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Divots -- Grier hopes to start fresh in future

August 01, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE

Ashley Grier had been a regular on the Duramed Futures Golf Tour for the past three seasons.

The 26-year-old Hagerstown native began the 2010 season with anticipation, but those hopes were dashed after the first three tournaments and Grier has spent the summer back on Washington County soil.

After failing to make the cut in each of those outings, Grier decided it was time to temporarily step away from the competition.

"I started out the year positive, thinking this could be a good year," said Grier. "Once I got to the tournaments, I just didn't play as well as I could. I was just putting pressure on myself and you can't do that. The more pressure you put on yourself, the worse you play."

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After missing the cut at the Mercedes Benz Championship in Kansas City, Grier decided it was time to take what she called a "temporary leave of absence."

"I'm still looking for my niche," said Grier, who has also been working for Soft Spikes -- makers of plastic spikes for golf shoes -- since May. "I've played golf too long to just walk away and quit, but I had to take the time off."

Grier could possibly return to the Futures Tour on a one-week fling when the Pennsylvania Classic is played next weekend in Harrisburg. She is the third alternate and could find her way onto the tee sheet if other scheduled players don't start.

"Right now, I'm keeping my options open," she said. "I'll go back to Florida in the winter and go to Q-School. I still love playing the game. When I'm ready to come back I want to be refreshed and excited to play."

Grier's best finish on the Futures Tour was a tie for 11th in the Alliance Bank Classic in Syracuse, N.Y., in 2008. She won the Maryland Open in 2006 and competed in the U.S. Women's Open Championship in 2007.

Rotz in qualifier

Former Chambersburg High star Clayton Rotz, who will be a senior this fall at Louisiana State University, will make an attempt to qualify for the USGA Amateur Championship. Rotz will be among those at Blue Ridge Country Club on Monday trying to gain a spot in the Amateur, which will be played at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., on Aug. 23-29.

Rotz most recently competed in the 85th U.S. Public Links, where he made the cut through two rounds of medal play before losing in the first round of match play.

Baltimore's Chris Baloga, who has played in the WACO Championship the last two years, has already qualified. He shot a 36-hole total of 143 on July 26 at Crofton Country Club to gain a spot.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7376 or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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