CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT, MI –- Ashley Tait of Littleton, Colo., shot an opening-round 3-under-par 69 Monday to take the lead in the 54-hole, $35,000 Michigan Women’s Open. Tait, 24, leads Michigan State University standout Caroline Powers and Scottsdale, Ariz. professional Julie Tomlinson by one stroke.

“I like playing here,” said Tait, a second-year professional who played college golf at Tulane and The University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  “I had the low round of the tournament (-4, 68) here last year.” Tait is on a hot streak. She won the Texas Women’s Open last week.

Powers is another hot golfer.  The MSU Junior finished sixth in the NCAA Tournament this past Spring and second in the Big Ten Tournament. “I had a boring round, but boring is good” said Powers who will travel to China in August as part of the United States team for the World University Games.

Tomlinson is another story. At 26, the former Ohio University player is struggling to find her career path. She currently works as a beverage cart server for a golf course in Scottsdale, Az. “I get free golf and can practice.”

Only four players beat par on the 6,164 yard Mountain Ridge Course at Crystal Mountain Resort. Laura Kueny, a second-year tour professional is two strokes back at 71. Kueny finished in seventh place Sunday at the LPGA Futures Tour event at Sweetgrass  Golf Course in the Upper Peninsula’s Harris. After a seven-hour car trip here and just six hours of sleep, Kueny is coming back from wrist surgery and feels she is finally back in the groove.

The second round is scheduled for Tuesday and Tait is hoping her feel for the course continues. She finished last year’s event with the 4-under 68 and ended Sunday’s practice round with a double-eagle on the 18th hole by jarring a 230-yard five-wood. “It feels like playing at home in Colorado.”

63 players are in the field made up of 38 amateurs and 25-professionals. First prize is $5,500.

Play will conclude at the end of Wednesday’s third round. The event is open to the public. Hole-by-hole scores and results may be viewed on www.michigan.org or at www.Michigan.PGA.com.

« 1st Rd Results Michigan PGA Women's Open (.doc)



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