Harkins running away with Michigan Women’s PGA at Crystal Mountain

Amanda Dixon of Hillsboro, Ohio chips onto the green during the Michigan PGA Women’s Open at Crystal Mountian on Tuesday. Dixon shot 75 Tuesday, and is tied for 48th place. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

Amanda Dixon of Hillsboro, Ohio chips onto the green during the Michigan PGA Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain on Tuesday. Dixon shot 75 Tuesday, and is tied for 48th place. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

By KYLE KOTECKI

For the News Advocate

THOMPSONVILLE — The second round of the three-round Michigan PGA Women’s Open is in the books. Alexandra Harkins of Crystal Lake, Illinois shot a 7-under 65 on Crystal Mountain Resort’s Mountain Ridge course to take the lead from Elizabeth Nagel of DeWitt, Mich. Tuesday.

Harkins posted five birdies and shot an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole to take a five-stroke lead over Marissa Chow of Honolulu, Hawaii and Maple Grove, Minnesota’s Sarah Burnham.

After posting Monday’s low score of 67, Nagel bogeyed three of the last six holes to post a second-round score of 72 to drop to fourth place heading into the final round.

Defending Michigan Women’s Open champion Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, Michigan had a difficult time on the greens and followed up Monday’s first-round score of 79 with a 78 Tuesday, leaving her tied for 69th place.

“The score, I feel, doesn’t show how I played,” McPherson said. “I didn’t have a single birdie on the card today, but I had a lot of opportunities for birdie. I felt a lot better than a 78, but I had a ton of fun.”

McPherson — who has stopped playing full-time to focus on a career away from golf — believes if she cleans up her putting she can post a solid score in the tournament’s third and final round.

“I think we need to make a few more putts tomorrow,” McPherson said. “I hit a lot of greens today so we’ll just hope the putts roll in tomorrow.”

Though McPherson is in all likelihood out of the running to defend her championship, she is maintaining an upbeat attitude and is looking forward to one more round of golf today.

“It’s just beautiful out there,” McPherson said of the Mountain Ridge course. “They always have the greens rolling so beautifully. Everything up here is just perfect. And that’s all credit to Greg Babinec’s team, and the whole staff up here is always just fantastic.”

Scottville’s Erica Reed followed up her first-round score of 77 with a 78. Her two-round score of 155 leaves her tied for 63rd place.

“I hung in there,” Reed said. “Definitely wasn’t the most consistent best ball striking, but we got through the whole round and posted a number.

“… I just need to be a little bit more solid and hopefully I get another chance tomorrow,” Reed continued before knowing if she had officially made the cut. “If everything can come together I think I can post a good number so I’m kind of excited about what’s ahead.”

Reed had five bogeys on the front nine and a birdie on the eighth hole. She eventually started to find her rhythm and shot a 2-over 38 on the back.

“The course is beautiful,” Reed said. “Crystal Mountain does a great job. It’s in absolutely perfect shape and they’re a wonderful host. It’s just a great time every time we come here.”

The tournament wraps up today with the first pairing of the third and final round teeing off at 8 a.m.

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