It is not exactly like making a trip to Krooked Kreek golf course in Osceola for Casey Danielson but golfing in Harris, Michigan is kind of like being at home. Danielson has taken a liking to the Island Resort Championship in Harris as she has played very well there the last two seasons. Last year she tied for fourth place at the Symetra Tour stop and was right in the mix from the start this year.
“I love the Sweetgrass golf course, so I was happy to be back there,” Danielson said. “The locals made me feel at home. I heard a lot of “Go Wisconsin’s out on the course and it made me feel very supported.”
Danielson began the three day tournament quietly as she parred nine of the first ten holes that she played with the only exception being a bogey on the fourth hole. Then she caught fire. Starting on hole 11 she birdied five of the next eight holes to go four under par for the round. She moved into a tie for fifth place overall and just a single stroke off the lead shared by four golfers.
“My ball striking was very good all week, right where I want it to be, and the birdies came when the putts fell,” Danielson explained about her surge.
Danielson stated on the back nine the second day of the tournament and the night’s sleep that she had did not cool her off any. She started her day with a birdie and then a bogey to go back to four under for the weekend and then birdied her fourth and sixth holes of the day to get to six under par. She finished her round with a birdie to go seven under and was tied for third place with one round to go.
Playing in the second to the last pairing for the final round Danielson entered the day three strokes back of leader Louise Stahle of Sweden. Linnea Johansson, also from Sweden was two shots back of the leader. Danielson, Alexandra Kaui and Kristy McPherson were next in line, one stroke behind Johansson.
Danielson played a steady round over the final 18 holes but was unable to catch the same fire that she had the first two days. She sandwiched bogeys on holes four and six around a birdie on five to put her at six under for the tournament. Danielson got the stroke back with a birdie on the 11th to get to seven under and then rapped home another bird on hole 17 to finish at eight under par for the tournament. She ended the weekend with an impressive tie for eighth place overall.
“I had many birdie opportunities that I didn’t capitalize on,” Danielson said. “Lots of missed putts, so I left the Island Resort feel slightly disappointed. But, I am happy with another top-10 finish and knowing what I need to work on to improve my game.”
Daniela Iacobelli came from six strokes behind in the final round by shooting a seven under 65 to tie Cindy Ha for the top spot after 54 holes. Ha started the day five strokes off of the lead and finished her last round with a six under 66. Iacobelli birdied the first playoff hole to earn the top spot.
Danielson will now regroup before she heads back out into the competition. “I have a two week break before I head to French Lick, IN for the next event,” she said. “I’ll be spending time at home, recovering from a hectic start to the golf season and preparing to play the final 10 events in the coming months.”