Players: We like both courses
There's no chance of being bored by the Squaw Creek course, one player said.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Tammie Green has mixed feelings about the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic's move from Avalon Lakes Golf Course to Squaw Creek Country Club.
"Avalon's a great golf course, but this one actually sets up better for me," said Green, a Somerset, Ohio, native. "It's hard to say that because I've won my tournaments over there. I would say this course should be a good course for me."
Green won this tournament in 1994 and 1997 when it was at Avalon Lakes.
"I like both places," she said. "I won tournaments over there, so there's great memories. That is where my mom got to see me win my first tournament, where my husband got to see me win my first tournament."
Now, Green, an LPGA member since 1987, returns to the course that was host of it from 1990-92.
"This course seems to be a lot tighter; it's more of a shotmaker's course," Green said. "You have to play smart off the tee and you have to stay below certain holes out here just so you can assure yourself a par.
"Whenever you do that, you're playing smart golf," she said. "Hopefully, my experience will help me. Having played [Squaw Creek] before in competition, that's a plus."
When Green thinks back to the tournament at Squaw Creek, she recalls the inclement weather.
"We had a few rain delays, and I remember the tornado, having to get down in the basement," Green said. "It's a fun golf course to play; you don't get tired of it. It's not one of those golf courses that bore you to death."
New to course: Wendy Ward, playing Squaw Creek for the first time Tuesday, agreed.
"I really like it," she said. "It's a cross between some of the courses we play. It seems like an old style, traditional, rolling golf course. The fairways are pretty generous, considering it's tree-lined. A few of the greens have the crowns."
'Great' fans: Like Green, Michelle McGann has won the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic twice -- in 1995 and '96. That's why she also has good feelings about Avalon Lakes.
"But I look forward to coming here every year, no matter where it's played," McGann said. "Every year, you know the fans are going to be great."
Julie Piers said, "I think all the girls are excited to be out here. The ones who remember back are excited about the change."
Asked if she noticed any differences between Avalon Lakes and Squaw Creek, Ward said, "There are more subtleties out here. You get on a green and you think it's relatively flat. But you hit a putt and there's a real subtle ridge in there that might make it quicker or have more break.
"The greens from week to week [on tour] are generally pretty consistent," she said. "These might be a little quicker than some in the last few weeks."
What also helps make Squaw Creek a quality site for the tournament is the good condition of the course, Ward said.
"When a course is in as good of shape as this one, it makes it fun for us," she said.