ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Birdie on 18th hole helps her vault into a four-shot lead entering final round
SANTA ANA PUEBLO – Good friends and recent high school graduates Paige Darwin and Kelcey Tate each had a pair of untimely mistakes on the back nines Wednesday afternoon while 2009 champion Glynnis Price took advantage with a late birdie and grabbed the lead heading into today’s final round of the Albuquerque Women’s City Golf Championship at Santa Ana Golf Club.
Price has a four-shot lead over Darwin and is five ahead of Tate heading into the third round of the 54-hole event.
“That was a great time for my first birdie of the day,” Price said of making a 4 on the par-5 18th hole for a second-round 74. She’s at 3-over-par 147 for the tournament.
City Women’s Amateur Golf
Final round, shotgun at 8 a.m.
Santa Ana Golf Club
“That birdie should give me a lot of momentum going into (today) – just like it did on (Tuesday).” During Tuesday’s opening round, Price ballooned to a 5-over 41 on the front side but turned her day – and her entire tournament – around with a chip-in for eagle on No. 10. She finished with birdies on her final two holes for a 32 on the back side and a 1-over-73.
“Yeah, 41-32 is about as big of a difference as I’ve had before,” said the 24-year-old Price, who played at Shiprock High and Western New Mexico and now works for the NB3 (Notah Begay III) Foundation. “(Wednesday), nothing much was happening all round. It was just a whole lot of hitting fairways and greens and making two-putts – until those final holes.”
Price, too, caught the bogey bug late in the round. She had all pars until making bogey at No. 12, then bogeyed 16 and 17 before finishing with her birdie.
Meanwhile, Darwin, the first-round leader at 72, had a 79 on Wednesday and is at 7 over for the tournament at 151. Darwin, daughter of former Men’s City Amateur champion Ben Darwin, is a 2011 La Cueva graduate who will attend New Mexico State in the fall. She had originally signed a national letter of intent to play at Boise State, but instead chose to attend NMSU, so she will be ineligible to play in the 2011-12 season.
Darwin was within two shots of the lead Wednesday, but then hit the wrong ball – Tate’s – on her approach to the par 4 15th. That resulted in a one-shot penalty for Darwin.
“That was just a stupid mistake,” Darwin said. “I’ve never done that before. We were both playing the exact same type of ball and I wasn’t careful.”
Tate got to replace her ball to around the spot where Darwin hit it, and made par on the hole. But Tate had her own problems after driving it into a tree on 17. She took an unplayable, which is a one-shot penalty, leading to a bogey.
“I didn’t play well today, but I still feel good about my chances,” said Tate, a 2010 state high school champion who graduated from Cibola this spring. “I just need to be more confident and more aggressive (today).”
Tate will play for Grand Canyon University in Phoenix in the fall. She’s had rounds of 74-78 and is at 152 overall.
Vanessa Spradlin is fourth at 159 after a 77 on Wednesday.
— This article appeared on page D4 of the Albuquerque Journal