GETTYSBURG, Pa., Aug. 26, 2007 – Vikki Laing picked up this morning where she left off on Saturday afternoon when the second round of the $100,000 Gettysburg Championship was suspended due to thunderstorms. She was among 69 players who returned to The Links At Gettysburg to complete the second round, resuming play today at 7:17 a.m.
By nearly 11 a.m., when the second round was complete, Laing’s two bogeys and two birdies, combined with her four birdies on Saturday, pushed her to the top of the leaderboard with a second-round score of 68 and a 36-hole total of 138 (-6). That gave her a one-shot cushion over Emily Bastel (67) at 139 (-5).
“I didn’t know what Emily was doing, but I kind of knew where I was,” said Laing of Musselburgh, Scotland. “It was finally drying up yesterday and today it was pretty wet after the storms came in. I was just trying to play one shot at a time and to keep having fun out there.”
Laing hit 14 greens in regulation and finished the second round with 29 putts. But she had numerous opportunities within 15 feet, with two additional birdie chances on the last four holes. Nothing wanted to fall.
“I misread a couple,” said Laing, a former collegiate player at the University of California-Berkeley still seeking her first professional title. “I need to stop second-guessing my lines on the greens and just putt.”
If Bastel suffered any second-guessing with her putter this morning, it didn’t show. She hit 14 greens in regulation and needed only 27 putts for her five-under-par performance. Bastel was in the ninth fairway when play was suspended on Saturday. She parred that hole this morning and played the back nine at even par with two birdies and two bogeys.
“Yesterday was a hot start with a bunch of birdies early, but today was a little different,” said Bastel, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, who currently is top-ranked on the Tour’s money list with one tournament remaining. “The difference this morning was I didn’t have many good looks at birdie.”
The already-saturated golf course – which received nearly three inches of rain earlier in the week – was soggy again this morning when players returned to the course to complete the second round. Bastel said Saturday’s late rains “put us back to where we were on Wednesday” in sogginess. Players have competed under “lift, clean and place” guidelines all week.
“I had a half-dozen shots that sat in their pitch marks today,” said Bastel, a two-time winner this season who played two years on the LPGA Tour. “There’s mud on the ball every time.”
Two shots behind Bastel is the duo of Seo-Jae Lee (72) of Seoul, Korea and Violeta Retamoza (73) of Aguascalientes, Mexico, both tied at 140 (-4). Fourth-ranked Lee has won twice this year and Retamoza, ranked sixth on the money list, has won once.
“My putts didn’t go in today like they did yesterday and it seemed like I was in the rough a lot when I didn’t hit my driver very well,” said Retamoza, who restarted on the seventh tee this morning. “But everyone is in the same situation and you try to make the best of it and get ready to go back out.”
Lee also started on the seventh tee this morning to complete her second round and finished the day with two bogeys and one birdie. Her balky putter allowed only 33 putts and the wet fairways allowed little to no roll.
“I was maybe 10 yards shorter with my driver distance today because the fairways were more wet,” said Lee. “From first hole to last hole, I have to really concentrate.”
Seventy-five players made the 36-hole cut at 152 (+8).
The final round of this week’s 54-hole event, presented by Klein Homes and Hanover Honda, will begin today at 11:30 a.m., off the first and 10th tees. The leaders will tee off at 1:30 p.m.
For scores and more information, visit www.duramedfuturestour.com.
Weather: Morning fog and mist, becoming partly cloudy and fair with temperatures ranging from 69 to 79 degrees. Winds around 8 mph.
Contact: Lisa D. Mickey, Duramed FUTURES Tour at (717) 359-4132 and at email@example.com.
photos Janos Schmidt