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For the birdies

Sub-par holes flock together to pace Grier to title

Sub-par holes flock together to pace Grier to title

August 04, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

The only girl competing in the Junior Masters Tour Championship proved way too tough for the boys to handle.

Alicia Grier made six birdies - four on the front nine - and had a four-shot lead at the turn, coasting home with a 2-under-par 70 and a five-stroke victory Thursday at Black Rock.

"After the front nine, I knew I was going to go low," Grier said. "At that point, the goal was to go as low as I could."

Grier came close to a round in the 60s, but a bogey on the par-4 18th - after her approach shot found the right bunker - kept her from that achievement.

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The Junior Masters Tour title was accomplishment enough.

"I came in knowing I wanted to win, and knowing I had to shoot a good score," Grier said. "I didn't want to give any strokes away."

Steven Hutzell shot a 3-over 75 for second. Eric Wilfong's 79 was good enough for third.

Grier dominated the par 5s, playing them in 3 under. Birdies at the first and third holes - both par 5s - set the tone.

On the first, Grier hit a 6-iron second shot from 150 yards to a spot just off the green. She chipped to within 5 feet and made the birdie putt.

On the third, Grier's drive kicked off the fairway into the rough. Her second shot flew just past the green, but again her chip nestled close to the hole, and her 3-foot birdie putt held true.

"My short game was really good today," said Grier, who added birdies on the par-3 seventh and par-4 ninth for a 2-under 34 on the front nine.

Grier added birdies on the par-4 12th and the par-5 15th to take a seven-shot lead before Hutzell got two strokes back on the final three holes to slightly close the margin of victory.

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