RETO SETS COMPETITIVE COURSE RECORD IN FIRST ROUND
In the first round of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship, Paula Reto (Bloemfontein, South Africa) raced to the 18-hole lead by way of a competitive course record 9-under par 63 at Battle Creek Country Club.
“More of the swing feeling fluid and trusting the line I was putting on, matching that with good speed,” said Reto, who hit 12 fairways and 17 greens in regulation. “Doing my pre-shot routine well was also key for me. I didn’t think when I stepped onto the course that I would shoot this because it is difficult, but I’ll take it any day.”
Reto credited caddy Douglas Wilbur extensively for her bogey-free performance. In her seventh year as a professional, the mark tied a career low score to par.
“I was so relaxed and he kept me thinking ahead, not dwelling on what I did,” Reto said. “There were a couple bad shots, but I just kept going. Good iron shots led to some birdies that were relatively short, which helped a lot as well.”
SCHUBERT RECORDS CAREER LOW MARK FOR ROOKIE SEASON
A rookie on the Symetra Tour, Sophia Schubert (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) deemed the opening round of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship as a moment she’ll look back on when the season is over.
“This is a turning point for sure and I’m taking this year as a big learning experience, getting used to it all,” said Schubert, who fired a 5-under par 67 at Battle Creek Country Club. “Today was good and my game has been in a good place, hitting the ball well for several weeks and I finally made some putts.”
Making her 15th start of the 2019 “Road to the LPGA” campaign, the career low is the latest in a string of success for Schubert. She has made three straight cuts and captured a season-best finish along the way of tied for 20th at the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic.
“I feel like college prepared me and now it is a whole different level because this is our job,” Schubert said. “It takes a little extra, which I’m still trying to figure out. With a good team behind me and working really hard, that is what has helped get me to this point.”
HURST BRINGS MOMENTUM ACROSS LAKE MICHIGAN TO BATTLE CREEK
After a solo second result in the PHC Classic last week, Vicky Hurst (Melbourne, Florida) picked up right where she left off going 5-under par on day one at Battle Creek Country Club in southwest Michigan.
It wasn’t smooth sailing the whole round, as Hurst opened with two bogeys over her first three holes. She righted the ship though and recorded eight birdies the rest of the way.
“This morning I wasn’t really feeling it and didn’t hit great on the range,” Hurst said. “After my second one, told myself to calm down and get some good swings in. I dropped in a birdie, made another bogey and then just took the pressure off. Bunch of birdies coming in then my second nine had a good finish. I didn’t think about last week. I’m hitting the ball and putting well, so I was really just reminded of that.”
Erynne Lee (-4, T3) on first round performance amidst all the transition for her this season:
“It was a slow start, but going it going on the back nine after birdie on No. 10 then holed out on No. 13 for eagle and that gave me good momentum for the rest of the round. I’m really happy, especially with the coach and swing changes it has been a progressive to here. There has been a lot of patience, but I’m glad to see that it is paying off and hope to keep it going.”
Esther Lee (-4, T3) on playing Battle Creek Country Club in a competitive environment for first time:
“I think this course is scorable if you put yourself in the fairway. There is a lot of holes that have a tricky tee shot and several I use 3-wood on. The greens are rolling good and true, which is nice. It is definitely tree-lined and there’s plenty of similarities compared to the course last week with some differences, like Milwaukee was slightly more hilly.”
Jillian Hollis (-2, T15) on motivation this week as one of the top contenders in the Potawatomi Cup series:
“I want to finish the year strong and winning the Potawatomi Cup would be really cool. I had it going for a while today and was 4-under at one point. A couple mental mistakes, but I’m ready for tomorrow and like this course a lot. Learned a bunch since I played it last year as well.”
- Reto, 29, is a native of Bloemfontein, South Africa
- Three-time All-Big Ten First Team selection for Purdue University
- Represented native country at 2016 Summer Olympic Games and finished T16
- Member of 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf National Championship team
- Two-time and back-to-back winner of the Dixie Women’s Amateur in 2010 and 2011
- Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) First Team All-American as a senior in 2013
- Finished T13 at the Final Stage of the 2013 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 12 membership for the 2014 LPGA Tour season
- Made 112 starts on LPGA Tour from rookie year in 2014 through 2018 earning four top-10s and career-best solo third at 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic
- Entering 2019 season, total of 10 starts on the Symetra Tour with career-best solo third at the 2013 Symetra Tour Championship since turning pro in June 2013