By Bruce Berlet

HARTFORD, Conn. (June 12, 2021) – Aimee Caligiore survived some frustration on the greens to shoot an even-par 70 and take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Hartford Women’s Open at Goodwin Park Golf Course on Saturday.

Caligiore, the 2019 champion who works at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla., had two birdies, two bogeys and missed three putts from five feet or less but still finished with an edge on amateur playing partner Mia Grzywinski.

“I was very consistent and gave myself a lot of looks at birdies that just didn’t drop,” said Caligiore, 30, a 2013 graduate of St. Lawrence University. “I’m going to go Keney and do some practice putting.”

Caligiore, who matched her low score at Goodwin Park in four tournament appearances, Grzywinski and Jordan Lintz (72) will tee off in the final group Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Keney Park Golf Course in the north end of Hartford. The final round will start at 8 a.m.

Caligiore, who plays on the National Women’s Golf Association mini-tour in Florida, had eight pars and bogey at the par-3 seventh hole in a front-nine 36. She missed 5-foot birdie putts at the 13th and 14th hole to remain 1-over but sank a 15-foot putt and 25-yard chip for birdies at Nos. 16-17 to get under par. But an errant drive led to a closing bogey at No. 18, where a 35-foot putt stopped inches short of the cup.

Grzywinski, 20, a sophomore at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, also shot 36 on the front nine and then bogeyed the 10th and 12th holes to fall to 3-over. But birdie putts of 25 and 20 feet at the 13th and 14th holes and four closing pars left her in a good frame of mind after her best score at Goodwin Park.

“My ball-striking has been coming along, and I’ve been waiting for my scores to come,” said Grzywinski, a two-time Central Connecticut Conference champion while at Farmington High School. “I didn’t think I had my best stuff today, but I hung in there and finished strong.”

Lintz, who had two seconds among four Top-5 finishes in the tournament, made one birdie off an 8-foot putt at the 17th hole, three bogeys and saved par four times in shooting 72 for third place. But the owner of Jordan Lintz Golf. was hardly complaining after she played only 25 holes from February to the end of May and then tied for eighth in the Connecticut Women’s Open at the Black Hall Club in Old Lyme on Monday and Tuesday.

“This was more of a struggle than I’m used to here,” Lintz said. “I usually have made more birdies, but this is the least I’ve ever played by this time of year because I’ve had so much business. That’s good, but golf is at the bottom of my priority list so every day is an adventure. But I’m not upset when I’m not always sure where it’s going.”

Marie Allo, an assistant pro at Gillette Ridge GC in Bloomfield, had four birdies, the most of the day, in shooting 73 for a tie for fourth with amateurs Pamela Kuong, 60, of Wellesley Hills, Mass.; 17-year-old Yun Kiu Tiffany Chan of Hong Kong, a junior at the Kent School; and 19-year-old Ashley Au of Columbus, Ohio, a sophomore at Yale University.

“I was fighting it all the way after going through some swing changes,” said Allo, 25, a 2019 Wisconsin Stout graduate who grew up playing at Goodwin Park and Buena Vista GC in West Hartford. “I’m trying not to jump at it, just stay with it. I’m just focusing on the swing rather than the score.”

Allo had three birdies to get to 1 under after 10 holes but had a double-bogey at the 11th hole and bogeys at Nos. 13, 14 and 16. But a pitching wedge approach to 12 inches set up a tap-in birdie at the 17th hole.

Kuong, a two-time winner of the Massachusetts Senior Women’s Amateur, made birdie putts of 20 and 24 feet on the seventh and 10th holes that led to her being even par. But she bogeyed the 13th, 14th and 15th holes before closing with three pars.

“I putted solid and had no mistakes for 10 holes,” Kuong said. “Then I went into a lull before bringing it back.”

Chan was making her tournament debut in preparation for playing in five American Junior Golf Association events this summer before starting her senior year the Kent School. She also made the turn in 1-over and then bogeyed the 11th, 12th and 13th holes before a 25-foot putt for birdie 2 at No. 15 and three closing pars gave her a share of fourth.

“I was pretty steady, but I still have a lot to work on,” Chan said. “I really want to improve my focus and putting.”

Au, who is also making her tournament debut and played Goodwin Park for the first time, had 15 pars and three bogeys but had to work plenty hard for her 73. She didn’t hit half the greens in regulation and had some of best saves at the end, making par putts of 10 and 20 feet on the 16th and 17th holes and then chipping to 12 inches at the 18th after wildly hooking her drive into the adjacent 10th fairway.

“I hit it all over the place but made really good saves on the last three holes,” Au said. “It’s disappointing because I couldn’t figure out my swing, but it was a really good short-game day, the best up-and-down round that I’ve ever had. I felt like I could have shot in the 80s but somehow had 73.”

Au, who works for a tech company in Columbus, should have fond memories of Keney Park, where she shot a 2-under 68 in the third round of the 2019 PGA of America’s Girls Junior Championship.

Defending champion Angela Garvin of Feeding Hills, Mass., shot 74 and is in eighth. Garvin, who has finished in the Top 5 in each of the previous five tournaments, is a junior at the University of Maryland and was an alternate on the first Terrapins team to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championship this spring.

