VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club First-Round Notes

VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club
Longbow Golf Club
PARTIAL First-Round News & Notes
February 22, 2012


Play Suspended
Lead Note
Outside the Ropes
Far From Boring
We are Family!
Back to Work
Tweet of the Day

Darkness forced the suspension of first-round play at the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club at 6:21 p.m. on Friday. A total of nine players will return to Longbow Golf Club at the 7:30 a.m. on Saturday to complete their first round

Jaye Marie Green, Perrine Delacour and Jean Chua Maintain First Round Lead…

Jaye Marie Green, Perrine Delacour and Jean Chua lead the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club following the completion of round one. Play was delayed this morning 90 minutes due to frost.

Three groups returned to Longbow Golf Club this morning to finish their round after play was suspended for darkness Friday at 6:21 p.m.

Chua is currently in her third season on the Symetra Tour and narrowly missed earning her 2013 LPGA Tour card after finishing 13th on last season’s Volvik Race for the Card. Green, a rookie on this year’s Symetra Tour, as experience on her side and finished runner-up as an amateur at the 2011 Daytona Beach Invitational. Delacour is also a rookie this year hails from Saint-Cloud, France and was a member of the French National Team.

The trio currently holds a one-stroke lead over Ginger Howard, Selanee Henderson, Samantha Richdale, Tiffany Joh, and Maria Hernandez.

Saturday’s second round began at 9:00 a.m.

Jaye Marie Green (@JayeMGreen) and Jean Chua (@JeanChuaGolf) are leaders in the clubhouse after firing 3-under 69’s to jump into the lead at the suspended VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club.

Green’s round at the par-72 Longbow Golf Club got off to a bit of a rollercoaster after back-to-back birdies on her opening holes were immediately followed by two consecutive bogeys.

“Today I got off to a good start,” said Green. “I went birdie, birdie, then bogey, bogey but overall I hit a lot of balls in the fairway, and hit a bunch of greens.”

Green recovered quickly with a birdie at the par-4 sixth but faltered again at the par-3 seventh with a bogey. The Boca Raton, Fla. native’s up-and-down round continued with a birdie at the eighth followed by par’s until birdies at the par-5 15th and par-5 18th.

While most people’s first tournament their rookie year would bring a rush of nerves, Green was just the opposite as she was excited to get the season underway.

“I was just really excited to play,” said Green. “After being in the offseason for so long I was like alright, I’m ready to go, I want to play.”

Slow and steady proved to be key for Chua who jumped to 2-under early in her round after birdies at the par-4 second and par-4 sixth.

“The biggest thing for me is that I tend to rush,” said Chua. “I played a lot slower today and just took my time.”

Chua stumbled a bit with a bogey at the par-3 seventh but recovered quickly with an eagle at the par-5 ninth where she stuck her 3-wood to 15-feet and made the putt.

The scrambling then began to ensue on the back-nine for Chua who notched a bogey at the par-3 11th and a birdie at the par-4 13th

“On the back-nine I did scramble a little bit,” said Chua. “There wasn’t as many birdie putts and weren’t as many good shots but I just made my par’s and went on. Before we played the round we said it’s a tough course, the greens are tough so fairways, greens, then two putts are going to be good. We aimed at most of the center of the greens so I think that was good, I played solid.”


Outside the Ropes… Every professional golfer has walked inside the ropes at some point in his or her career but Jean Chua (@JeanChuaGolf) found herself on the outside looking in and it gave her an entirely new perspective.

Chua, a third year Symetra Tour player, played in the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters but missed the cut after shooting rounds of 76-74. Rather than leaving and returning home, Chua was encouraged by her coach Ian Triggs to stay around and watch 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, Se Yeon Ryu.

“I started the year off in Australia and I played really bad there so my coach made me go out and watch So Yeon Ryu,” said Chua. “I think that kind of opened my eyes a lot.”

The tournament marked the first time Chua was a spectator watching her fellow professionals perform her craft. According to Chua, it was something she never wants to happen again.

“It was the first tournament I actually watched girls play,” said Chua. “It was the first tournament I watched girls play because I missed the cut. Being on that side, it’s the last time I want to be on that side of the ropes.”

Far from boring… When Ginger Howard (@GingerTHoward) was asked during her post-round interview on Friday what she liked to do off the course, her response led her to say, “I sound boring”. This teenager, who loves to read, write, and play video games, is far from boring in fact; she leads a life most adults would dream of.

The 18-year-old is currently in her second season competing on the Symetra Tour where she travels across the United States playing professional golf for a living. As Howard makes her trek from state-to-state, she has an overwhelming amount of support flowing in from her family which includes her mother and father, two brothers and a sister, who looks to play professional golf as well someday.

“It’s so great, their support means the world to me,” said Howard. “Really I’m doing it for them, and God, but mainly for my family.”

While the majority of Howard’s family stays back home in Bradenton, Howard’s father, Robert, travels with her to every tournament but don’t be surprised if you don’t see him following his daughter, as he prefers to

“He doesn’t make me nervous, it’s just his preference,” said Howard. “He would rather stay in the warm car when it’s cold, like today otherwise he’ll just walk, get his exercise, and watch the other girls but he keeps his eye on the scoreboard.”

Her dad admitted after the round he didn’t see much of his daughter’s first-round 2-under 70 but he was the first one there to give his daughter a hug after the round, as most dads would.

We are family… To say that Selanee Henderson (@SelaneeGolf) comes from an athletic family might be an understatement. While Henderson plays professional golf on the Symetra Tour, her brother Dan Henderson is a professional Mixed Martial Artist fighter.

Henderson is competing in this week’s VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club where she opened with a 2-under par 70 but the former Big Break Atlantis cast member has quite the eventful night planned on Saturday.

Henderson’s brother is scheduled to fight in Anaheim, Calif. for a chance at the light heavyweight title.

“He is fighting this weekend actually in Anaheim where I live in California and unfortunately I can’t be there,” said Henderson. “He is fighting Machida, the winner of that gets a chance at the light heavyweight title so it’s going to be exciting. We are going to find a place to watch him since I can’t be there.”

The brother and sister duo have pretty hectic schedules balancing the lives of professional athletes but the pair make an effort to support each other when possible.

“When we have an off week I go see him when I can,” said Henderson. “He watched me play in college but since our tournaments are so far from California it’s kind of hard for him to come out.”

Back to Work…Last year, Samantha Richdale (@SRichdaleLPGA) only played in seven events on the Symetra Tour but the Illinois State University grad managed to post two top-10 finishes including a season-beat tied for second at the Credit Union Classic.

Once Richdale’s 2012 season was complete, she became quite the jetsetter.

“I took a lot of vacations,” said Richdale. “I took a family vacation and also went to Coast Rica with some friends so it was a good time.”

The vacation however is now over for Richdale as she is competing in the season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. Paired with Selanee Henderson during Friday’s first round, the duo fed off one another’s strengths to propel them towards the top of the leaderboard.

“Selanee hits it nice and long so I was trying to outdrive her, it was a good time,” said Richdale. “She hits it straight so I was just trying to hit it straight,” said Henderson with a laugh.

Tweet of the day: 13 fairways, 12 greens, 40 putts (oh nos!) this girl still has some winter rust!! I should really build a putting green in my basement ;) – Carling Nolan (@CarlingNolan)

Topics: 1st Round, Visit Mesa Gateway Classic