July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Junior PGA: Jessica Porvasnik is cold out of the gate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — It was just one of those days for Jessica Porvasnik Tuesday afternoon at the 36th Junior PGA Championship. Well, not one of those days the Highland junior has been used to this summer.

Porvasnik, who has been on fire for the majority of the summer, hit a cold spell in opening-round action at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, sitting in a tie for 60th overall with an 11-over-par 83.

Jessica Porvasnik

Jessica Porvasnik

“I just wasn’t on today,” the two-time Gazette MVP said. “I don’t think I hit that many irons into the green all day. Maybe five. It was all hybrids and woods.”

Starting on the back nine of the 7,240-yard course, Porvasnik had a tough time finding the consistent game that helped her advance to the Junior PGA for the second year in a row and has earned her the nickname of “Lil’ Par” coined by her Highland teammates.

She finished the day with nine bogeys — three of which were double or worse for nines of 41 and 42. At the turn, Porvasnik rebounded with her two birdies of the day, but it wasn’t enough.

“I don’t know … my ball striking was really bad,” she said. “I just didn’t strike it the way I wanted to. I pared the first hole, then bogeyed the second and doubled the third.

“On one hole, I had a bad lie on the edge of a bunker that I couldn’t hit and another I hit a good drive to the right and into a creek. It just wasn’t working, I guess.”

The 16-year-old is still just six shots off where the cut would be if they eliminated players after Tuesday’s round. Porvasnik tees off today at 1:10, again on the back nine, to see if she can erase her rough start and advance to Round 3 on Thursday.

“It’s strange, because I went on the range today after my round and I struck the ball well,” she said. “I just have to get to the next day. I want to make the cut, but also have a good round. As long as I strike the ball well, I will be happy.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.