Today, the pros will be playing for $4,000 with a $1,700 first prize thanks to sponsors Mohegan Sun, BirdieBox and the Korn Ferry Tour. Amateurs are competing for merchandise credit.

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Round 1 Results

(p) denotes professional; (a) denotes amateur

 1   Aimee Caligiore (p)      Orlando, FL          36-34–70 E

 2   Mia Grzywinski (a)       Farmington, CT       36-35–71 +1

 3   Jordan Lintz (p)         Milford, CT          36-36–72 +2

 T4  Marie Allo (p)           Newington, CT        35-38–73 +3

 T4  Ashley Au (a)            Westerville, OH      37-36–73 +3

 T4  Yun Kiu Tiffany Chan (a) Kent, CT             36-37–73 +3

 T4  Pamela Kuong (a)         Wellesley Hills, MA  35-38–73 +3

 8   Angela Garvin (a)        Feeding Hills, MA    37-37–74 +4

 T9  Hailey Derrickson (a)    Arvada, CO           36-39–75 +5

 T9  Alia Godek (a)           Feeding Hills, MA    36-39–75 +5

 T9  Sarah Houle (a)          Sandy Hook, CT       36-39–75 +5

 T12 Andra Frappier (p)       Cheshire, CT         38-38–76 +6

 T12 Leslie Li (a)            West Hartford, CT    38-38–76 +6

 T12 Linda Wang (a)           Plainview, NY        39-37–76 +6

 T15 Annie Dai (a)            Longmeadow, MA       39-38–77 +7

 T15 Sarah Daley (a)          Beverly, MA          36-41–77 +7

 T15 Jen Holland (a)          Guilford, CT         39-38–77 +7

 18  Yvette OBrien (a)        Greenwich, CT        41-37–78 +8

 T19 Kelley Brooke (p)        Belle Harbor, NY     38-41–79 +9

 T19 Elizabeth Garfield (a)   Fairfield, CT        35-44–79 +9

 T19 Emma McCloskey (a)       Palmer, MA           39-40–79 +9

 T22 Ellie Large (a)          West Hartford, CT    42-38–80 +10

 T22 Lynn Scully (a)          Watertown, CT        40-40–80 +10

 T24 Lisa Day (p)             Coatesville, PA      42-39–81 +11

 T24 Mia Holbrook (a)         Pound Ridge, NY      42-39–81 +11

 T24 Kate Hong (a)            Old Greenwich, CT    42-39–81 +11

 T24 Nancy Walker (a)         South Windsor, CT    38-43–81 +11

 T24 Zoey Yamamoto (a)        Honolulu, HI         39-42–81 +11

 T29 Catarina Petrovic (a)    Farmington, CT       40-42–82 +12

 T29 Alexis St. Laurent (a)   Nashua, NH           43-39–82 +12

 T31 Riley Carey (a)          Glastonbury, CT      39-44–83 +13

 T31 Samantha Dunn (a)        Berlin, CT           40-43–83 +13

 T31 Ava Gross (a)            Woodbridge, CT       41-42–83 +13

 T31 Kayla Schuberth (a)      Wrentham, MA         43-40–83 +13

 T35 Dixi Han (a)             Shrewsbury, MA       41-43–84 +14

 T35 Marissa Kulig Crow (p)   Westfield, MA        42-42–84 +14

 T35 Jo Rasmussen (a)         Westport, CT         43-41–84 +14

 T35 Jenny Walsh (a)          Sutton, MA           42-42–84 +14

 T39 Connie Dai (a)           Longmeadow, MA       44-41–85 +15

 T39 Jaelyn DeBoise (a)       Springfield, MA      43-42–85 +15

 T39 Samantha Leary (a)       Hingham, MA          42-43–85 +15

 T42 Alora Assad (a)          East Longmeadow, MA  40-46–86 +16

 T42 Kelly Hale (a)           Alexandria Bay, NY   41-45–86 +16

 T42 Ariana Petrovic (a)      Farmington, CT       41-45–86 +16

 T42 Taylor Schmidt (p)       Westfield, MA        43-43–86 +16

 T46 Sophia Cunningham (a)    Tolland, CT          40-47–87 +17

 T46 Caroline Petchark (a)    Waterford, CT        42-45–87 +17

 48  Julia Smith (a)          Plainville, CT       45-43–88 +18

 49  Milan Yorke (a)          Ansonia, CT          44-45–89 +19

 T50 Lisa Fern-Boros (a)      Shelton, CT          43-47–90 +20

 T50 Giada Izzo (a)           Wallingford, CT      43-47–90 +20

 T50 Estela Segarra (a)       Hartford, CT         43-47–90 +20

 T53 Bailey McGuigan (a)      Trumbull, CT         47-44–91 +21

 T53 Lauren Ogrodowicz (a)    Stratford, CT        45-46–91 +21

 55  Samhita Kakarlapudi (a)  Wilton, CT           48-44–92 +22

 56  Cora Koproski (a)        Old Lyme, CT         45-48–93 +23

 57  Selam Olson (a)          New Haven, CT        48-50–98 +28

 58  Jasmine Saramano (a)     Guilford, CT         52-47–99 +29