Aug 02, 2006 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
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.
Birdies on 12 and 13 pushed Turner-Peluso to four under, but it appeared that her charge was too late when Chae strung together three straight birdies on 10, 11 and 12 to jump to eight under.
Needing to attack, Turner-Peluso sank a birdie putt on 16, then did so again on the long par-5 17th to move to six under. As this was happening, Chae was bogeying 14, falling to seven under, and Turner-Peluso was just one back.
One more birdie could have given Turner-Peluso a tough score to post — but her par on 18 left her at 207, six under, and when Chae birdied both 15 and 16, she was on her way to victory.
Turner-Peluso shared third place with Mehra, Tucker and Elizabeth Jalangelo, just behind Katie Allison, who was alone in second place at 206.
This was a big week for professional golf in Central New York. As the top up-and coming female golfers dueled at Erie Village, PGA Tour pros were at the Atunyote course at Turning Stone Resort, playing in the final B.C. Open after June floods forced the event away from its home course in Endicott.
And Skaneateles native Tom Scherrer was there, trying to earn his second PGA Tour title. But with scores of 74 and 75, he missed the cut.
John Rollins would win with a 19-under-par 269, beating Bob May by one shot. Oswego native David Branshaw contended throughout the weekend and tied for fourth place, with 272.