High winds and a wet course wreaked havoc with Monday’s opening day scores at the Ohio Women’s Open. Only one individual broke par while three pros shot a one-over par 72 at Defiance’s Eagle Rock Golf Club.
Olivia Jordan-Higgins finished with a red number Monday with a two-under 69 after finishing tied for third with Baker and Molly Skapik last year. Jordan-Higgins shot an even 35 over the first nine before a 34 on the back nine to take the first-round lead.
“It was very wet, windy and tough, but sometimes that helps you focus more,” Jordan-Higgins said. “But I’m from England, so I know what very wet and windy is like. Some of the tee shots were pretty tricky, so overall, I had to adjust my chipping and putting. I also hit an eagle on hole 13 from 106 yards away, so that really helped.”
Two-time defending OWO champion Jessica Porvasnik had her worst round at Eagle Rock with a 37 on the front nine. She recovered some, with a one-under 35 on the back nine.
She played in the same threesome as Jordan-Higgins and was right in contention going into hole 13. But the eagle gave Jordan-Higgins some breathing room. As a result, Porvasnik finds herself three shots behind Jordan-Higgins after carding a 72.
“Olivia played well and it was fun,” Porvasnik said. “I had to battle, it was a little wet out there. I didn’t have my best game today, so I scrambled out there. As far as tomorrow goes, I’ll stick to my game plan and see what happens. Here, if you hit the fairways well, you’ll get a good score.”
Also shooting 72 were Molly Skapik and Michele Nash. Nash, like Porvasnik, recovered a bit on her last nine holes, after shooting a 37 on her first nine holes. Nash had played at Eagle Rock before, but it had been a while since she now lives in Orlando.
“I knew it was a position course, but it wasn’t until my practice round here, that it started to come back to me,” Nash said. “(On Monday), the course kept getting windier, but the good thing was that if I missed, I was able to stay in good position. My last two holes (eighth and ninth, since Nash started on hole 10), I had bad shots off the tee and had to make two good par saves.”
Brooke Baker, who shot an opening-round 69 last year and ended up in third place, was one who struggled on day one. She managed to recover on the back nine for par, but was seven over on the front nine for a seven-over 78 for the day.
“I double bogeyed holes five and six because of bad breaks and an unplayable,” Baker said. “I wasn’t expecting to start out this way at all.”
Porvasnik, Jordan-Higgins and Skapik will be in a threesome together today and will tee off in the last group, beginning at the first hole at 9:40 a.m.
Nash will tee off at 9:30 a.m., in a threesome with Changkija and Hubbard, beginning on hole 10.
Cheryl Fox, last year’s Senior Open winner, carded a four-over 75 and has a substantial lead over Loretta Young (83). Still, Fox, who was even par going into the last four holes, lamented how she finished.
“The conditions were tough, but I made some long putts on the front nine,” Fox said. “Then, I bogeyed the last four holes.”
Fox will tee off on hole one, in a threesome with Leonie Bettel (74) and Jessica Welchm (75), at 9 a.m.
Baker will tee off on hole 10 at 8:30 a.m., in a threesome with Breanna Jenco (76) and Niki Schroeder (78).
Also, at Saturday’s Pro Am, Paragon Steel, the sponsor for pro Lauren Grogan and the team of Steve Meyer, Matt Behringer, Sam Switzer and Bill Bridenbaugh, carded the top gross winning score of 54.
Team Small had the best net score of 51.1. That team consisted of pro Josee Doyon, along with Bill Small, Tim Small, Rick Small and Steve Small.
The best mix team score of 60, came from the Hench Family. That team consisted of pro Brooke Baker, along with team members A.J. Hench, Beth Hench, Karla Hench and Madi Sierra.
Ohio Women’s Open
At Eagle Rock
Olivia Jordan-Higgins 69, Jessica Porvasnik 72, Molly Skapik 72, Michele Nash, 72, Sandra Changkija 73, Macy Hubbard 73, Robyn Doig 74, Kasey Miller 74, Sandra Angulo Minarro 74, Cheryl Fox 75, Jessica Welch 75, Kayla Thompson 75, Ashley Thomas 76, Melissa Siviter 76, Josee Doyon 76, Breanna Jenco 76, Ju Hee Bae 76, Brooke Baker 77, Niki Schroeder 77, Rio Watanbe 78, Amanda Smith 78, Amanda Dixon 78, Karyn Lee Ping 79, Caroline Powers 82, Loretta Young 83, Allie Leigeb 84, Jennifer Ridle 85, Meagan Wallace 86, Fran Kocsis 88, Jamie Zimron 90.
Alexis Jones 73, Sophia Trombetta 73, Sarah Shipley 73, Leonie Bettel 74, Alexandra Swayne 75, Moya Russell 77, Kristina Kniesly 77, Ali Green 78, Jill Schmitmeyer 78, Kara Raines 79, Alex Wright 80, Katie Hallinan 80, Nicole Jones 80; Sabrina Coffman 81, Sarah Hauenstein 81, Emma Romine 81, Alicia Provasnik 82, Makyla Lewellen 82, Annie Stimmel 82, Michele Vlacovsky 82, Danielle Austinson 82, Christina Williams 83, Nichole Cox 83, Grace Davis 83, Makenna Jones 84, Sammi Blackburn 84, Allie Leigeb 84, Maria Connelly 85, Candace Keller 85, Gabrielle Keller 86, Meagan Wallace 86, Erin Korn 88, Riley Kleck 94.