ROMEOVILLE – As Jessica Porvasnik began the second day and final round of play in the 25th annual Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open at Mistwood Golf Club, the former Ohio State golfer felt that she had as good a chance as anybody after shooting a 141 in two rounds on Tuesday. That left her just two strokes behind the three leaders, who had 139 scores.
Porvasnik proceeded to do just what she was hoping to accomplish by turning in a 70 on Wednesday, which was the second-best score of the day and one stroke behind the overall best. A long putt on the final hole proved to be decisive in her one-stroke win over three others to add to career wins such as two straight Ohio Open titles.
Having two rounds on Tuesday was nothing new to the field, which featured many past and current college athletes who are accustomed to playing in that format.
“This was very special,” Porvasnik said. “I knew coming in that I was two back, so if you put together a solid round you’re going to be in contention. I thought scores would be lower, but they didn’t get as low as I expected. So to put together that round felt good. It was awesome. That’s how the format is in college, and that’s good since there’s a lot of college kids here. All of the ams [amateurs] are in college, so it’s a good format since we always have 36 and 18.”
Things were far from over after Porvasnik picked up her ball after a birdie putt of nearly 15 feet on the 18th hole. That gave her a one-stroke lead over longtime pro Nicole Jeray, who fired a 71 to give her a 212 total. The two were tied for fourth heading into the day.
Two of the first-day leaders were in the final group with recent Northwestern University graduate Kaho Monica Matsubara and Kasey Miller both still in the title hunt going to 18. Facing trouble after an errant drive, Matsubara almost forced a playoff, but her curving putt rolled just past to give her a 73, just like Miller did, as both had 212 totals.
“My drive went into a hazard, but I had a putt and it just slipped out,” Matsubara said of her final hole. “I’ve signed up for Q [qualifying] school, which is in August, and I’m going to play in that and also playing in the one in Japan, so I want to see how I do in both of them, and then we’ll decide from there.”
Sarah Busey, the other first-day leader, finished with a 76 to give her a 215 total, which created a tie for fifth-place between her and Anna Appert Lund, who turned in a 72. Kate Lillie finished one shot over par with a 217 total after shooting a 72.
Recent Lincoln-Way Central graduate Bri Bolden had a tough final round with a 76, and that left her with a 3-over 219 total, which was good for eighth place. Despite the finish, the two-time IHSA runner-up and three-time placewinner viewed the Open as a positive as she starts to focus on the next stage of her career and education at the University of Missouri.
“This one was really good since it’s good to have experience going into college by knowing what to expect,” Bolden said. “It was good to have 36 and 18 since that’s a lot of college tournaments. And it was a really good experience to have exposure to these other players. I played in about four other tournaments, and I have one more after this and then I’m done with junior golf.”
Two other local players had good showings. Plainfield South graduate Mandi Granato finished with a 75, which helped her post a 224 total and a 17th-place finish. And the University of Wisconsin’s Alyssa Gromala, a Providence Catholic graduate, finished with a 78 for a 229 total, as she tied for 20th in a field of about 50 competitors where only 30 made the cut.