The first two times Olivia Jordan-Higgins competed in the Ohio Women’s Open, she placed second in 2016 and, after a one-year hiatus, third in 2018. In 2016, Jordan-Higgins lost to Allie White in a playoff.
After two close finishes near the top, Jordan-Higgins wondered if she would ever win at Eagle Rock.
But this year, in her third try, Jordan-Higgins came through with a championship.
Jordan-Higgins seized control on the first day with a 69, grabbing a three-stroke lead over three others, including two-time defending champ Jessica Porvasnik. On the final day, Jordan-Higgins received a challenge from Porvasnik, who was in the same threesome with Jordan-Higgins both days. But the steady Jordan-Higgins shot a one-under-par 70 on the final day, to top Porvasnik by two strokes to claim her first OWO championship on Tuesday at Eagle Rock.
“It tuns out that for me, the third time was the charm,” Jordan-Higgins said. “Coming into the final day, with a three-stroke lead, the title was mine to lose. The course had dried up some today, making for quicker greens, which was a good thing. I kind of knew that if I shot even or better, I was going to win and I played pretty steady the final round.
“In the middle of the final round, I was pushing a bit, to try to get a birdie,” Jordan-Higgins continued. “But my caddy Dylan was a big help. He told me just relax and don’t push anything and you’ll be just fine. It did get a little interesting, though, on hole 15, when I bogeyed.”
With the bogey, Porvasnik – who shot a two-under 69 on the final day – moved into a tie with Jordan-Higgins after the 15th hole.
“But she then bogeyed hole 16 and I birdied hole 17 on a long putt and that gave me the cushion I needed with a two-stroke lead going into the final hole,” Jordan-Higgins said. “Then, going into hole 18, I felt if I could just par the hole, that would give me the win. I didn’t want to have a bogey, because that would open the door for her to possibly win. I put myself in position to birdie the final hole. Though I didn’t make that putt, we both ended up parring the final hole, to give me the win.”
A two-year reign atop the Ohio Women’s Open ended for Porvasnik.
“I was playing solid, trying to do the best I could, with four birdies, but my chip on the 16th hole was not good at all and that cost me,” Porvasnik said. “I just have to control what I do and I can’t control what she does. She made a great putt to save par on 16 and then drained a really long (birdie) putt on the 17th. I didn’t win, but two firsts and a second here, I’ll take it.”
She plans on trying for her third title in four years next summer.
“They do a good job running the Open here and there’s not really anything they can do to make it better. I like playing here and all the girls enjoy coming here. So, the plan right now is for me to come back again next year and try to win again.”
After Porvasnik, Sandra Changkija finished third at 146, with two rounds of 73. Jessica Welch was fourth at 147 (75-72). Molly Skapik, the final player in the threesome with Porvasnik and Jordan-Higgins, shot a 76 to finish tied for fifth (148) with Robyn Doig and Kasey Miller.
Macy Hubbard and Sandra Angulo Minarro fired 149 to finish tied for eighth. Brooke Baker, third last year and second in 2017, recovered from her opening-day 77 with a 73 (150), to finish tied for 10th with Ju Hee Bae and Melissa Siviter. Michele Nash, who carded a 72 on the first day, shot a 79 on day two to finish 13th with a 151.
Cheryl Fox won the Senior Division with a two-day total of 152 (75-77). She finished 17 strokes ahead of Loretta Young (83-86-169).
“I (was disappointed that I) shot six-over-par today,” Fox said. “I would rather have a good golf swing than being 50 years old like I am, but I’ll take the win. I think I did well enough to get some of the pro money from where I placed and it was a fun tournament, as always.”
Alexandra Swayne rebounded from a 75 on day one with a 70 on Tuesday to win the Amateur Division by four strokes over Alexis Jones and Leonie Bettel (149).
Ohio Women’s Open
At Eagle Rock
1. Olivia Jordan-Higgins 69-70-139; 2. Jessica Porvasnik 72-69-141; 3. Sandra Changkija 73-73-146; 4. Jessica Welch 75-72-147; 5. Kasey Miller 74-74-148, Robyn Doig 74-74-148 and Molly Skapik 72-76-148; 8. Macy Hubbard 73-76-149 and Sandra Angulo Minarro 74-75-149; 10. Brooke Baker 77-73-150, Melissa Siviter 76-74-150 and Ju Hee Bae 76-74-150; 13. Michele Nash 72-79-151; 14. Cheryl Fox 75-77-152; 15. Kayla Thompson 75-78-153, Amanda Smith 78-75-153 and Ashley Thomas 76-77-153; 20. Breanna Jenco 76-78-154 and Niki Schroeder 77-77-154; 22. Amanda Dixon 78-77-155; 23. Karyn Lee Ping 79-77-156; 24. Rio Watanbe 78-81-159; 25. Meagan Wallace 86-76-162; 26. Loretta Young 83-86-169 and Allie Leigeb 84-85-169; 28. Jamie Zimron 90-88-178; 29. Fran Kocsis 88-91-179.
1. Alexandra Swayne 75-70-145; 2. Alexis Jones 73-76-149 and Leonie Bettel 74-75-149; 4. Sarah Shipley 73-77-150; 5. Sophia Trombetta 73-78-151; 6. Jill Schmitmeyer 78-76-154; 7. Ali Green 78-81-159; 8. Katie Hallinan 80-80-160, Maria Connelly 85-75-160; Moyea Russell 77-83-160 and Michele Vlacovsky 82-78-160; 12. Kristina Kniesly 77-84-161; 13. Sabrina Coffman 81-82-163 and Gabby Keller 86-77-163; 15. Alicia Porvasnik 82-82-164, Emma Romine 81-83-164 and Sarah Hauenstein 81-83-164; 18. Christina Willians 83-82-165 and Nicole Jones 80-85-165; 20. Annie Stimmel 82-84-166 and Makyla Lewellen 82-84-166; 22. Kara Raines 79-88-167 and Danielle Austinson 82-85-167; 24. Gracie Davis 83-85-168; 25. Erin Korn 88-82-170, Nichole Cox 83-87-170 and Alex Wright 80-90-170; 28. Makenna Jones 84-87-171; 29. Candy Keller 85-89-174 and Sammi Blackburn 84-90-174; 31. Riley Kleck 94-94-188.