Porvasnik captures Illinois Women's Open
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 3:03PM
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Writing from Romeoville, Illinois

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Jessica Porvasnik knew where she stood. She wasn’t quite sure if she could believe the leaderboard she saw at the 16th tee of Mistwood Golf Club. That meant one thing: go for broke.

“If I could get one or two more to fall on the way in,” Porvasnik said. “You’ve just got to stick to your own game and try to make as many birdies as you can.”

At 4-under and among the leaders at that stage, she came close at the par-3 17th, narrowly missing a birdie putt, and came through at the last, sinking a 15-footer for birdie on the par-5 closing hole for 2-under-par 70 and a total of 5-under 211 for a one-stroke victory in the 25th Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open over Mistwood teaching pro Nicole Jeray (closing 71), Kasey Miller (73) and amateur Monica Kaho Matsubara (73), the recent Northwestern graduate.

“That was special,” said Porvasnik, who graduated from Ohio State in 2017.

Porvasnik had won a mini-tour tournament in Toronto last year, and has had some high finishes in 2019, including a top 10 in the Colorado Women’s Open, but had yet to grab a trophy this season until this steamy Wednesday. Making the cut in the LPGA tournament in Toledo last week, making $4,085, and winning at Mistwood – with the $5,000 first prize – has made this her favorite, and most lucrative, fortnight of the year.

“Last week, playing with some of the best players in the world, that was cool,” Porvasnik said. “It’s cool to know you’re not far off.”

Jeray had fallen four strokes behind leader Kasey Miller after a bogey on the par-4 11th, but began a three-hole birdie binge with a 4-hybrid to 18 inches on the par-3 14th, the beginning of Kelpie’s Corner. Sinking consecutive 10-footers for birdie on the next two holes brought her to 4-under, matching Porvasnik and a stroke behind Miller.

“I was charging, then I woke up,” Jeray said.

A good par save at 17 was followed by a poor approach at the last that left her at the edge of the green. She two-putted for par from there.

“She stuck a couple in there,” Porvasnik said. “She birdied the three in a row, so to put it on the last green and sink the putt was really cool.”

Jeray at least rallied to get a share of second. Her fellow 4-under finishers did not.

Miller, a stroke ahead at the turn, bogeyed the par-5 15th and par-3 17th to drop to 4-under, and will be kicking herself on the way home to Ohio. Matsubara can also play the “what if” game. She would have tied Porvasnik and forced a playoff but for her bogey at the last after driving out-of-bounds. She had birdied the 17th.

Anna Alpert Lund tied for fifth with amateur Sarah Busey at 1-under 215, and had the shot of the day, an ace on the 158-yard par-3 ninth hole. Samantha Postillion’s 3-under 69 was the day’s best round.

Tim Cronin

Article originally appeared on illinoisgolfer (http://www.illinoisgolfer.net/).
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