Second Round – 2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship

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Pinehurst No. 8 | Pinehurst, N.C. | Aug. 27-29, 2018

Second-Round Notes – Aug. 28, 2018

Media Contact: Brianne Wigley (386-341-7331)

Quick Links: Leaderboard

LPGA WINNER KANG ON TOP AT PINEHURST

Through two rounds at the 2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship, a familiar face is on top of the leaderboard. Two-time LPGA winner Jimin Kang (Scottsdale, Ariz.) fired a one-under par 71 at Pinehurst No. 8 on Tuesday and holds a one-shot lead in the Championship division over Seul-Ki Park (Winchester, Mass.) and Stephanie Eiswerth (Fleming Island, S.C.).

After being misdiagnosed and over-medicated for moderate allergies, Kang was forced to take time away from golf in 2013 and has been slowly mounting a comeback to the LPGA Tour while also working on her LPGA Class A teaching certification.

Kang’s first taste of LPGA golf in 2018 was at the Monday qualifier for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix, she missed qualifying by two strokes but left with a lot of confidence.

“I wasn’t really ready, but it was down the street, so I was like alright let me see if I can do something. Then, all the sudden I’m trying to get back on the Tour. It wasn’t really like I planned it, but then I saw myself and I could shoot low out there and I was like I know what I need to work on: consistency.”

Kang’s big personality was evident as she sat down to sign her scorecard after posting the low round of the day, and took a sigh of relief and said, “I don’t know what I shot, but progress!” If Kang keeps it rolling on Wednesday, she’ll have a chance to play in her first LPGA major since the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open.

The top eight finishers in the Championship division will go on to represent the LPGA T&CP in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour, which will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

2017 Championship division winner, Wendy Doolan (+6) (Lakeland, Fla.) got things back on track on Tuesday with a 2-over par 74 to sit in a tie for seventh heading into the final round. Ashley Grier (Springfield, Penn.) is looking to qualify for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for a second-straight year and is in good position to do so at 4-over par through two rounds.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Grier said, “and not think about anything different. It’s just one more round. I’m going to try to keep the exact same mindset, it’s been working so far.”

After 36-holes the field was cut to the top 70 players and ties.

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Jimin Kang -1 72-71­—143
T2 Seul-Ki Park +1 72-73—145
T2 Stephanie Eiswerth +1 73-72—145
T4 Ashley Grier +4 73-75—148
T4 Alison Curdt +4 76-72—148
6 Nicole Jeray +5 76-73—149
T7 Joanna Coe +6 78-72—150
T7 Wendy Doolan +6 76-74—150

COE HOPES TO QUALIFY BACK-TO-BACK

Joanna Coe (Baltimore, Md.) had a busier Summer than usual after she Monday qualified into the ShopRite LPGA Classic outside her hometown in June. Coe, a PGA Professional at Baltimore Country Club, then played a few weeks later at the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes in July, thanks to her runner-up finish at the 2017 LPGA T&CP National Championship.

This week, Coe is playing for the first time at Pinehurst No. 8 and is drawing motivation from her experiences over the Summer to stay in the top eight.

“It was so cool to Monday qualify in my hometown,” Coe said. “Then I played in KPMG two weeks later, I felt like I was back on Tour with two LPGA events in June so that was super cool. I always like to test my game against the best in the world. Got to get one more good round in tomorrow and see what happens.”

LOCAL LOOKING FOR BACK-TO-BACK CHALLENGE DIVISION WINS
Defending champion in the Challenge division, Charlaine Hirst (Pinehurst, N.C.) may have only played her fourth round of golf all year on Tuesday, but any rust she had wore off quickly as she posted a 6-over par 150 36-hole total. Hirst holds a nine-stroke lead over Liz Cooper (Woodbridge, Va.), Joellyn Crooks (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) and Susan Fasoldt (Sarasota, Fla.).

Hirst is a Teaching Professional at the nearby Country Club of Whispering Pines, and with her busy schedule doesn’t get to play a lot of golf but every year she relishes the opportunity to play the LPGA T&CP National Championship.

“I just love to compete, and this is my one time a year I do it,” Hirst said. “I don’t really get to prepare for it, but no matter where this event is it’s the one time I get to come travel and play tournament golf again. When I work with my students I have something to draw on and can speak from experience, not just that I played way back when.”

CHALLENGE DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Charlaine Hirst +6 76-74—150
T2 Liz Cooper +15 82-77—159
T2 Joellyn Crooks +15 78-81—159
T2 Susan Fasoldt +15 82-77—159
T5 Stephanie Peareth +17 83-78—161
T5 Christie Quinn +17 80-81—161

FORMER SENIOR DIVISION CHAMP ENJOYING PINEHURST TEST

Barbara Moxness (Edina, Minn.), who played on the LPGA Tour between 1978 and 1986, is playing Pinehurst No. 8 for the first time this week and is finding it to be a really fun challenge as she holds a five-shot lead over Kelley Brooke (Belle Harbor, N.Y.).

