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Distractions, inexperience hurt McGuire on Classic's second day



Published: Sun, July 29, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Marnie McGuire shot 71 to tie four others at 6-under.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

VIENNA -- The second round of the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic was a test for Marnie McGuire.

In what she called "an unusual day," McGuire shot a 1-under-par 71 to remain among a group of contenders at 6-under 138, four shots off leader Se Ri Pak.

McGuire went into the second round sharing the lead with Pak and Maggie Will after first-round 67s, but the New Zealand native couldn't muster enough shots to remain atop the leaderboard.

Joining McGuire at 6-under are Becky Iverson, Laurel Kean, Dorothy Delasin and Marianne Morris.

A day of distractions playing with the leading group also hurt McGuire. A cellular phone rang seconds before she hit out of the sand at No. 17 and finished with a bogey-5.

Staying in it: McGuire kept herself in contention by making birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 13.

"There were a lot of crowds out there following and a lot of movement around," McGuire said. "I hadn't been in the last group in quite awhile, so it took me a while to get used to that -- hearing people yell, 'Stop' and 'Don't move.' "

McGuire, still seeking her first career victory in her third year on tour, hopes Saturday's round will prepare her for today's finish.

"I've seen what it's like, so I'll be able to prepare myself and be a lot more patient," she said. "[Distractions] are typical of the leading groups; it's something players have to learn to deal with. I've just forgotten a little about what it's like."

No change: Knowing Pak is playing strong won't change McGuire's focus; she won't try to become more aggressive.

"I'm going to be a little tidier and patient around the course," she said. "I really want to focus on what I'm doing. If I do that, I'll have a good chance."

A lack of execution on the par-5s, in which she failed to produce birdie opportunities, kept her from scoring better, McGuire said.

"If you play the par-5s well, you have a chance," she said.

The winds made it tricky.

"It was very strong out there today over the ball," she said. "There would be nothing, and then a sudden wind would come from the other direction. It was hard to decide what club to hit."

McGuire is competing in her sixth straight tournament. In addition to missing a cut, she tied for third, 11th, 45th and 47th.

"My confidence level has been up the last six weeks. I've played well and consistent," she said. "I've always played well here in Youngstown, and I didn't want to take time off because of that."




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