Coleman enters weekend with one-stroke lead in Four Winds Invitational

Using the momentum from a tied for third result at the Valley Forge Invitational, Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, California) picked up right where she left off with a 4-under par 68 showing in South Bend, Ind. for the first round of the Four Winds Invitational.

“It gives you some confidence, did it the week before and keep going strong,” said Coleman, who carded six birdies and two bogeys this afternoon. “Have to trust the game that I’m hitting the ball good, start aiming at more flags and look to make everything.”

Her sixth career round at Blackthorn Golf Club proved to be the best yet, earning Coleman the 18-hole outright advantage by one over two other individuals. Even with the success, the University of Colorado alumna understands the level of focus needed to maintain her position.

“I think the course is playing a good amount different, the rough is so thick,” Coleman said. “You have to keep the ball in the fairway, try not to find the rough around the greens because it will be a tougher up and down. I think it’s definitely playing harder, but the greens are similar speed as last year.”

WEARN DRAWING ON EXPERIENCE AT BLACKTHORN

In her fifth career start at the Four Winds Invitational, Lauren Wearn (Charlotte, North Carolina) fired an opening round 3-under par 69 to head into the weekend at Blackthorn Golf Club just one shot back of the lead.

“I’ve always liked this course, it sets up pretty well for me,” said Wearn, who captured a career-best finish in South Bend of tied for 19th last year. “I like how there is a premium on hitting the fairway and it is in great shape. I enjoy playing here.”

The graduate of Furman University found her way to six birdies and three bogeys today. That included a bogey-free, 3-under par 33 coming in on the front nine.

“It definitely helps to have played before,” Wearn said. “It was nice earlier in the week because I didn’t have to focus as much in the practice rounds, could get a feel for the greens. I don’t hit many drivers, so thinking about what to hit off the tee and where. I played well a couple days here last year. It’s nice to know I can go low here and hopefully I will continue to play well.”

ARVIDSSON OPENS WITH A LOW MARK ONCE AGAIN
For the second time in as many starts, Elin Arvidsson (Falkenberg, Sweden) found her way to an under par score in round one. A 3-under par 69 today in the Hoosier State was just one stroke off her season-best of 4-under, shot on two occasions.

Most recently, Arvidsson reached that mark in the opening round of the Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez. It just so happened to lead to a season-best result of tied for 24th. Now, she’ll look to keep moving in the right direction only one shot behind Coleman.

“I loved being out there and playing that big tournament, and the course fit me well,” said Arvidsson, in regard to the Lake Course at Grand National. “I hit a lot of fairways and greens, but didn’t putt well the last day. There was nothing else different from the first couple rounds over there and here. Kept going the same, hit 16 greens and missed just two fairways. I played my practice round on Tuesday, then the Pro-Am yesterday and it wasn’t as windy. I was happy to get out here today and truck along.”

NOTABLE QUOTES

Prima Thammaraks (-2, T4) on ending day one with a bogey and not letting it affect her:
“Same with last week, my scores didn’t reflect how good I played. I feel like something that happens, you just have to learn from it and move on. I was putting really good all day, so to let that little putt get to me is stupid. I’m not going to worry about it too much and keep focusing on what I did good.”

Ssu-Chia Cheng (-2, T4) on going even par or better in the first round for the seventh time in nine starts:
“This year I feel pretty good about my game, some things have been improving. For today, I didn’t really think about anything. First couple holes I left a couple short, but made an eagle on No. 9. I’ve been consistent, finding pars. It’s easier for me on the weekend, more chance to chase the leader.”

Alexa Pano (-2, T4) on making her third career Symetra Tour start and playing with defending champion Maia Schechter:

“It’s kind of nice now that I’ve played a few events, I’m getting to know people here and it’s a little more comfortable. That makes it a lot more fun. You can definitely see where she went really low last year, is a super impressive player and her drives were so amazing today. The course is a lot more dry, we had a ton of rain last year. In the afternoon today it was super windy, which made it a bit more challenging.”

PLAYER NOTES

Jenny Coleman

-Coleman, 26, is from Rolling Hills Estate, California
-One victory and 10 top-10 performances in her four-year University of Colorado career
-Holds or shares 28 program records including most events (47) and rounds played (139)
-Became the first player in Colorado history to make the NCAA Regionals all four years
-As a sophomore in 2012, led the Buffaloes to first NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship in program history
-Finished T29 at the Final Stage of the 2016 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 status for the 2017 LPGA Tour season
-Entering 2019, has made 53 career Symetra Tour starts with a career-best T3 result at the 2016 IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa
-Seven career top-10s on the Symetra Tour and finished 21 tournaments with a score under par

ABOUT SYMETRA TOUR

The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 39th competitive season in 2019. With the support of its entitlement partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7 million in prize money to $4.0 million in prize money awarded over the course of 24 events. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 43 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/Road2LPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.