FORT WAYNE – Just about everyone affiliated with Sycamore Hills Golf Club was surprised the scores were as high as they were among the LPGA professionals. The course wasnt set up all nearly as difficultly as it could have been.
It played at 6,631 yards.
So what troubled the players? The dangerous trees and water around the greens, mostly.
The shots into the greens are really tough, and if you miss into the wrong spot, youre going to make a big number pretty quick, said Stacy Lewis, who shot a 1-under 71 in the first round of the Mad Anthonys Charity Classic for Children and was three strokes back of leader Angela Stanford.
But after morning rain threatened to put a damper on the whole tournament, some of the players were happy they had a nice day with the amateurs and gallery.
It was beautiful out there. Its a really pretty course, said Nancy Lopez, who shot an 80, battling through some knee pain. I didnt play very well on the front nine. My back was a little more consistent. But its just fun a course to play and we really lucked out with the weather.
Feeling at home
Amanda Blumenherst, who helped organize the tournament by bringing in her LPGA counterparts, calls Sycamore Hills her home course. So she was disappointed with her 78, which put her in a tie for 10th.
I think I was hoping for about 10 shots better, but it is what it is and hopefully (in the final round), Ill play a little bit better, she said. Hopefully I wont embarrass myself.
Blumenherst was in the days first group and could be forgiven some distraction; she wanted to make sure everything went smoothly. Attendance was sparse for the first round – organizers estimated 2,000 spectators in attendence – but the tournament has historically been only one day.
It definitely is a lot more responsibility than just showing up and playing, she said. And (today), hopefully well have a lot of fans as well. It would be nice to have some big groups coming out and watching the girls.
Winning team No. 1
While the 12 LPGA pros are vying for their share of a $300,000 purse, with $50,000 going to the winner, there are two Pro-Am best-ball tournaments taking place at Sycamore Hills.
On Sunday, the team of Fritz Aichele, Jay Jamison, Kent Noble and Phil Terrill won, despite not having a pro. They finished at 19 under, three strokes better than Lewis team, which included Mike Thomas, Jeff Thomas and John Dullaghan. There will be another Pro-Am today.