THOMPSONVILLE – Sarah Hoffman of Saline is headed to the Symetra Tour to Tullymore Golf Resort in Canadian Lakes this weekend, but she made sure to stop in first at Crystal Mountain Resort and play the Michigan Women’s Open Championship.
“It’s one of my favorite tournaments,” she said after shooting a 3-under 69 on the Mountain Ridge course to stand one shot off the lead of fellow Symetra Tour player Kristin Coleman of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., through the first round of the $40,000 championship at Crystal Mountain Resort.
“The course is always in great shape, and it is fun to play up here. I’m going to Tullymore, but I didn’t want to miss the Michigan Open.”
Hoffman, 27, is a former Grand Valley State standout who started a career in nursing and then opted to take her professional golf shot a year ago. She has played sparingly this year because of a shoulder injury, but worked through it Monday with three consecutive birdies at holes 6, 7 and 8 to power her bogey-free 69.
“I’m very happy with 3-under,” she said. “I could have had a couple more putts drop, but overall I’m thrilled with it and I did putt well. My drives were not spectacular, but I stayed in play. It was a good start.”
Hoffman was tied with Marissa Chow of Honolulu, Hawaii, a former Pepperdine All-American for second, and seven golfers, including touring pro Samantha Troyanovich of Grosse Pointe Shores and Michigan State University freshman-to-be Yurika Tanida of Tokyo, were next at 70.
Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, another Michigan touring pro, was part of seven golfers who shot 71, and defending champion Suzy Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor and DeWitt touring pro Liz Nagel were part of a large group at 72.
The field of 114 will play 18 more holes Tuesday to determine the low 70 scorers and ties for the 36-hole cut. The final round in the 54-hole championship is Wednesday.
Coleman, 24, is the twin sister of Jenny Coleman, who finished second in the Michigan Women’s Open last year and is now on the LPGA Tour. The former University of Colorado golfer made a birdie at the par 3 No. 17 hole with a 9-iron shot to 12-feet to take the lead.
“I got off to a good start, hit the ball pretty good and made a couple of putts,” she said.
It’s her third time playing in the Michigan Women’s Open, and the plan is to make the LPGA Tour just like her sister, who is younger by one minute.
“I like the golf course here and I have a great host family,” she said. “It’s right between tournaments (on the Symetra Tour), so it works out great.”
Chow, 23, was happiest that her round included no bogeys.
“I was just really steady and it is nice to start solid and just play my game,” she said. “It’s day one. There is plenty more golf to be played.”
RESULTS/TEE TIMES: Can be found at www.michiganpgagolf.com