On a muggy, overcast day that featured an occasional drizzle, two more players were added to the field for the Kingsmill Championship this week.
Symetra Tour players Alexandra Casi, an Ohio native, and former University of Virginia golfer Whitney Neuhauser joined the 144-player field after carding the top two scores in Monday's qualifier at Kingsmill Resort's River Course.
Casi shot 69 a day after practicing on the course for the first time. Sunday night's rain made for "a lot of mud balls," she said.
The size of the greens made the course challenging, she said, especially since she wasn't expecting Bermuda grass in the roughs.
"It isn't so much the tee shots," Casi said, "you have to keep it in the fairway."
Neuhauser, who played in the U.S. Women's Open last year, had to battle for the final qualifier spot in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff with Tracy Stanford and Sue Kim after all shot rounds of par-71.
Neuhauser birdied the 10th hole to clinch the spot. She had birdied No. 10 during the qualifying round.
"I had a really good day," said Neuhauser, who will play in her first non-major
Neuhauser said given the nature of a qualifier, where you don't know how anyone else is scoring, you have to "limit mistakes and stay aggressive."
"I got tight toward the end, gave three shots back," she said.
Neuhauser's mother, Susie, caddied for her daughter for Monday's qualifier.
"I'm a proud mama," Susie said.
Susie, who said she had open
"I'm blessed to be here," said Susie, who doesn't play golf. "I'm her calming force. ... I tell her I love her all the time, after every hole."
Neuhauser said, "She's a great caddie. She keeps me loose."
Susie said she's handing the Tour bag off to someone else for the tournament.
"That's the big dance," she said, both of the event and the size of the golf bag. "I'm sure there'll be someone who wants the experience."
Neuhauser, the 2009 Virginia State Golf Association's golfer of the year, said she's played the Woods Course at Kingsmill several times, but doesn't remember if she's played the River Course before Monday. But she's familiar with it from the
"I used to come here (for the Michelob Ultra Open)," she said, "and watch Lorena (Ochoa)."
With the qualifier behind them, Casi and Neuhauser said the hardest part is over.
"Now I can relax and go after it," Casi said.
"I don't have any pressure on me," Neuhauser said. "No one knows who I am."
But, Neuhauser added, "I hope there's a lot of Wahoos out here."