When Jenny Suh went home to Virginia late in June, her golf game was in bad shape, having missed her three previous cuts on the Duramed Futures Tour. She spent two full weeks making small alterations to that swing, hoping they would work.
Did they ever.
Three events after returning to the Tour, Suh, who turns 24 later this month, won for the first time, edging past Korean Seo-Jae Lee in a playoff at the Alliance Bank Golf Classic at Drumlins Country Club's East course to take home a $14,000 first prize.
"It feels great," Suh said after calling her parents in Virginia to tell them the good news. "The whole time, I was very happy. Just to be contending, and to feel the nerves again, was good."
Both Suh and Lee finished at 12-under-par 201, one shot better than fast-closing Whitney Wade. Defending champion Kim Welch tied Angela Buzminski and Caroline Larsson for fourth place at 205, eight under par.
A University of Alabama graduate, Suh was 20th on the Futures money list in 2008, but just 56th coming into this week. She had also never seen Drumlins East, the course to which this tournament moved after its first 13 years at the Links at Erie Village.
Perhaps some karma was at work, though, as Suh spent the week staying at the house of Fayetteville-Manlius girls golf coach Anne Miller -- whose team won last Wednesday's Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Pro-Junior Challenge for the second year in a row.
Everyone had to wait to get started, thanks to heavy rains on Friday morning that caused a 3 1/2 hour delay. This meant that only half the 144-player field would finish on Friday, with the rest returning Saturday morning, then going right to their second round.
Suh was in that group that finished Friday. Nothing was happening for her until she birdied three of the last four holes, turning a so-so round into a three-under-par 68 that jumped her near the top of the leaderboard.