Jenny Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) made six birdies on her first nine and posted a career low 6-under, 66 to lead the PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park as play was suspended due to storms in the area.

The weather was a large part of the story on Friday as play was first suspended early at 7:45 a.m. due to lightning. After a two-hour delay, play resumed for the rest of the morning and afternoon. At 5:19 p.m., players were evacuated off the course due to a pop up storm that carried lightning and players never returned to the course.

The entire afternoon wave (22 groups) are still on the course and will finish their first-rounds on Saturday morning when play resumes at 7:30 a.m. The second-round will begin at 9:40 a.m.

Coleman, 23, started on the back nine with a 15-foot birdie, which got her in a good rhythm.

“I hit it to 15-feet on one and hit this downhill slider,” explained Coleman. “I knew from there that it was going to be a good day.”

Coleman drained four birdies in a row between the 12th and 15th holes. She made the turn in 30 after
another birdie on 17.

“This is my lowest score ever, I’ve shot 5-under plenty of times and it is about time I break that,” said
Coleman, who attempted just 26 putts. “I hit solid iron shots and made putts hole after hole. Downhill, uphill, left or right, they were just going in.”

Coleman made her lone bogey of the day on the second hole. She got back to 6-under on the eighth hole and made par on her final hole of the day.

The rookie has one top 10 finish and five top 20 results this season including a T11 last week at the
Decatur-Forsyth Classic. She said that she continues to get more and more comfortable on Tour.

“I’m getting more comfortable and more consistent and good scores are starting to show,” said Coleman, who ranks 38th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. “I think I’m just getting more comfortable learning courses very quickly.”

Jenny has a twin sister, Kristin, who also plays on Tour. Jenny is one minute younger than Kristin. They both played college golf together at the University of Colorado.

Jenny has now posted four straight rounds of even-par or better.

 

LAURA-GONZALEZ ESCALLON HOLES OUT TO STAND IN 2ND: Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium) holed out for eagle from 98 yards on hole nine. She made four birdies and two bogeys to shoot a 4-under, 68. Gonzalez Escallon has five top 10 finishes this season and currently ranks tenth on the money list.

On July 22nd, she won the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. Since then, she finished T6 at the Kansas City Championship and T2 at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic last week. Since the start of July, she has four top 10 finishes and has earned $30,138 to move into the top 10.

“I had the perfect number on the eagle and I knew it would spin back because the greens are soft and it did exactly what I thought,” said Gonzalez Escallon, who will play in The Evian Championship next month. “The birdie was great and I hit it great today.”

Gonzalez Escallon’s caddy, Ryan Dickson, is a golfer at Cardinal Stritch.

“He plays this course (Brown Deer) all the time,” said Gonzalez Escallon. “Next week, they have a
tournament at Brown Deer. He is really nice and there were a couple things on the golf course that I asked him for and he helped.”

The head coach at Cardinal Stritch, Neal Grusczynski, is caddying for Shannon Fish.

KATHLEEN EKEY GETTING CLOSER TO OLD SELF: In 2011, Kathleen Ekey (Sharon Township, Ohio) finished first on the Symetra Tour money list to earn LPGA Tour membership. She won twice and had five additional top 10 finishes to move on to the next level.

Ekey had a respectable year on the LPGA Tour in 2013 and was ready for a big 2014 season until she
sustained a stress fracture in her right wrist just after the first tournament of the year.

“It came out of nowhere, I had never had a wrist problem ever,” said Ekey, who posted a 2-under 70 on
Friday at Brown Deer Park. “When the doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to play, I freaked out and got it in my head that I could play through it.”

Turns out she wasn’t able to play through it well and Ekey regrets the decision to try and fight through it to this day.

“Looking back, it just wasn’t the right thing to do,” said Ekey. “I should have just taken a medical. I
developed so many bad habits. I feel like it has taken me all the way up to this year to get back to what I feel is Kathleen golf.”

Although she still ranks 70th on the money list, she is putting together better rounds on a more consistent basis.

“The last couple months, I’ve hit it really, really well,” said Ekey. “I feel like I’m getting closer and closer and closer.”

One of the driving forces in keeping her head up during her tough last two and a half years is her brother, Byron, who has also been her caddy since the dreaded 2014 season.

“The two of us have always been best friends,” said Ekey. “My parents tell this story of when I was three and my brother was being born, I ran through the halls of the hospital yelling ‘where is my baby boy’ like he was mine. We’re just super close.”

Ekey admits that the last two years, when she has gone down from the LPGA to the Symetra Tour, have been really tough on her. She credits Byron for keeping her focused and lifting her spirits.

“I always say that golf beats you up more than it hugs you,” said Ekey. “I look back on 2011 and I don’t think I gave myself enough credit. I really think it would be way harder if I didn’t have Byron out here with me. At the end of the day, he just knows me so well.”

Ekey still believes that she can make a return to the LPGA.

“I had no idea that it would be this hard since 2014,” explained Ekey. “But I’m proud of myself for hanging in there and I think I’m getting closer.”

 

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Written By: Symetra Tour Communications

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