BUCKEYES Putter helps Green tie for fifth place
The Ohioan's two 65s after a first-round 76 gave her the lowest finishing 36-hole score of her career.
By ROB TODOR
VINDICATOR SPORTS EDITOR
VIENNA -- Tammie Green credited her putting for a second consecutive 7-under par 65 Sunday, which left her in a tie for fifth place at the Giant Eagle LPGA Classic.
It was her first top 10 finish in 13 events this season, and the $34,416 she won also solidified her hold as the all-time leading money winner in the 13 LPGA tournaments held in the Mahoning Valley.
Green opened the weekend with a first-round 76, leaving her in danger of not making the cut for the second time in four years at this event.
But she responded with a superb 65 on Saturday and equaled it Sunday. The back-to-back 65s marked the lowest finishing 36-hole score in her career.
Green, in fact, has played the tournament at 22-under par the last two years. She finished second in 2001.
"It is so fun to come out here and shoot two good scores," said Green on Sunday. "There's just something about this tournament and the fans here; I can't explain it."
Green's round with a birdie-3 on No. 1, followed by back-to-back bogeys, including the par-5 second. She rebounded with birdies on 5, 6 and 9 to make the turn with a 2-under 35. She played the back nine in 5-under 30.
"I hit the ball super and I putted ... out of nowhere," she said.
Green had played in 12 tournaments prior to this weekend, and missed the cut in four of them.
Her best finish was a tie for 16th at The Office Depot in early April. Last week, she was tied for 44th at the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic in suburban Toledo.
Practiced her swing
Green said she spent the first part of the week working on her swing with her coach, Rick Martino of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
"I think on Friday I was thinking too much [about my swing]," she said. "I wasn't swinging too free, but the last two days I just swinging it."
Green three-putted No. 2, then her drive on No. 3 went under a small bush. She was left with only a chip back onto the fairway.
Her birdie on No. 9 was a chip-in.
"The putter saved me all day," said Green.
Which makes the opening-round 76 even tougher to take. But Green had no regrets.
"I have nothing to be ashamed of," she said. "I haven't played well for a while, so the last two days are encouraging."
Best rounds of year
Prior to Saturday, her best round this year was a 67 on the final day at the Welch's/Circle K Championship in late March.
"What a difference a couple of days makes," she continued. "I feel like things are working in the right direction now. All I can do is keep doing things I think are right."
Green was one of four Ohio natives in the field on Sunday. Michele Redman, born in Zanesville, shot 68--207; Barb Mucha, of Parma, finished with a 71--211, and Kristal Parker-Manzo of Cable shot 71--210.