“I didn’t miss a green today,” Moxness said. “Just trying to figure out where to land it and what it’s going to do is the key, because these greens are really difficult.”

Moxness, an LPGA T&CP Life member and founder/owner of the Moxie Golf Academy, has good memories at French Lick Resort as it was the site of her 2012 Senior division win, and thanks to a T3 finish at this event in 2017 she is set to compete at the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship.

“Absolutely, I’m looking forward to playing. That’s a great event at French Lick, it’s one of the most difficult courses we play.”

The top five finishers in the Senior division will qualify for the 2019 Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort as well as any competitors over the age of 45 who finish in the top 10 in the Championship division.

SENIOR DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Barbara Moxness -1 72-71—143
2 Kelley Brooke +4 74-74—148
T3 Kathleen Ricci +6 73-77—150
T3 Cathy Johnston-Forbes +6 73-77—150
T3 Teresa Ishiguro +6 74-76—150
T6 Joy Bonhurst +7 73-78—151
T6 Laurie Rinker +7 76-75—151

NOTABLE QUOTES

Jimin Kang, on her second round:

“All the instructors always say, ‘take it one shot at a time.’ I think that’s what I did today. I won’t say that I listened to my own advice, but I think that’s what happened.”

Charlaine Hirst, on playing close to home:

“I love this course, it’s one of my favorites in the area. Being local I’ve got a lot of friends in the area, and people that I work with and give lessons to so it’s fun to have them come out and watch me play. Being at home is always fun, sleeping in my own bed and getting to relax at home at the end of the day is always nice.”

Joanna Coe, on her second-round play:

“Definitely happy with the way I played today. I hit it so much better today, and I actually made some pretty good par saves. I hit it well, I probably could’ve shot a couple under, but you have to protect some of these putts you could slam some by that you don’t mean to. It’s hard to make birdies out here.” 

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2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship First-Round Notes

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Pinehurst No. 8 | Pinehurst, N.C. | Aug. 27-29, 2018
Aug. 27, 2018

Media Contact: Brianne Wigley (386-341-7331)

Quick Links: Leaderboard

 BERMINGHAM ON TOP THROUGH FIRST ROUND

The first-round of the 2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship got off to a hot start on Monday at Pinehurst No. 8, with afternoon temperatures hitting the 90s. The heat was no problem for Long Beach, California native Jennifer Bermingham as she was the only player across all three divisions to shoot under par on Monday with a one-under 71. Bermingham holds a one-shot lead in the Championship division over Jimin Kang (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Seul-Ki Park (Winchester, Mass.).

“I hit it really good, I putted really good,” Bermingham said of her first round. “It’s nice to be here. I really enjoy being a T&CP member and to be playing at the National Championship means a lot to me, so I’m really happy to be here and it gives me some extra motivation to play well.”

The top eight finishers in the Championship division will go on to represent the LPGA T&CP in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour, which will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

Bermingham qualified for the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship where she made the cut and said she has been itching to play in the major championship again. “I want to qualify,” Bermingham said. “I want to be in the top eight.”

The LPGA T&CP National Championship was originally organized in 1983 to provide additional playing opportunities for LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. The three-day competition has since grown to become recognized as the premier tournament for women golf professionals in the world. The tournament features three divisions: Championship (6,292 yards), Challenge (5,972) and Senior (50+, 5,710 yards). The field will be cut to the Top 70 and ties after 36 holes.

The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship is being held on the Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst No. 8 course for the third-time in event history and the first since 2008.

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Jennifer Bermingham -1 71
T2 Jimin Kang E 72
T2 Seul-Ki Park E 72
T2 Maggie Will E 72
T4 Ashley Grier +1 73
T4 Lisa Grimes +1 73
T4 Stephanie Eiswerth +1 73

KANG MAKES LPGA T&CP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DEBUT

Two-time LPGA Tour winner Jimin Kang (Scottsdale, Ariz.) is no stranger to competition, however she was a newbie on Monday playing in her first-ever LPGA T&CP National Championship. Kang was two-under on the front nine at Pinehurst No. 8, with one slip-up double bogey on No. 16 she finished even par and just one shot off the first-round Championship division lead.

In 2013, Kang was forced to take time off from golf and she summarized her experience simply on Monday: “I was misdiagnosed, and I was over-medicated. I couldn’t even talk or walk. I almost died.”

While Kang is healthy now, it’s been a long road to recovery and she said she needs to get stronger to accomplish her goal of returning to the LPGA Tour. “This is one of the tournaments I wanted to play in to test myself. To see if my strength was there to do it. I need to get stronger still. I’m learning to listen to my body, but sometimes it’s hard.”

