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Grier takes second swing at tour golf

August 22, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

MYERSVILLE, Md. — Hagerstown’s Ashley Grier is stepping back on the stage on Friday. It’s in a role that she tried to turn into a long-running career before.

Grier will tee it up in the Challenge at Musket Ridge as the Symetra Tour comes to the area for the first time since 2007 for a 54-hole battle.

The Symetra Tour is formerly the Duramed Futures Tour, where Grier got her start professionally in 2007.

Players will be vying for position in the the Volvik Race. A card to play on the LPGA Tour is at stake for the season’s top-10 finishers.

Grier stepped away from the tour in 2010, but has been working for a PGA of America membership as an assistant professional at Beaver Creek Country Club.

Grier received an exempt status invitation from the Symetra Tour to play at Musket Ridge. She has been honing her skills, not only competing around the Mid-Atlantic region, but with practice rounds earlier this week at Musket Ridge.

“It’s a big tournament and I’ve been able to see many of my friends that I see in the winter (in Forida),” said Grier.  “I’m excited to get back out there. It’s a great opportunity.”

Grier’s Futures career never blossomed as she hoped. Her best finish was a tie for 11th in the 2008 Alliance Bank Golf Classic in Syracuse, N.Y. In 2007, Grier qualified and played in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Grier still sports a winning attitude. She can carry it over to the golf course by making the cut after Saturday.

She recently won the Middle Atlantic PGA women’s title and finished ninth in the Assistant’s Championship.

“I still have some goals and I feel I can still win,” she said. “I’ve been playing well, competing well, so it’s always in the back of your mind about going back out on tour.

“I want to go out this weekend and win.”

Grier begins her quest with a 8:35 a.m. tee time on Friday, playing with Alex Marina, of Wayne, N.J., and Katahira Mitsuki, of Tokyo, on the first tee.

After Saturday’s second round, the field will be cut to the low 40 players and ties. Nine of 11 tournament champions are in the field and eight of the top 10 Volvik leaders are also playing at Musket Ridge.

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