LPGA T&CP National Championship
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club | Southern Pines, NC
Second-Round Notes | Sept. 5, 2017
The second round of the LPGA T&CP National Championship finished at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club on Tuesday with first-round leader Wendy Doolan extending her lead in the Championship Division to six shots heading into the final day of play. Doolan, who competed on the LPGA Tour for 17 years and is currently a teaching pro in Lakeland, Fla., fired a tournament-low 67 that moved her to 6-under-par overall. PGA professional Joanna Coe (Baltimore, Md.) sits in second after her second straight round of even-par 72.
Doolan carded an impressive seven birdies in her round along with two bogeys and took advantage of her morning tee time when the greens played a tad easier than they had the previous day. But for Doolan, the focus this week has been to continue working on a mental approach where she focuses on taking one shot at a time. It’s an approach that sounds cliché, but it seems to be working well lately for the veteran pro.
“I played a little bit of golf over the summer, and really I’ve had the same goal all summer,” Doolan said. “Golf is a funny game. You just never know when it’s going to show up and, obviously, a 67, that’s a good round, and I’m happy with that. But the goal is the same and that’s one shot at a time. I’m fighting myself at times to do that, but I’m really enjoying the challenge of staying in the moment.”
Doolan has put herself in position to win the LPGA T&CP National Championship for the first time in her career. The title would also earn her a spot in next year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The top-eight finishers will earn their way into the event and Doolan is looking to make a return trip as she finished eighth at the 2016 LPGA T&CP National Championship.
North Carolina native Cathy Johnston-Forbes leads the Senior Division at 4-under-par 140 following two straight rounds of 70, while local favorite Charlaine Hirst (Pinehurst, N.C.) sits atop the Challenge Division by seven shots with a two-day total of 8-over 152.
The 36-hole cut was made with 34 players making it in the Championship Division (19-over 163), 29 players in the Senior Division (20-over 164) and 10 players in the Challenge Division (28-over 172).
For complete scores, visit http://tms.golfnet.com/registration/?eventId=11663#d_leaderboard
FINDING SUCCESS AT A FAMILIAR PLACE
Joanna Coe is only playing in her second LPGA T&CP National Championship, having finished T22 at last year’s event outside Orlando, but this year she had some special vibes heading into the championship.
Southern Pines, NC is the longtime home of LPGA Pioneer Peggy Kirk Bell, who passed away at the age of 95 last year. Bell was an alum of Rollins College, where Coe played collegiate golf. The team often came to the area to compete and Coe felt that the course at Mid Pines could inspire her to play some great golf this week.
“This place is special to me because Peggy Kirk Bell is a Rollins alum so we always came here for college tournaments and my first college victory was here in the fall of my freshman year,” said Coe. “So I have really good memories here, although the redesign I don’t completely recognize it. It is still a fun course and I feel comfortable off the tee and I feel like you have to be a strong iron player to get it close to these pins. I’ve just been pretty steady, keeping it in play and playing smart.”
Coe has certainly played steady with back-to-back rounds of even-par 72 and finds herself sitting in solo second heading into the final day of play. Coe, who is a PGA professional, has really enjoyed the opportunity to compete at this championship and relishes the experience.
“This has been on my calendar from the very beginning,” Coe said of the tournament. “It’s cool to be with all of the women again because when you play in PGA section events, it’s all men. But it’s a different vibe out here. It’s fun. Everyone is supportive of each other. I plan on playing this event for years to come.”
FEELING GOOD AND PLAYING WELL TOO
Heather Angell hasn’t played much competitive golf so far this year. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native has status on the Symetra Tour but health issues have prevented her from playing at all on that Tour.
Angell, who blogs about food allergies and her battle with hypoglycemia on her Eat Play Win blog (http://eatplaywin.blogspot.com), has been making some changes in an effort to help her health. She has been feeling better of late but thought that this week would be a great opportunity to see if the changes she had made would be reflected in her play on the course.
