Anderson and Klasse Take Big Lead to Start MGA Women's Senior Four-Ball

June 5, 2023 | 4 min.
ByNick Hunter

  OWATONNA, Minn. – Carding four birdies over their final seven holes Monday helped the team of Lynn Anderson and Leigh Klasse to an opening-round 5-under 68 at Owatonna Country Club, taking the early lead at the 2023 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

Anderson and Klasse will begin Tuesday’s final round with a five-shot advantage over the twosome of Barb Miller and Cathy White, in search of their fifth title together at the championship.

“We did a really good job of holding each other up,” Klasse said following her round Monday. “When I was out of the hole, Lynn would hit a super shot, and we did that back and forth.”

Beginning their round at the 14th hole Monday, a pair of early birdies helped Anderson and Klasse to a quick start, but they would give a stroke back with a bogey at the fifth.

The two quickly bounced back when Anderson sank a 30-footer for birdie at the seventh before she chipped in for birdie at the ninth to move her and Klasse to 3-under for the day.

With four holes to play it was Klasse’s turn, chipping in for birdie at the 10th before she dropped her birdie chance from 40 feet at the 12th to put her and Anderson into the opening-round lead at 5-under 68.

Despite a sizeable lead with 18 holes to play Tuesday, Anderson and Klasse don’t anticipate much deviation from their game plan.

“Tomorrow we just need to hit fairways and greens and have a chance to roll some birdies in,” Anderson said. “Nothing different.”

“We both like the greens—they’re rolling really nicely and have good speed,” Klasse added. “We have to put ourselves in position to be putting for birdies instead of putting for par.”

Anderson and Klasse won four consecutive titles beginning in 2015 before Klasse teamed with Miller to claim the 2019 championship. Klasse also notched a pair of victories previously with partner Mary Hossier in 2011 and 2013.

Beginning their round at the 16th hole Monday, Miller and White carded back-to-back birdies at the second and third holes when White drilled her birdie opportunity from 30 feet at the par-5 second.

White followed it with a second birdie, rolling in a 10-footer at the third to put her team at 2-under for the tournament.

But bogeys at the sixth and 11th holes would put Miller and White back to even par for the round to sit five shots off the lead at 73 with one round to play.

“I thought the course played tough out there. There were some pins in tough spots and it was hard to go after birdies,” White said Monday. “I played really well—a 75 on my own ball with a [double-bogey], so we were thinking we should’ve been about 2-under.”

“Cathy made the birdies and I was chipping in for par,” Miller said. “We need more chances for birdies tomorrow. Today it seemed like only one of us would be putting for birdie and the other was chipping up to make par.”

Miller partnered with Betsy Aldrich to claim the 2020 championship at Forest Hills Golf Club.

Aldrich and partner Andrea Luther posted a 1-over 74 Monday, and the two will begin Tuesday’s final round in third place, six shots off the lead.

Carding a 1-over 74 Monday, the team of Lisa Lawry and Trish Olsen took a four-stroke lead over the team of Sheryl Raithel and Christina Payton and the pairing of Lili McMillan and Mary Flynn in the First Flight.

Darla Phillips and partner Luanne Cortesi combined to post a 7-over 80 to take a one-stroke lead over Ann Leahy and Sue Sajevic in the Second Flight.

In the Third Flight, Elaine Barr and Nancy Gangelhoff fired a 13-over 86 and the two will take a two-stroke lead over the team of Sheri Hoistad and Chris Schommer to Tuesday’s final round.

Kerrin Olufson and Dana Rasmussen finished their first round of play on top of the leaderboard in the Fourth Flight Monday, carding a 14-over 87 to lead by one over the team of Melanie Jaeb and Emi Sako.

Deb Halsne and Leann Lundgren opened the championship with a 15-over 88 in the Fifth Flight Monday to take a one-stroke lead over the twosome of Sandy Hanna and Barbara Sharpe.

In the Sixth Flight, Jeanne Marquardt and Sally Olsen combined to shoot a 12-over 85 to take a sizeable five-stroke lead over the team of Patti Hade and Brenda Breckheimer.

The final round of the 2023 MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at Owatonna Country Club.

Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 11th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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