October 31, 2014

Medina
Rain
42°F

U.S. Women’s Amateur: Confident Jessica Porvasnik embraces challenge

Over the last two days, Jessica Porvasnik has been learning the ins and outs of Nassau Country Club.

She’s not too nervous about the challenge of managing the historic layout in the oldest women’s amateur around. The 2012 Highland graduate is focusing more on believing it can be done.

Porvasnik will use the confidence she has gained throughout the summer today as she opens play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in Glen Cove, New York.

“Believing in myself will be the key,” the four-time Gazette MVP said. “My coach (Nick Paez) and I have really been talking about vision. We always take what it would be like to do something big and having that vision. I’m really looking forward to this week.”

The Hinckley Township resident was the Big Ten medalist for Ohio State as a true freshman in the spring and qualified for the prestigious U.S. Women’s Open earlier this summer.

Now Porvasnik will tackle 36 holes of stroke play with hopes of making the cut when the field is whittled to 64 players for match play Wednesday. She will tee off at 1:30 p.m. on hole No. 1 alongside Sung Eun Park (USA) and Clara Teixeira (Brazil).

“The big thing in this tournament is you don’t have to win the stroke play,” Porvasnik said. “You just need to do your best the first days. I’m feeling great and feeling really confident right now.”

Porvasnik is one of 14 competitors in the 156-player field that played in the U.S. Women’s Open earlier this summer. More than 15 countries from Argentina to Thailand will have representatives at Nassau this week and the average age is 19.45 years old.

While Porvasnik hasn’t played in any tournaments over the last couple weeks, she has a handful of new irons and hybrids and feels everything is there for the taking.

“I played a couple of times while I was one vacation with them and it really doesn’t matter, it’s mainly about your swing,” she said. “There’s not much of a different with what I was using before.”

She will use some of the new sticks on what is one of the longest par-70 courses around that has been challenging golfers since 1896. Its history ranges from the origins of the Nassau Bet to the Bobby Jones’ Calamity Jane putter.

Porvasnik will look to make her own history today.

“It’s awesome,” she said of the layout. “The course is in great condition and there is a lot of elevations and a lot of up and down.

“There are a few longer par-4s, like 430-yard long ones where if you can get a par. That’s great, and if you bogey it’s not that big of a deal because you can make up for it on other holes. You just need to take advantage.”

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