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Gabriella Then gets a guided tour of Roanoke Country Club, then burns it up for a 66 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead in the senior girls division of the Scott Robertson Memorial junior golf tournament.
The Roanoke Times | File May
Floyd County’s Amanda Hollandsworth will try to lead the Buffaloes to their sixth state team golf championship.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Traveling alone this week for the 30th Scott Robertson Memorial, Gabriella Then is staying with a host family for the 30th Scott Robertson Memorial.
Thus far, her home away from home at “Mister Rogers’ Place” has been quite enjoyable.
Prepped by a cart tour of Roanoke Country Club’s Dogwood nine Thursday from her host Bob Rogers, the Californian fired 5-under-par 66 Friday to take the first-round lead in the girls’ 15-18 division.
“Mr. Rogers is a great guy, he showed me around the course since I could only play the Crabapple nine because I was so tired after playing a 36-hole qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Open and had to make the long flight,’’ Then said. “He showed around the place since I hadn’t played in two years.”
Hearing the conversation, Rogers couldn’t resist chiming in when a reporter asked him if he’s some kind of scratch handicapper.
“Yeah, right, I scratch my head all the time,’’ the club member said with a grin. “I play here a lot. I can tell her where not to put it, I can’t tell her how to put it where she’s supposed to be.
“She does that herself.”
Posting a clean round of five birdies and no bogeys, the 17-year-old Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., resident heads into today’s second round of the 54-hole event with a one-shot lead on Canadian Brooke Henderson.
Then, the 2011 Rolex Tournament of Champions winner, should have slept well Friday night.
“Technically, on Wednesday I won, I was the medalist in the Open qualifier,’’ said Then with a smile. “It’s been pretty hectic. I’m not going to the range now, for sure.
“I have the Thunderbird International in Arizona next week. Then I graduate from high school and I’m going to college at Southern California.”
Henderson, 15, was sitting on the lead until Then came in late to grab the spot. That’s OK because she was excited about watching her beloved Ottawa Senators play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Friday night’s Game 2 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference semifinals.
“This is my best round in the three years I’ve played here, the first time I’ve shot in the 60s,” the 5-foot-4 dynamo from Smith Falls, Ontario, said. “I like the golf course and I love this place. There’s a lot of holes that I like the look off the tee and I was able to hit it where I wanted to today, which is perfect.”
Jessica Porvasnik (Hinckley, Ohio), Mika Liu (Bradenton, Fla.) and Andrea Lee (Hermosa Beach, Calif.) are tied for third at 69.
Chesterfield’s Lyberty Anderson, making a record-tying seventh SRM start, is among three players tied for seventh at 71. Anderson was 3 under on the front before giving it up on the back to finish at even.
“I missed some easy putts early and I could have gone to 5 or 6 under,’’ said Anderson, who will head to Virginia on a golf scholarship next year. “Shoulda, woulda, coulda, but it didn’t happen. Still, this is my best start here. I still feel confident. I’ve got to go to the range and fix my driver now.”
Besides Anderson, it was not a good day for the rest of the Virginians in the 39-player field, particularly the area quartet of Amanda Hollandsworth (Floyd), Lyndsey Hunnell (Troutville), Kristin Hearp (Salem) and Meagan Board (Roanoke).
Hollandsworth struggled to an 81, Hunnell had 84, Hearp posted 86 and Board limped home in 90.
In the girls’ 14-and-under class, Lauren Kim of Woodstock, Md., recorded a 74 to take a five-shot lead on Jennifer Chang of Cary, N.C. Roanoke’s Amy Yang shot 99.
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