Coweta Sports Digest
Reynolds takes 5-stroke lead heading into final day
Newnan standout golfer Jean Reynolds is one more round away of top-notch golf from winning a championship at the Symetra Tour’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club in Michigan.
Reynolds has been stellar over the tournament’s first 36 holes, opening the event on Friday with a 6-under 66 before following up with a 68 on Saturday that featured six birdies and just two bogeys while building a five-stroke lead on Jessy Tang and South African Melissa Eaton heading into today’s final round.
She’s on pace for her best finish so far for her 2014 season.
So far, the former Georgia High School State Association state champion, who more recently made a run on the LPGA Tour that included a 17th place finish at the 2009 U.S. Open, posted a top finish of seventh at the Symetra’s Chico Patty Berg Memorial.
She Saturday’s round by posting three birdies on the front nine and two more on holes 12 and 13 to move to 10-under for the tournament.
Despite a bogey on the par-3 16th, Reynolds closed with her final birdie putt of the day to put herself with a 34 on both sides.
On Friday, she posted identical scores on 33 on each side of the turn.
“I just hit the ball really solid from tee to green and was able to make a couple of putts today,” Reynolds said after Friday’s round. “I think I just really like the golf course. I don’t know, you kind of get a feel for it and your momentum just keeps going. It’s been a fun week so far.”
Reynolds started Friday solidly, at 1-under through six, but started to pour it on making birdies in four of the next five holes to jump into the lead at 5-under. She added two more birdies down the stretch against a lone bogey to post her lowest round of the 2014 season.
“It’s been kind of a slow start,” Reynolds said of her 2014 campaign. “I’ve been playing well just not finishing how I’d want to. It’s mostly been the putting but today, and in Ft. Myers especially, I was able to make some good birdie putts and give myself some good opportunities.”
The Georgia alum will be looking to climb up from her current position of 56th on the money list as the season reaches its halfway point.
“Keep plugging along,” Reynolds said of her approach going into the final two days. “You definitely have to hit the fairways out here. You have to stay patient and take birdies when you can. It’s a long way to go but it’s a fun golf course to play. We’ve got great weather and everybody out here has been great so far so it should be fun.”
PLUSKOTA COMPETES IN FRANCE: Former Northgate and Tennessee All-American tennis player Natalie Pluskota wrapped up a trip to Marseille, France this week while competing in singles and doubles in the $100,000 ITF clay tournament not far from Roland Garros.
The 24-year-old and partner Nicole Melichar advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the opening round before falling to Spain’s Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Beatriz Garcia-Vidagany 4-6, 4-6.
It was Pluskota’s second French tournament this spring, having reached the quarterfinals in Saint-Gaudens in mid-May while competing with American 18-year-old Allie Kiick. In between, the Newnan native traveled to Nuremberg, Germany to join Melichar in a match against veterans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.
Pluskota reached four consecutive semifinal round of doubles in ITF events at Jackson, Miss (April 6), Orlando (March 16) Gainesville (March 9) and Midland, Mich. (Feb. 16) including a pair with Australian Sally Peers.
Pairing with Melichar in Orlando, the duo advanced to the finals with three consecutive straight-sets victories before falling in a third-set tiebreaker to Americans Catherine Cartan Bellis and Alexis Nelson 2-6, 6-0 [9-11].