Suzy Green, Marianne Morris and Laurel Kean all had their best finish of the season.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
VIENNA -- Ah, the comforts of home.
Several players from Ohio or those with Buckeye ties benefited from playing in close to home during the LPGA Classic.
It was especially good for players whose last name was Green. Tammie and Suzy (no relation) each finished in the top-25.
Tammie, of Somerset, shot 4-under par, finishing one stroke behind Dorothy Delasin for her first top-five finish since 1999.
"I love Youngstown, Ohio, and I always feel right at home here," Tammie said. "I love the course and I love the people."
Skipping British Open: Green will skip the Women's British Open before playing in the Wendy's Championship for Children in New Albany, a suburb of Columbus about an hour's drive from her home, on Aug. 10.
"To pack up a family and go overseas is a tough trip to make and it is so easy to stay here in Ohio and have a week off at home," she said. "It was an easy decision to make."
Suzy Green, who attended Ohio State, also posted her best finish of the year, a tie for 24th. She tied for 35th at the ShopRite LPGA Classic a few weeks ago.
"The course played a little easier today," said Suzy, whose final round 70 was four strokes better than her Saturday score. "The greens were holding a little better, but the wind was tough. The wind was definitely a factor."
A 1990 OSU grad, Suzy noticed quite a few Buckeye fans following her this week. She'll see even more when she plays the Wendy's Championship.
"I got a couple 'Go Bucks!' " she said. "I love playing here. Ohio's just great to the LPGA."
Marianne Morris, who was born and still lives in Middletown, followed her 6-under score on Saturday with a 1-under 71. She tied for ninth.
Psractices in Columbiana: Morris, who practices at Copeland Hills Golf Course in Columbiana, will play in four Ohio tournaments this year. She said she has a bed to sleep in at each of those tournaments. This week, she slept in her own.
"It's better than staying at a [motel]," she said.
Morris has struggled this season and switched to the irons she used during her breakout 1996 season.
"They're gonna stay in the bag for awhile," she said.
Michele Redman, a Zanesville native, shot a 4-under 68 to finish at 5-under for the weekend, good enough to tie for 15th. Redman was the Ohio State Junior Champion in 1983.
"I love playing here," Redman said. "I have a lot of good memories from my Junior days and the fans are always great."
She also prefers Squaw Creek to Avalon.
"You have to play better, smarter golf here," she said. "The course is great; I love it. It's tons better than Avalon."
She played her best round Sunday, shooting 4-under 68. She began the day at 1-under.
"I played very consistent this week," she said. "[Saturday] was kind of a roller coaster and I doubled some putts, but I played well today."
Mucha pleased: Parma Heights native Barb Mucha, who came into Sunday at 2-under, shot 73 to finish in a tie for 37th. Her rough finish aside, Mucha was happy with her play.
"The score doesn't really indicate how close I am to being in the winner's circle," Mucha said. "My putts are close to going in and when they fall, that's when you'll see me win."
Mucha visited her parents, George and Lil, in Parma this weekend. Being close to home helped her feel more comfortable.
So did Squaw Creek.
"I like it better [than Avalon]," Mucha said. "It's more visual. The greens are a little tougher, but I like the course."
Mentor's Laurel Kean just missed the top-10 after finishing at 6-under for the weekend. She tied for 13th, her best finish of the season.
"I had a tough start," she said. "My putting was a little off. I played well in the afternoon all three days. It was a fun weekend."
Kean, who had several family members following her this week, will play in her first British Open this week. She said her strong showing gives her some momentum.
"It's good to come back and play well," she said. "Hopefully it'll continue."