Third round is the charm at Crystal Mountain

Golfer Elizabeth Nagel holds the trophy and the check she earned by winning the Michigan Women’s PGA Open at Crystal Mountain on Wednesday. Nagel came from six shots behind in the final round to win the tournament by three. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

Golfer Elizabeth Nagel holds the trophy and the check she earned by winning the Michigan Women’s PGA Open at Crystal Mountain on Wednesday. Nagel came from six shots behind in the final round to win the tournament by three. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

By KYLE KOTECKI

For the News Advocate

THOMPSONVILLE — Elizabeth Nagel of Dewitt, Mich. overcame a six-stroke deficit in the third and final round of the Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship on Crystal Mountain Resort’s Mountain Ridge course Wednesday.

Nagel shot a 4-under 68 which gave her a three-day score of 207, three strokes better than the nearest competition and nine strokes under par. She received a $6,000 winner’s check and a trophy for her efforts.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” Nagel said. “It means everything to me. This is my first professional win. To get it here — where I’ve been coming since I was probably 10 years old — it means everything, and it’s the perfect place to get that first win and hopefully there’s a few more to come after it.”

Nagel birdied six of her last 11 holes Wednesday, capping off the win with an up and down from the bunker on 18 for birdie. The key, Nagel said, was trying to play the best she could without worrying about the leaderboard.

“We took it one shot at a time, even down to the 18th hole,” Nagel said. “You don’t get up and down on those bunkers on 18 without really just thinking about yourself. If I was thinking about winning, that would be 20 times harder.”

Unsurprisingly, Nagel’s first professional win was an emotional moment.

“I couldn’t help but cry, and I’m not a crier, but I was just really happy,” Nagel said. “I’m bummed my parents aren’t here but I already talked to my dad and it really means a lot. This is my fourth year on tour, so to finally get a win and to get it here means everything.”

Nagel doesn’t have much time to celebrate, she’s due to tee off in Cincinnati for a Symetra Tour pro-am today at 8 a.m.

Nagel had a little help from the leader going into round three, Alexandra Harkins of Crystal Lake, Illinois. Harkins double-bogeyed the 13th hole and bogeyed both 16 and 17 to give Nagel the four strokes she needed to win outright.

Harkins finished in a three-way tie for second with Marissa Chow of Honolulu, Hawaii and Sarah Burnham of Maple Grove, Minnesota.

After shooting 3-under 69s both Monday and Tuesday, Burnham posted a score of 72 Wednesday.

“Honestly, I didn’t have my game (Wednesday), really,” Burnham said. “That’s what it came down to. I left a lot of putts out there and I missed some greens and I didn’t get up and down so that was a struggle. … It is what it is. But it was fun.”

Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, Michigan finished in 69th place in her attempt to defend her Michigan PGA Women’s Open title with a three-day score of 239. Scottville’s Erica Reed finished tied for 66th with a score of 235.

The event was the 25th Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship, and the 16th consecutive one held at Crystal Mountain Resort.

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