With their eyes off the leader board and their minds on erasing bad memories from last year’s Inamori Classic, a couple Missies went out and tore up the StoneRidge Country Club course in Saturday’s third round.
Missie McGeorge, who fell from second to 11th place on the final day last year, holed two chips and a bunker shot en route to a tournament-low round of 67. After beginning the day eight shots behind the leader, McGeorge was only four strokes behind leader Tina Barrett.
Less than a hour later, Missie Berteotti, whose given name is Michelle, came in with a 67 after she birdied four of the last six holes.
Berteotti, who dropped out of the Inamori Classic last year after an opening-round 78, is four under, only three strokes behind Barrett and one ahead of McGeorge.
Which puts the Missies in the same threesome today. When they get to talking, they’ll find out they have more in common than their first names.
Neither has won an LPGA Tour event. Their career earnings are just $66,000 apart. McGeorge has earned $388,556 to Berteotti’s $322,745.
But if their putters stay hot Sunday, those figures could change considerably.
McGeorge, who joined the tour seven years ago after attending Southern Methodist University, shot a 75 Friday and was simply looking for some respectability Saturday.
“I hit the ball well Friday, but I couldn’t hit a putt,” she said. “I haven’t played real well this year. There was just no indication that I was going to go out and shoot a 67.”
McGeorge, 31, blames herself for her slow starts.
“I’m not like some of the other players,” she said. “I don’t play a lot in the offseason. I like to go home, sit on the couch and watch a lot of TV. I enjoyed my time off and it showed.”
McGeorge found her putting stroke early--sinking a 15-foot par putt on the second hole. From there, her confidence grew as she chipped in for birdie on four and sank a 20-footer on No. 8 to get back to even par.
She then holed a bunker shot on 13, birdied 14, bogeyed 16 and sank a 25-footer for a birdie on 17.
McGeorge said it may take that kind of putting to win the tournament.
“I’m going to have to go out and shoot a 65 or 66 to have any kind of a shot,” she said.
Berteotti, whose best finish is third at the 1987 Safeco Classic in Kent, Wash., said she’ll use the same philosophy she used Saturday.
“I didn’t want to just come out here and play par golf,” Berteotti, 27, said. “I just really went for some birdies. There will be no holding back (today). And there will be more Chinese food tonight.”
Last night, Berteotti and her caddy, Matt Adams, ate Chinese food and stayed out until 1:30 a.m. Adams said he just might keep Berteotti up late again.
Although she was up late, Berteotti started early--holing birdie putts on Nos. 1, 3 and 7. Unfortunately, she also bogeyed two and four. After a birdie on nine and another bogey on 12, Berteotti caught fire. She finished with birdies on 13, 14, 15 and 17.
“I knew I had it going on the back nine,” said Berteotti, who played at the University of Miami. “I was using all the proper irons and my putter felt great. I just want to go out and do it again. I’m looking forward to (today).”
For Berteotti, just playing on Sunday at the Inamori Classic will be a change.
“I wanted to see the Masters (on television) last year,” she said. “Of course, the 78 helped sway my decision.”