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FUTURES Tour brings Grier to Gettysburg

August 23, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

The venue is one of the finest the women on the Duramed FUTURES Tour will play at all season.

Beginning Friday at The Links of Gettysburg Golf Club, 144 players will begin their quest for The Gettysburg Championship, and right there at the head of the pack starting the festivities will be Hagerstown's Ashley Grier.

The 22-year-old Grier, in her first year on the FUTURES Tour, will tee it up on the 10th hole at 8 a.m. Friday to begin the 54-hole tournament which carries a prize purse of $100,000 - $14,000 to the winner.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Grier, who was scheduled to participate in a pro-am today. "The people I know that will be cheering for me are the ones that I know keep track of what I do. There won't be any pressure (in front of them)."

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The Links can provide a stern test, with tee shots hitting fairways a must. Course superintendent John Long said he would let the rough grow, and with recent rains, it hasn't been hard to achieve what will amount to nearly 3 inches of solid, thick rough.

"With the rain, the rough has obviously grown and it is thick, and even in the fairways you won't get a lot of roll," said Grier. "I don't think the course is super long, but fairways are a must."

The Gettysburg Championship is one of only two tournaments on the FUTURES schedule that has mandatory caddies with players, and that means Dave Grier will be on the bag for Ashley, as he was two weeks ago at the Betty Puskar Classic in Morgantown, W.Va.

Grier will be in a threesome with Joanna Whitley of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Violeta Retamoza of Mexico, the sixth-leading money winner on the tour with nearly $35,000 in earnings. Others in the field include the top two money winners, both from Ohio - Emily Bastel ($54,000) and Mollie Fankhsauser ($46,000), who won last week's Hunters Oak Classic by eight shots.

At the Puskar Classic, Grier made the 36-hole cut and finished in a tie for 31st at 1-under-par 215. She missed the cut last week at Hunters Oak.

In 12 events this year, Grier has made the cut in seven tournaments and has a scoring average of 75.6.

After Saturday's second round, the top 80 players make the cut and return for the finale Sunday.

"My goal is to just go out (on Friday) and post a good score and get to the weekend," said Grier.

NOTES: Three-day ticket passes are $20 and single-day passes are $10. ... Tournament director Duff Forsythe said there is plenty of seating throughout the course that has been erected for fans to watch the action. ... Taylor Leon is the hottest player in the field, having won two of the last five tournaments. ... This is the second year for Gettysburg on the tour. ... Nearly 20 players are still in the running for LPGA tour cards for next year, to go to the five top money winners.

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