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Walker & Mucha - Slim Lead Going Into Final Round

Aug 5, 2007

Far from finished: Walker, Mucha team up for slim first-round lead
By Joe Gordon
Sunday, August 5, 2007 - Updated: 03:55 PM EST

QUINCY - The leaderboard after yesterday’s first round of the BJ’s Charity Championship at Granite Links Golf Club had so many local ties it looked like the reunion of some New England golfing sorority.
    But it was only business as usual for the Legends Tour, the official senior circuit of the LPGA. There were 11 two-woman teams within 4 shots of leaders Colleen Walker and Barb Mucha, who shot a best-ball 7-under-par 65. That was good for a 1-shot lead over the teams of Debbie Massey and Allison Finney, Val Skinner and Sandra Haynie, and defending champions Christa Johnson and Nancy Scranton.
    Local ties? Both Walker (1988) and Mucha (1990) won the LPGA’s Boston Five Classic at Ferncroft in Danvers. The team of Judy Dickinson (1985) and Laurie Rinker (1984) also won at Ferncroft. Dickinson and Rinker were among seven teams at 4-under.
    Also at 4-under was the team of Jane Blalock and Mieko Nomura. Blalock grew up in Portsmouth, N.H., and helped found the Legends Tour.
    The tournament ends today with a two-woman scramble, and everyone is expecting fireworks.
    “We were a little scrappy out there at times. It didn’t play that easy, with some tough pin placements and the wind. We’re very happy with 7-under,” said Mucha, whose birdie on the 18th gave her team the lead.
    “I’m hitting it pretty long. If I can keep it in play and get both of us to hit short irons, that will be key. You never know in a scramble. All it is is somebody starts making putts and they think if they just get on the green they are going to make birdie. I think we’ve got a really good chance.”
    This is the second year that Walker and Mucha have played together in this event, finishing tied for third last year. They shot 65 yesterday despite a bogey on a par-5 - the 499-yard eighth hole.
    Walker was hopeful the duo would stay near the top.
    “Going into (yesterday) we knew we had to shoot a good number because (today) anything can happen. Our chances are just as good as anybody else’s,” she said.
    Johnson and Scranton, playing in the final group, stood in the 18th fairway needing an eagle to tie for the lead. The pair made an eagle on 18 in last year’s final round to win by a shot.
    This time the long-hitting Johnson had trouble picking a club after Scranton had knocked her second shot on the 490-yard, uphill par-5 over the back of the green. Johnson also went long, hitting a 7-iron.
    Scranton had a little easier chip shot and got it up and down to get within 1 shot.
    “Christa’s chip shot was probably harder than mine. The difficulty in mine was deciding how hard to hit it. It was all about the speed. . . . I just hit a little pitching wedge and got it running,” said Scranton.
    Johnson was pleased with the round.
    “I feel really good. We started out a little slow but rallied on the back (nine). Nancy made a great shot on No. 10 to get us going with a birdie,” she said.

Granite Links Golf Club

100 Quarry Hills Drive
Quincy, MA 02169
Phone: 617-689-1900
Email: gtayetto@granitelinksgolfclub.com