All through her career on the Duramed Futures Tour, Julie Turner-Peluso has tried to save her best game for the one event held close to home.
For the most part, that never occurred -- until last week.
Improving with each round, the 28-year-old Skaneateles native put herself into title contention in Sunday's final round of the Alliance Bank Futures Classic before settling for a tie for third place, her best-ever Futures finish.
Turner-Peluso turned in a total of 207, six under par, finishing just three shots behind the champion, 20-year-old Korean rookie Ha-Na Chae, and earning $3,811 in the process. She moved to 43rd on this year's Futures money list with $7,802.
More than anything else, though, Turner-Peluso overcame years of frustrating showings at the Links at Erie Village in East Syracuse by displaying a steady hand and a deft putting touch.
On a warm opening day where 29 players broke par, Turner-Peluso could only manage an even-par 71, falling five shots behind Chae, Danielle Downey, Kristina Tucker and Leigh Anne Hardin.
Saturday was a long exercise in patience for the entire 144-player field. Heavy rains forced a two-hour delay, pushing tee times back and forcing the leaders to complete their rounds in virtual darkness.
Amid it all, Turner-Peluso kept her poise, shooting a two-under-par 69 to stay on the fringes of contention. By day's end, she was four shots back of Chae, Tucker and Smitri Mehra, inching closer.
As the sun emerged on Sunday, Turner-Peluso appeared, at first, to be shooting herself out of the picture. She double-bogeyed the 4th hole, falling back to even par, but it turned out to be just the jolt she needed.
Promptly, Turner-Peluso birdied the 5th, and followed with a birdie on 9 to turn in 36, getting back to two under par. Better golf lay ahead.