Left to Right: Runner-up Ashley Kees and Champion Kelly Grassel
Playing a few groups ahead of the leaders at the Indiana PGA Women’s Open, Chesterton’s Kelly Grassel was making moves. Grassel began the day at 1-over-par, five shots behind first round leader Amanda Detmer of Madison, Ind. Grassel made the turn at Hillview CC at 2-under-par, and finished strong with two more birdies on her second nine of the day for a 3-under-par tournament finish and her first win in an Indiana women’s event.
"I stuck it close on hole 10 for a nice birdie and I made a few good putts today,” said Grassel, a rising sophomore at Michigan State University. "Other than that I just didn’t make a ton of mistakes. When I finished at 3-under-par and found out that I was the leader in the clubhouse I was honestly surprised.”
As the day progressed, Detmer saw her lead slowly slip away, and it was Ashley Kees of Fort Wayne that proved to be the player to watch in the lead group. Kees birdied holes 1, 2, and 3 right out of the gate and saw herself with an early lead at 5-under-par.
With a few disappointing bogeys late in the round, Kees fell to 2-under-par with just two holes to play. She gave herself realistic birdies putts on both par-5s, holes 17 and 18, but was unable to convert and just fell short of victory.
"I had an awesome start today,” said Kees a red shirt senior at the University of Memphis. "I hit the ball really well and I can’t complain with how I played. It is definitely disappointing to finish second, but it gives me a push to work harder for the rest of summer heading into my final year at Memphis.”
Grassel, too, says this win gives her confidence heading into her second season of golf at Michigan State.
"I haven’t been playing very well the last month,” Grassel said. "Winning this event gives me a lot of confidence. I am really excited to have improved on the things I’ve been working on. This is such a great title to have!”
Newburgh’s Kayla Katterhenry finished in third at 1-under-par.