WEARN CARDS A 63, THE LOWEST OF HER CAREERLaura Wearn couldn’t miss during a stretch between holes four and eight when she made four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh. Wearn also made birdie on the second hole and turned in 29.
She kept her foot on the gas pedal at the turn and made birdies on 10 and 11 and was 10-under through 11 holes. She cooled off a bit on the back, but still holed crucial par putts on holes 13 and 17 to post a career-low 63. Wearn was most proud of making zero bogeys.
“It was really exciting, everything kind of felt really easy,” said Wearn, who has one career win on the Epson Tour at the 2016 Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Classic. “I was hitting the ball where I wanted to hit it and my putts were dropping. I wasn’t really thinking a whole lot, it was just all happening. It was really fun for awhile.”
Wearn has three career top 10 finishes.
“This type of groove doesn’t happen as much as we would like so when you’re playing really well, it is an incredible feeling,” said Wearn. “After the round, I looked back and realized how well I was playing.”
Wearn attempted just 26 putts and hit 15-of-18 greens in regulation.
TWO ACES ON ONE HOLE...AGAINKatelyn Dambaugh (North Charleston, South Carolina) made her first slam-dunk hole-in-one Friday afternoon on No.18. She was smiling ear-to-ear walking up to the 18th green while the crowd roared and clapped for her. She posted a solid second-round with a 3-under-par, 68 and made four birdies.
This was her first competition ace and throughout her career she has recorded four aces including the one Friday.
“I didn’t know (that it went in) because I couldn’t see the ball, but I did hear something. I thought it might have actually landed in the rough in front of the green. It was about 142 yards and I hit an eight-iron,” she stated after her great round. “Everyone screamed, so I knew it went in. It slammed dunked. I’ve never done that before.”
Dambaugh is in her rookie season from South Carolina University. In March, she received an amateur invite into the ANA Inspiration. During her time with the Gamecocks she earned 2015-2016 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WCGA) All-American status, was First-Team All-SEC (2016), and Second-Team All SEC in 2014 & 2015. Prior to turning professional, Dambaugh was ranked No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Jean Chua (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) also made a slam-dunk ace during Friday’s play on No. 18. There were three groups in between the two aces. Chua made her last ace at the Epson Tour Championship during the 2014 season.
Chua posted a great round with a 5-under-par, 67. The crowd cheered when her shot went in on No. 18, and she also could hear the sound of the ball hitting the pin.
“I started with an eagle and birdie,” Chua said. She recorded four birdies, one eagle, and one ace during Friday’s play.
“I didn’t have a yardage for the hole. I had two numbers from the practice round and the first-round, so I went with what I had from the back tee,” Chua stated. “It felt solid and it was a good shot.”
The two aces were separated by less than an hour. “Players are just getting better,” Chua stated after finding out that she wasn’t the only person to have an ace on No. 18.
“It was a fun round after not being out here for a while because of injuries. I have had a lot of 67’s before, but this was the first under-par in awhile. It felt good to have that feeling again.”
This is the second tournament in a row that two players made an ace on the same hole during the same round. At the Donald Ross Centennial Classic two weeks ago, Jenna Peters and Kate Machado made aces on the 16th hole on the Donald Ross Course in French Lick, Indiana.
- Rochester native Jenna Hoecker carded a 6-over, 78 and missed the cut at 9-over, 153.
- No. 1 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list, Benyapa Niphatsophon, is in a share of fifth place at 6-under, 138.