“I just wanted to play as well as I could, as solid as I could,” said Angell. “I just really wanted to have three solid rounds and hopefully that would put me within that top 8 number. Really just coming into this event I wanted to see how the changes I made recently for my health would play out this week. So far it has been pretty decent. I have been fairly pleased with it.”
Angell has certainly delivered on the solid play through two rounds as she shot consecutive rounds of 2-over 74 and sits in a tie for third with Ashley Grier (Springfield, Penn.).
CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION LEADERBOARD
Player R1 R2 R3 To Par
Wendy Doolan 71 67 — -6
Joanna Coe 72 72 — E
Heather Angell 74 74 — +4
Ashley Grier 75 73 — +4
Karen Paolozzi 76 73 — +5
Charlotta Sorenstam 77 73 — +6
Jean Bartholomew 77 75 — +8
Katie Detlefsen 76 76 — +8
LOCAL LOOKING FOR A TITLE
The biggest crowd on Tuesday at the LPGA T&CP National Championship was likely the one following the group of Charlaine Hirst, which is no surprise considering that Hirst is practically playing in her backyard.
Hirst, who resides in nearby Pinehurst, shot 77 on Tuesday for a two-day total of 8-over 152 and leads the Challenge Division by seven shots over fellow North Carolinian Joellyn Crooks (Fuquay Varina, N.C.). And there were plenty of cheers from the people following Hirst’s group on Tuesday as she continued to put together some strong play.
“It has been unbelievable,” Hirst said of the support she’s received. “I’ve got my crowd, members from the club, people I teach, it has just been fun to be the local girl for a change.”
Hirst is familiar with Mid Pines, as she used to work at Pine Needles, which is across the street. She played Mid Pines quite a bit at that time but hadn’t played it in over nine years and the course underwent a redesign since then.
“I don’t play a lot of golf as I think most of us [teachers] out here this week don’t,” Hirst said. “The week has been about getting through and reminding yourself that what you are putting out there for your lessons, whatever you are teaching people, you are doing the same things—not to get ahead or to do too much. It’s worked so far, so it has been a good week.”
CHALLENGE DIVISION LEADERBAORD
Player R1 R2 R3 To Par
Charlaine Hirst 75 77 — +8
Joellyn Crooks 78 81 — +15
Liz Cooper 80 84 — +20
JOHNSTON-FORBES LEADS SENIOR DIVISION AFTER TWO DAYS
North Carolina native Cathy Johnston-Forbes continued her impressive play in Tuesday’s second round by firing a second straight 2-under 70 to sit atop the Senior Division by eight shots at 4-under-par.
Johnston-Forbes (Kitty Hawk, N.C.) got off to a steady start in her second round with nine straight pars before she once again bogeyed the first hole. But she rebounded quickly with back-to-back birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes before adding one more on the fifth to complete her round. Overall, the former LPGA Tour player who became a major winner at the 1990 du Maurier Classic Ltd. has been pleased with her play.
“I wasn’t hitting really well when I came into this week and I started hitting it well the day before on Sunday,” Johnston-Forbes said. “I left some putts out there for sure. I hit it better today but just didn’t make as many putts.”
The top-five finishers in the Seniors division will qualify for the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort. In addition, any competitors 45 or older who finish in the top 10 of the Championship division will also qualify for the senior major.
SENIOR DIVISION LEADERBOARD
Player R1 R2 R3 To Par
Cathy Johnston-Forbes 70 70 — -4
Barb Scherbak 72 76 — +4
Sherry Andonian-Smith 77 72 — +5
Marlene Davis 74 75 — +5
Barbara Moxness 73 76 — +5
“It would be amazing. I can’t imagine telling my family and friends, and the members of my club. I need one more strong round so I’m going to focus on that but that’s just like an awesome reward. It’s really cool that we have that route.”
– Joanna Coe, on the opportunity for the top-eight finishers in the Championship division to compete in the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship