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Grier laments missed chances, still makes Challenge cut

August 25, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

MYERSVILLE, Md. — The diameter of a cup on a golf green is supposed to be 4.25 inches.

Ashley Grier would have preferred them to be 4.35 on Saturday.

For a second straight day, Grier posted an even-par 72 in the Symetra Tour’s Challenge at Musket Ridge, leaving her at even-par 144 for the tournament — good enough to make the cut for Sunday’s final round.

Grier posted a 2-under 34 on the front nine Saturday, which could have been much lower.

“I could have been 4 or 5 under just on the front nine,” said Grier.

After making birdie on the opening hole for the second straight day, Grier followed with two straight pars before settling for two more agonizing pars after missed birdie opportunities.

On the par-4, 385-yard fourth, her iron shot bounced off the top of sand trap to within 12 feet of the hole. She then lipped out her birdie put.

On the fifth, another par 4, Grier sent a right-to-left-breaking putt that quit turning at the hole, leaving a tap-in for par.

“I was hitting all the putts I wanted to hit, they just wouldn’t go in,” said Grier.

They did on the next two holes, where she notched back-to-back birdies to go 3 under.

On the par-5 sixth, Grier knocked a wedge from 67 yards to within a foot for birdie. She made a 5-foot birdie on the par-4 seventh after a crisp iron shot.

Grier gave a shot back on No. 8, leaving a tough downhill putt from 35 feet above the pin and missing the 8-foot par putt for a three-putt bogey.

“I hit the (birdie) putt too hard and right through the break,” said Grier.

Grier had five pars to open the back nine, missing two 10-foot birdie opportunities on 12 and 13 — one putt slid left off the cup, another to the right.

Her only hiccup on the back nine came on the par-4 15th from 330 yards. Her iron shot left her in a precarious spot on the right side of the green.

“The ball was nestled between mud and grass,” said Grier, who ran the ball across and through the opposite side of the green onto the fringe. Her par putt went 8 feet past the pin and she settled for a double-bogey, knocking her back to even.

Grier finished with three pars, including the par-4, 348-yard 18th on which she nearly had another birdie.

“I wanted to come out and hit solid irons, and I did that today, but the putts just kept missing,” said Grier. “I’m happy to make the cut and play Sunday.”

Grier is 10 strokes behind leader Misun Cho, who scorched the 6,500-yard layout with an 8-under 64 for a two-day score of 10-under 134. Cho, from Cheongju, South Korea, had a bogey-free round with eight birdies.

In Sunday’s final round — which will put $15,000 in the winner’s pocket — Grier will begin play at 10:35 a.m. with Jamie Hullett, of Mesquite, Texas, and Jennifer Hong, of Granger, Ind.

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