Golf: Texan Emily Collins leads Illinois Women’s Open
By Kevin McGavin For Sun-Times Media July 29, 2014 7:58PM
Updated: August 31, 2014 6:33AM
The leaderboard of the Illinois Women’s Open has a decidedly out-of-state look to it after second-round play Tuesday in Romeoville.
Texas native Emily Collins fired the low round — a 3-under 68 — of the first two days at Mistwood Golf Club to take a commanding five-shot lead into Wednesday’s final round.
Collins’ sizzling effort left the recent University of Oklahoma graduate with a 36-hole total of 141, five and seven shots better than Wisconsin residents Allyssa Ferrell and Leighann Cabush, respectively.
“(Collins) is little but hits it farther than I do,” veteran LPGA member and playing companion Nicole Jeray said.
Jeray, a Berwyn native and two-time champion of the event, is one of just nine players (out of 32) with ties to the Chicago area to make the cut.
“I was having fun moving up the leaderboard,” said Jeray, who fired a 73 after an opening-round 80 to make the cut by four strokes.
Former Homewood-Flossmoor standouts Ashley Armstrong and Megan Godfrey were at opposite ends of the spectrum when second-round action concluded.
Armstrong, a Notre Dame senior, is tied with Sterling resident Ember Schuldt, one of the University of Illinois’ top players, for fourth place at 149.
Godfrey was the final player to make the cut as she made a six-foot putt for par to make the cut on the number at 157 out of the last threesome.
Conversely, Armstrong took advantage of being in the first tee slot.
“We didn’t really feel (the wind) until the last few holes,” said Armstrong, who fired a 3-over 75 after a first-round 74. “I guess my group lucked out. (The time draw) all plays out in the end.”
“By the skin of my teeth I made it to play another day,” Godfrey said after struggling to a second-day 82. “I wasn’t really paying attention to (the potential cut line).”
Francesca Saban, a rising senior at Sandburg, improved five shots from her opening-round 86.
“It was definitely a great experience,” said Saban, who has verbally committed to Bradley. “I played with a lot of college players.”
Marian Catholic graduate Sylvie Brick, a junior at Georgia, had a cumulative score of 168 after a second-day 86.
Angela Dehning, of Hazel Crest, and Lockport native Krystal Garritson had respective two-day totals of 169 and 173.
Jessica Yuen and Bing Singhsumalee are once again poised to play together in the same pairing at a major championship.
Last fall, Yuen, a Neuqua Valley junior, overcame Singhsumalee, the Illinois-bound senior from Waubonsie Valley, in the final pairing to win the Class AA state championship near Decatur.
The two are among five players tied for 25th place after Yuen backed up a stroke and Singhsumalee improved by seven shots.
The 74 Singhsumalee posted to shoot a collective 155 tied for the fourth-best round of second-day action.
“I just wanted to play better than (Monday),” Singhsumalee said. “I had no idea (where the cut was going to fall). (My) putting was definitely (better). Course management is definitely important at Mistwood.”
Yuen has rounds of 77 and 78.
“When the wind blows here, it just makes it that much harder,” Yuen said of her home course. “The course is tough enough as it is.”
Naperville Central graduate Carolyn Wong and Mallory Carr, an assistant pro at White Eagle, failed to make the cut.
One year after missing the cut by a mere stroke, Hayley Guyton is hovering around top-10 status after following a 74 with a 5-over 77 to finish in six-way tie for ninth place at 151.
“I just wanted to play good golf like I did (Monday),” Guyton said. “I wasn’t trying to stay on a score to make the cut. To climb up the leaderboard would be awesome (in order) to get some confidence going (back) to school (Illinois State).”
The only other Aurora-area competitor, Kim Anderson, who was one shot off the lead after first-round play, is a stroke behind the 151 Guyton authored after a second-day 80.
Anderson, the only female golfer in West Aurora program history to become a multiple state qualifier, is one of four players tied for 15th at 152.
Guyton could very well be paired with Illinois’ Samantha Postillion in the final round.
Postillion has been a major factor at the tournament in recent years. The Burr Ridge native lost a championship playoff two years ago and was the second-round leader last summer.
The redshirt senior for the Illini tied Jeray for second-low round of the day with a 73 to get back into contention.
“This course sets up really well for my game,” said Postillion, whose mother, Kerry, won the tournament three times in a four-year period during the 1990s. “My advantage is that I am really straight off the tee.”
Another stalwart on the Illinois team, Stephanie Miller, was the lone player from the Elgin area to make the cut.
The former two-time state high school champion was four shots worse with her 78 but remains within striking distance for a top-10 berth as one of a quartet of players at 152.
Hampshire resident and Northern Illinois junior Connie Ellet missed the cut by two shots after posting a second-round 81, three shots higher than her Monday round.
“(Tuesday) was really tough,” Ellet said. “Some pins, there was no way to get it close. You had to take your medicine and try to get a two-putt.”
Paige Jordan, a St. Charles East grad playing at Bradley, was three shots higher than Ellet with her rounds of 82-80.
“I had some three putts that screwed up my front nine,” Jordan said. “This is a fun tournament, though.”
Bartlett alum Sam Coyne found second-round play much better to her liking. The Northern Illinois junior shaved 11 shots off her first-day total with a 4-over 76.