Four tied for Four Winds leadPublished 10:00am Saturday, August 11, 2012
SOUTH BEND – The weather certainly played a factor in the opening round of the inaugural Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club Friday.
With winds gusting around 40 mph in the afternoon and blowing steadily as rain fell on and off the entire day, the players who went out in the morning actually had better conditions to play in – but not by much.
In the end, only six players finished under par and five of those were from the morning round.
Four players will enter Saturday’s second round tied atop the leaderboard.
Sara Hurwitch of Union, Ky., Carling Coffing of Middletown, Ohio, Blair O’Neal of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Fiona Puyo of Epernay, France all share the lead at two-under par 70.
Puyo was the only player in that group to tee off in the afternoon.
“It’s better to be lucky than good today,” Coffing said. “Conditions are going to be a factor,” Coffing said.
“It was kind of tough out there. It was windy. We had a little bit of everything out there,” O’Neal added.
Perhaps one of the best rounds of the day was turned in by Penn junior-to-be Kari Belleville, who battled the elements to finish with a three-over par 76.
The amateur held her own throughout the day staying at two-over par until the final hole. She admitted there were some nerves as she walked onto the first tee.
“I definitely had butterflies,” Belleville said. “But as soon as I hit my tee shot and it landed in the fairway right where I wanted it, they flew away. Everything was all good then.”
She agreed that the conditions were tough, especially in the afternoon.
“The weather definitely played a factor in today’s round,” she said. “It felt like November. It brought me closer to the competitive field. I’m kind of used to this weather more than some of the other girls who play in nice, sunny weather.
“I was able to adapt. The difficult thing was judging whether to go up two or three clubs into the wind and go down two or three clubs with the wind. My caddie Mark Hamilton (a teaching pro at Blackthorn) definitely helped me with that. His knowledge of the course really helped.”
Four Winds Invitational
At Blackthorn Golf Club
First Round Top 10
Sara Hurwitch (Union, Ky.) 34-36 – 70
Carling Coffing (Middletown, Ohio) 35-35 – 70
Blair O’Neal (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 35-35 – 70
Fiona Puyo (Epernay, France) 35-35 – 70
Julia Boland (Tamworth, NSW, Australia) 37-34 – 71
Kristie Smith (Perth, Australia) 36-35 – 71
Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.) 36-36 – 72
Joanna Coe (Mays Landing, N.J.) 36-36 – 72
Amy Eneroth (Spokane, Wash.) 37-35 – 72
Therese Koelbaek (Copenhagen, Denmark) 36-36 – 72
Brianna Do (Lakewood, Calif.) 35-37 – 72
Birdie Kim (Seoul, South Korea) 35-37 – 72
Esther Choe (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 35-37 – 72
Mi Hyang Lee (Incheon, South Korea) 35-37 – 72