing it.”
A 2011 Texas Women’s Open champion, Tait said the year started tough on the Symetra Tour so she took a few weeks off, changed up her equipment and has played better recently.
“My head is back on straight and my confidence is back, and my goal is still there,” she said. “I wouldn’t still be out there if I didn’t want to make it one step farther. I’m 29, the there’s still time left. I would love to win here. I’m keeping my self afloat, supporting myself on tour and you have to make money where you can.”
Green-Roebuck, whose Michigan Golf Hall of Fame father Pete Green is along on the trip to caddie, said she was pleased with her consistent play, and is planning to stay patient and play her game.
“I have to remind myself that I can’t hit it out there 280 like these girls can,” she said. “I can make it even out in the end though like I did today by hitting it solidly.”
She said having three children between the ages of 12 and 10 after her LPGA career has kept her thinking young, and she maintains her fitness.
“I want to play this game as well as I can for as long as I can,” she said. “I will enjoy being in the last group. It’s a bonus. I enjoy playing with these young women. There were great players when I played, but now there are so many of them. The talent is deeper. I’ll do my best and see what happens. It’s great to still be a competitive player.”
Complete results from the first round and pairings for the second round can be found at www.michiganpgagolf.com
via Greg Johnson