LANE | Hartlage leads U of L surge at Kentucky Women's Open, but Walker steals the show
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was played on U of L's home course and almost became the U of L Invitational Wednesday. Lauren Hartlage led a trio of Cardinal golfers at the top of the Kentucky Women's Open at the University of Louisville Golf Club in Simpsonville, holding off her teammate in a one-hole playoff.
The Junior from Elizabethtown led by two shots after an opening round 67 Tuesday and had a three-shot lead with three holes to play in the second and final round. But she bogeyed 16 from the edge of a bunker and then missed short birdie putts at 17 and 18 while her teammate and best friend Olivia Cason made birdies at the final two holes to draw even and force a playoff. They went back to the par four tenth hole. Cason missed a birdie attempt and Hartlage made hers from a similar line to claim her first Kentucky Women's Open title.
"I just kept the same mindset and I knew I was putting well and I knew if I just trusted myself that I had hit the same putt on the last hole in the first round so I knew what it was going to do and I just gave it a good roll," said Hartlage. I've been playing this at least five years. I've been close but it feels really great to get the win."
Cason, a Senior from Owensboro shot a second round 68 to Hartlage's 71 to get in the playoff.
"We carpooled here today so we were both like OK, someone's gonna go home not as happy," said Cason. "Honestly I'm happy for her, happy with how we both played."
Last year's winner Molly Skapik, a recent U of L grad took low professional honors and the $1500 check that went with it by shooting a second round 68. She finished at five-under, one shot out of the playoff.
Taryn Walker may have been the most impressive player on the course. She finished alone in fourth at four-under after a 71. The 32-year-old Glasgow native won this event in 2011 but hadn't played in it since 2015. She's now works and is a wife and mother of a two-old boy. She got the bug to get back into some competitive golf this spring and had this event in mind despite the fact that she played while five months pregnant with her second child.
"This spring I knew I was pregnant but I had a little time you know," said Walker. "I wasn't going to be in my third trimester yet so I thought you know what, I played with my son up until eight months, not competitively but for fun, so I thought what the heck."
She'll likely be taking another break from competitive golf now, but may be back again next summer.
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