Tough Windy Conditions in Second Round of Titan Tire Challenge
Marion The weather made its presence known Saturday at Hunters Ridge Golf Course. Just ask the participants in the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge.
"It was tough today, it was really windy," Challenge player Valentine Derrey said.
Derrey was one of the many players affected by the gusts at Hunter's Ridge. She began the day in a tie for first place at 4-under and was in sole possession of first at 5-under after a birdie on the fourth hole.
Four bogeys and two double bogeys later, Derrey finally birdied again the 18th hole but the damage was already done. She finished in a tie for 24th at 2-over.
"I just couldn't hit the ball straight today," Derrey said.
She wasn't alone. Many players saw their scores balloon past first-round scores. Only 16 of the 144 players to begin competition Friday have scores below par going into today's final round. Of those 16, only five began Saturday's round with under-par scores.
The wind affected some people differently than others. Some found a way to work around Mother Nature's handicap.
Paz Echeverria of Santiago, Chile, began the day in a tie for 26th at 1-over. She is now tied for first with Marissa Steen. Echeverria shot the low score of the tournament so far with a 66 Saturday and said she used the wind to her advantage.
"Yesterday I was trying to play against the wind, trying to keep the ball down, and today I decided to play with the wind," Echeverria said.
Echeverria also said she wanted to leave everything on the course and see what happened.
"I didn't have anything to lose, I tried to do another thing and it's working," she said.
Echeverria and Steen passed first-round leaders Derrey and Paola Moreno with impressive rounds. Steen shot a 3-under 69 for her second round and said the key to having success is scoring low on the front nine.
"Just hanging tough on the back nine has been the best thing," Steen said. "The wind has been messing up yardages, so sticking through the last nine is key."
Unlike Derrey, Moreno didn't let the elements affect her too much, although she was visibly frustrated at times.
However, she remains in the hunt for the title in a tie for third, one shot behind the leaders.
The cut line was set at 6-over. Nine of the top 10 leaders on the Symetra Tour's money list made the cut, including last week's My Marsh Golf Classic winner, Sara Brown. Cara Freeman was the lone top-10 member who did not make the cut.