THOMPSONVILLE – Lindsey McPherson of Flushing made a 12-foot birdie putt on her favorite hole at Crystal Mountain Resort to win her favorite tournament, the Michigan Women’s Open Championship.
The 24-year-old second-year professional and former Michigan State golfer shot a closing 3-under 69 for a final 8-under 208 Wednesday on the Mountain Ridge course, one shot better than Honolulu professional Marissa Chow, who closed with a 72 for 209.
“I honestly may have blacked out a little bit on 18,” said McPherson, who won $6,000 and moves about 90 miles to play in the Symetra Tour’s Tullymore Classic at Tullymore Golf Resort starting Friday.
“I knew exactly what it was for. I knew I had to make it to win. I knew she hit a great (birdie) putt and slipped out the edge. I knew I had to make it. I’m not sure how I pulled the putter back, but I had the right line and it went in.”
McPherson, who has played in the Michigan Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain eight times since age 16, made three birdies in the first five holes, then made a bogey on No. 6 and a double-bogey on No. 7, a hole she said always gives her problems.
“We are not friends yet,” she said.
The up-and-down round continued with a birdie on 8, a bogey on 10 and a birdie on 11.
Chow, who had a two-shot lead on McPherson to start the day, made just three bogeys for the whole tournament, but two came in the final round and one at the par 3 No. 17 hole where she lost a one-shot lead she had held for much of the day.
Heavy rain started as they waited for the green to clear for tee shots on 17, and Chow said she may have hurried because of it. The result was a pulled shot into a bunker left of the green, and what she described as a fried egg lie. She gouged the sand shot on to the edge of the green and two-putted for bogey.
“Nothing you can do,” Chow said. “I think I just got a little fast with the rain, but no excuses. I hit that. It was no one else’s fault.”
That sent them down 18 where McPherson, one of the longer hitters in the field, has had great success on the downhill finishing par 5.
“For some reason the 18th hole sets up well to my eye,” she said. “I was not worried about the tee shot or second shot at all, and just looking at the putt I tried to focus on my line and get the ball to the hole. I tried to keep it as simple as possible and not let too many things run through my head.”
Chow, 23 and a former West Coast Conference individual champ while at Pepperdine, won $4,500 for second and as of Tuesday night was first alternate into the field at Tullymore. She said McPherson earned the win.
“She had some good holes, she had some bad holes, but she never stopped fighting and that’s what it takes to win,” she said. “Congratulations to her. She made a nice birdie on 18 to win, and I just missed mine.”
McPherson said it was her first win since high school.
“I never won in college, never in the (Golf Association of Michigan), though I did take second in the GAM Championship and the (Michigan Women’s Amateur) in 2014,” she said.
“This really honestly means everything to me. I tell everybody every single year that this is my favorite tournament, so to get the win here, first professional win here at Crystal Mountain, it means everything. That trophy will not be out of my sight any time soon.”
She said the win will give her a lot of confidence playing on the Symetra Tour.
“It lets me know that I can hang,” she said. “I’m ready to throw some under-par rounds up on the tour and keep it steady.”
(Story courtesy of the Michigan Open - Greg Johnson)
Copyright WNEM Meredith Corp 2017. All rights reserved.