Kang has kept busy this season, playing in five LPGA Tour events, and she was clear about three goals she has for her future: play on the LPGA Tour again, finish in the top eight at the LPGA T&CP National Championship, and get her LPGA Class A teaching certification. She then noted, “my goal is to play decent golf first, and I know the result will come afterwards.”

 PINEHURST NATIVE LEADS WAY IN CHALLENGE DIVISION
Defending champion in the Challenge division, Charlaine Hirst (Pinehurst, N.C.) picked up where she left off on Monday with a 4-over 76 to lead the division by two strokes. Hirst is a Teaching Professional at the nearby Country Club of Whispering Pines and estimated she’s played just two rounds of golf all year, so was quite happy with the first day’s results.

 CHALLENGE DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Charlaine Hirst +4 76
2 Joellyn Crooks +6 78
3 Christie Quinn +8 80
T4 Janean Murphy +9 81
T4 Bobbi Salmon +9 81

REIGNING SENIOR DIVISION CHAMP OFF TO GOOD START

North Carolina native Cathy Johnston-Forbes (Kitty Hawk, N.C.) got off to a solid start in her title defense with a 1-over 73 on Monday morning, just one shot behind first-round co-leaders Barbara Moxness (Edina, Minn.) and Maggie Will (Richmond, Va.).

“It’s fun,” Johnston-Forbes said about returning as the defending champion. “I felt like I had good local knowledge being from North Carolina that helped me last year. I haven’t played this course though, just one time, so I knew I had a challenge today. It’s fun to come back to this event and feel like I have something new in front of me.”

In 2017, Johnston-Forbes won the Senior division, in her first time competing in the category. At the 2017 Senior LPGA Championship she finished T9 on The Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.

Marjorie Jones (New York, N.Y.) the Head Professional/Director of Instruction at The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, had a hole-in-one on Monday at Pinehurst No. 8 on the par-3 fifth hole en route to a first-round 76.

The top five finishers in the Senior division will qualify for the 2019 Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort as well as any competitors over the age of 45 who finish in the top 10 in the Championship division.

SENIOR DIVISION LEADERBOARD

  Player To Par Score
1 Barbara Moxness E 72
T2 Cathy Johnston-Forbes +1 73
T2 Kathleen Ricci +1 73
T2 Joy Bonhurst +1 73
T3 Sherry Andonian-Smith +2 74
T3 Kelley Brooke +2 74
T3 Teresa Ishiguro +2 74

NOTABLE QUOTES

Jimin Kang, on her even par round:

“It’s been a while since I’ve played in competition. I really enjoyed it. It’s a learning process. At the same time, I was trying to figure out these greens during the round. I won’t complain about my round. If I can improve tomorrow, then it will definitely show that I learned something today.”

Ashley Grier, on playing in the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship:

“I was overwhelmed with all the messages I got leading up to it. I didn’t score great, but I feel like I hit the ball well, and I handled the difficulty of the course better than I expected. It gave me confidence knowing that I can still do it. This is a great event, it’s cool they give out the exemptions. I look forward to staying patient and making it back again.”

2017 Championship division winner, Wendy Doolan (+4), on her first experience at Pinehurst No. 8:

“The course is fantastic. It’s a great challenge to get the ball close to the hole. I’m looking forward to another opportunity tomorrow.”

Cathy Johnston-Forbes, on her strategy for Pinehurst No. 8:

“I played well, I hit a lot of good shots into greens. I didn’t drive the ball well, so I hit 3-wood most of the day, I had a few wayward drives. I really just tried to play smart.”

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Women in Golf Wednesday!

Charlaine HirstName: Charlaine Hirst

Where do you live?

Pinehurst, NC

Where do you work & what do you do?

Independent Teaching Professional hosted by the Country Club of Whispering Pines since 2009.

How long have you been an LPGA member?

Joined in 2005

How was the process of becoming a member for you?

The process was easy.  A few calls to LPGA HQ and getting paperwork completed to begin the Apprentice stage of the journey.  I was assigned a mentor that was a point of contact throughout my process and that helped with answering the questions I had.  The NEP I instructors were fabulous and such great role models for a new member:  Vicki Phillips, Jane Frost, Kathy Gook, Karen Stellick, Debbie Crews and Deb Vangellow.

What does it mean to be an LPGA member to you?

Being an LPGA member is empowering.  To be surrounded by such an amazing group of strong women and learn from them is such an honor.  It is a strong organization that continues to strive to be better, grow and learn in their goal to empower all of us.

What is the best part about the membership for you?

I really enjoy the tournament opportunities every year.  It is great to be able to stay competitive.  The educational opportunities are always strong and I look forward to the Summit every other year.  Learning and education within the organization is so much fun.

What advice would you give someone just starting the program or thinking about starting?

You will love every minute of the journey.  You will be learning from the best and most unselfish group of women.  If you need anything there is always someone to talk to and point you in the right direction.  The experience is life changing and will be a great way to move forward in the career of golf.