Michigan State University standout Haylin Harris went into the final round of the Indiana PGA Womens Open at Plum Creek Golf Club with a four-shot lead over Hadley Walts and Sydney Longstreth after shooting a first round score of 5-under-par, 67.
“It is really nice going into the last day of a tournament four shots ahead, but you just never know with golf what is going to happen,” Harris said.
Despite the tremendous four-shot lead Harris had, she did not let off the gas in the final round. Harris had a hot start to the final round with four birdies and one bogey on the first nine to be at 8-under-par for the tournament and extend her lead to seven shots over Angelica Pfefferkorn and Longstreth going into the final nine holes.
The birdies and solid play did not stop there for Harris. Harris made her third birdie in a row on the par-4, 10th
after birdies on holes 8 & 9, then birdied the final par-4, 18th
to shoot a final round score of 5-under-par, 67 and finish at 10-under-par for the tournament and defeat runners-up Claire Edwards and Annaliese Fox by nine shots. The 10-under-par tournament score tied Brittany Kelly’s low Indiana PGA Women’s Open record and was just one shot away from the most strokes anyone has ever won by in the event.
Harris had just two bogeys the whole tournament and gives this solid play credit to a new mindset on the course.
“I’ve actually been struggling prior to this event to play a consistent round without having any hiccups,” Harris said. “I’ve been working a lot on getting in a good frame of mind on the golf course by thinking good swing thoughts, working on a solid set-up, and forgetting any bad shots.”
Harris also gave some credit for her calmness and steady playing to her caddie.
“It was super fun to have my dad on the bag at this tournament,” Harris said. “He caddies for me a lot, so we’re out there together a lot and kind of know how each other work, so he for sure is a good, calming presence on the course.”
With two runner-up finishes in the IWGA State Amateur Championship, this is Harris’ first ever IWGA win.
“It feels amazing to win this event and get my first IWGA win finally,” Harris said. “I’m going to cherish this moment because wins in golf don’t come very easily.”