W.B. Mason Championship
Thorny Lea Golf Club
August 15, 2015
Second-Round News & Notes
BROCKTON, Mass., August 15, 2015 - The first time Vicky Hurst (Melbourne, Fla.) won a Symetra Tour event, she was a 17-year-old rising star in women’s golf. Now 25-years-old and on the comeback trail, Hurst posted a 6-under 65 on Saturday at the W.B. Mason Championship at Thorny Lea Golf Club to grab the clubhouse lead at 10-under 132 as play was suspended due to lightning. There are still eight groups and 23 players that will resume round two on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. The final round will begin at approximately at 9:00 a.m.
Play was suspended at 5:40 p.m. due to lightning in the area and after an hour and 18 minute delay, play resumed at 6:58 p.m. Then, the horns blew again at 7:10 p.m. and players never returned to the course.
Hurst, who won four official and one unofficial Symetra Tour event in 2008, had seven birdies on the day including five on the front nine. She made four birdies in a five hole stretch from the fifth through the ninth.
“I started out with a birdie on two and a bogey on three so it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I just stayed focused on pars and birdies and started to feel better half way through the front nine,” said Hurst. “My putting has been pretty good yesterday and today.”
The last year has been a challenge for Hurst, who has dealt with a nagging wrist injury while also
overhauling her swing.
“My swing changes are feeling better each week and I feel stronger,” said Hurst. “I’m starting to feel more confident on the tees and the putting green. My game is really coming together as I expected and hopefully tomorrow I can keep making putts.”
If the 2008 Hurst shows up, her fellow Symetra Tour professionals better keep an eye. She won three
consecutive starts and lead the money list. Hurst went onto make 109 starts on the LPGA Tour from 2009 through this season. She has made five LPGA Tour starts in 2015. Hurst’s resume includes nine top 10 finishes, over $1 million earned and a captain’s pick for the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup team.
Without full-time LPGA status, she is grinding to fit into the top 10 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. Hurst currently ranks 25th.
“The goal for everyone is to finish in the top ten and there aren’t that many events left (six after this week),” said Hurst. “Now is the time to get agressive and start keeping the top 10 in mind. The top 10 is definitely the goal for me.”
Hurst has finished inside the top 11 in each of the last three events including a second place finish at the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic.
RICHDALE CHIPS IN ON 18: Samantha Richdale (Kelowna, British Columbia) thought her approach shot was right on line and near the pin into 18. Turns out the shot rolled past the pin and onto the fringe. At first, she left her bag close to the scoring tent and just brought her putter. Once she realized the ball rolled past the green, she grabbed a wedge. She never needed the putter as she chipped in for birdie to end her round.
“When I hit it, I was thinking that the ball needs to hit the pin and it did so that was great,” said Richdale. “I went birdie-par-birdie and made six birdies on my last 12 holes so it was a good finish.”
Richdale has three career Symetra Tour wins, one in 2008 and two in 2009. She carded a 4-under 67 on Saturday and is three shots back.
Help may be on the way as her favorite caddie, fellow Symetra Tour professional and good friend Catherine O’Donnell, may be on the bag Sunday. O’Donnell is flying to Boston to fly to Vancouver with Richdale on Monday. Richdale earned an exemption into the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and O’Donnell will caddie.
“She already has a flight tomorrow so I want to see if she can come earlier,” said Richdale. “Harris is where she caddied and I finished T2 and she was on the bag when I finished T4 in Fort Myers. Everytime she caddies, I play well.”
BENVENUTO FINISHES WITH CLUTCH PAR PUTT: The reaction might have fooled the gallery around the 18th hole at the W.B. Mason Championship. Benvenuto was scrambling and needed to sink a 15-footer for par to stay at 7-under. She did exactly that and pumped her fist.
“I was just getting really into it and I knew it was an important putt,” said Benvenuto, who carded a 5-under 66 on Saturday. “It was a personal thing and it was a mental barrier that I was able to get over. I made two similar putts on 16 and 18 so I was scrambling coming in and the putts were big.”
Benvenuto is currently 18th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“I just think it is so fun to keep being in contention,” said Benvenuto, who finished 59th on the money list last year. “It is going to come down to the last couple putts in Daytona so now that we are winding up the year, every dollar matters.”
ANNIE PARK AND VICKY HURST STAYING TOGETHER: Annie Park (Levittown, N.Y.) made bogey on the final hole to drop to 6-under so she won’t play in the final group alongside Vicky Hurst, who she is staying with this week in Brockton, just a mile from the course.
“I love playing practice rounds with her, she’s a great player so it’s great to watch her,” said Park. “She’s also really nice off the course so I enjoy hanging out with her.”
Park and Hurst have a little on course rivalry brewing. They went toe-to-toe at the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic with Park edging Hurst by one shot.
They first played together at LPGA Qualifying Tournament Final Stage in 2014. Now, they are going to Dave & Busters together and pro-am parties together.
They might be dueling for another championship on Sunday.
LLANEZA POSTS LOWEST ROUND OF CAREER: Alejandra Llaneza (Mexico City, Mexico), who won the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic earlier this year, carded a tournament low 7-under 64. She has carded a 7-under before, but never a 64.
“I’m very excited about this round, it was one of those days where you just had fun and I was able to enjoy each shot,” said Llaneza, who ranks fifth on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. “I want to keep the momentum into tomorrow and hopefully post another good one to finish strong.”