Kimberly Dinh breaks record, leads Michigan Women’s Open after first round
THOMPSONVILLE – Midland’s Kimberly Dinh tends to believe she can make every putt.
“This was just one of those days where they actually did go in,” she said after shooting a course and tournament record 10-under-par 62 in the first round of the Michigan PGA Women’s Open at Crystal Mountain Resort Monday.
Dinh, a 21-year-old senior-to-be at the University of Wisconsin playing as an amateur, made 10 birdies in the bogey-free round besting her previous personal best round by seven shots.
As for the 54-hole, three-day $36,000 open championship, she had a five-shot lead on 19-year-old rookie pro and recent Curtis Cup player Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., who shot 67, and was six ahead of Ashely Tait, a Symetra Tour player from Littleton, Colo., who shot 68.
Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., was next with a 69, five players shot 70, including former Michigan State golfer Allyssa Ferrell, current Spartan Gabby Yurik of Oakland and MSU assistant golf coach Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind.
“I was hitting my irons really well and almost all of my birdies were 10 feet or inside 10 feet,” Dinh said after the round that topped the previous women’s course record by four shots and beat the best ever shot by a man on Mountain Ridge by two strokes.
“I did chip in for one birdie on No. 12, and I made a 20-footer for one. The hole just looked huge today.”
Dinh is playing in her first tournament of the summer. A 4.0 student at Wisconsin and regular on all-academic honor teams, she is currently working an internship at Dow Corning and is taking her only two days vacation that is allotted and one-day unpaid to play in the tournament.
“I still have a year to go at Wisconsin, and I’ve never really had any plans for professional golf,” she said. “If I keep playing like this I might have to think it over.”
Ramsey just finished her first year of college at Clemson, then played in the Curtis Cup and decided to turn professional.
“I knew what I wanted to do, and that’s play on the LPGA Tour, so I did it while I had the opportunity,” she said after seven birdies against two bogeys in her round.
“I played pretty well, hit the ball solid and made a few putts,” she said. “I could have made a few more but I’m happy with my first pro round. It’s a good start.”
Tait, 27, is squeezing this tournament in between Symetra Tour stops in South Bend, Ind., and Harris, Mich., in large part because she finished third here last year and second the year before.
“I grew up in Denver so I really like Mountain courses and the grass is the same,” she said. “This course sets up nice to my eye here.”
Tait, who lost on the first hole of a playoff to Madison Pressel eight days ago in the Symetra Tour’s Decatur, Ill., tournament, said her round should have been even better.
“I could have gone really low,” she said. “I’ve been playing well on tour, getting better all the time. I’m happy with where I’ve at. Playing on the Symetra Tour is expensive, so I wanted to squeeze this one in because it has a nice purse and I like the golf course.”