Klasse Shoots 75, Eyeing Fourth Straight Women's Senior Amateur Title
August 19, 2019 | 3 min.
By Nick Hunter
CANNON FALLS, Minn. – Despite carding bogeys on each of her final two holes Monday, Leigh Klasse posted a round of 3-over 75 to jump out to the early lead at the 2019 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Cannon Golf Club.
Klasse played her first 13 holes in 1-under Monday before stumbling down the stretch, but managed to put herself in position to win her 15th senior stroke play title since 2010, entering Tuesday’s final round five shots ahead of Alison Hurley.
“Too many three-putts today,” Klasse said following her round Monday. “I hit 14 greens, but I had three three-putts. I got in trouble off the tee on No. 5, so that was an easy double. I felt like I hit the ball really nice and hit my irons pretty well and was good off the tee except for one hole.
“Tomorrow I’m just going to focus on hitting greens in regulation and if it goes in, it goes in, but no more three-putts.”
Beginning her round on the 10th tee Monday, Klasse took an early bogey at the 12th before falling to 2-over with a second bogey at the 15th. Sticking her approach inside of five feet at the par-4 16th, Klasse sank her birdie putt before giving back a stroke on the ensuing hole. With a two-putt for birdie at the 18th, Klasse would turn in 1-over for the championship.
Building momentum from a pair of birdies late on her opening nine, Klasse rolled in her birdie putt from off of the front edge of the green to move back to even par for the round.
“Some of the collars here are pretty tight and the ball doesn’t seem to check up, so sometimes putting is the best option,” Klasse said.
Klasse’s second at the par-5 fourth found the greenside bunker, but she hit out to four feet to get up-and-down for birdie to move into red figures for the day. A wayward tee shot at the fifth led to double-bogey for Klasse and she would bogey each of the final two holes to shoot 75 and open the championship with a comfortable lead.
Hurley, from Minnesota Valley Country Club, is in search of her first Women’s Senior Amateur Championship title, firing an 8-over 80 during the first round Monday and will begin the second round in second place, while Betsy Aldrich, the two-time defending champion at the MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Match Play, will start the final round in third place, six shots back.
Christina Payton, of Keller Golf Club, and Ede Rice, from Edina Country Club, each carded rounds of 12-over 84 Monday to earn a share of the lead in the First Flight, while Cheryl Jones, out of the Oaks Golf Club, jumped out to a four-stroke lead thanks to her round of 84 in the Second Flight.
Sue Ritter’s 88 Monday put her in the lead, two shots clear of Emi Sako, of University Golf Club, in the Third Flight and Jane Barton, of Eastwood Golf Club, will enter Tuesday’s final round in the Fourth Flight with a one-stroke lead over Donna Erickson, from Rum River Hills Golf Club.
Joan Krogstad, Rum River Hills Golf Club, posted a 24-over 96 Monday to take a one-stroke lead in the Fifth Flight, while Doreen Eddy and Nancy Kelly, both from Highland National Golf Club, each fired rounds of 94 to earn a share of the lead in the Sixth Flight.
Posting a round of 99 Monday, Pat Stewart, from University Golf Club, jumped out to a big lead in the Seventh Flight, heading into Tuesday’s final 18 holes 11 shots clear of the field.
The 2019 MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Championship concludes Tuesday when the final round gets underway at 7:30 a.m. at Cannon Golf Club.