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Highland alum Jessica Porvasnik swings her way into Marathon LPGA Classic

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Jessica Porvasnik came into this week with all the motivation in the world.

The former Highland and Ohio State standout was in a great position last week to earn one of two qualifying spots for the Marathon LPGA Classic, which opens today at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania.

A casual conversation with four-time LPGA winner Lorie Kane prior to her final round at the DCM PGA Women’s Championship in Toronto seemed to put everything in perspective.

“She told me ‘Jessica, you should be there. There’s nothing holding you back,’” Porvasnik said. “It was kind of cool, because she had talked to me at the beginning of my round and that really inspired me. She told me to go in there and have no doubt and no fear.”

Porvasnik did just that, closing the tournament with a season-low, 8-under-par 64 at the Ladies Golf Club of Toronto to finish second. She then used the momentum to tie for medalist with fellow Ohio native Lizzie Win at the 78-player Marathon LPGA Classic Qualifier on Monday at Sylvania Country Club.

A year after coming up a shot shy of playing in the LPGA event, the four-time Gazette MVP battled back from a pair of bogeys on the back nine to finish with an even-par 72 to qualify.

After coming in with the first group, she wasn’t sure her score was going to be enough.

“You honestly never know,” Porvasnik said. “I thought scores would’ve been lower that day. It was crazy.

“Coming down the stretch I was 1 over, and my caddy told me, ‘Hey, let’s just birdie the last hole,’ and, what do you know, I made a really long putt and here I am.”

The result was another highlight on a growing list of accomplishments for the Hinckley Township native.

From capturing the 2012 Division I state individual championship while competing at Highland to a decorated four-year career with Ohio State and to a pro career with three wins, including two of the last three Ohio Women’s Opens, Porvasnik has had a knack for success.

Today is another step in that journey before she returns to stage one of Q-school at the end of August.

“It’s all been really good,” she said. “Just trying to get the game better and better for Q-school in August. “I’ve definitely grown a lot. In the last few events and how the winter had gone with playing a lot of events in Florida and Louisiana, the game is definitely in a great spot. I’m looking forward to the months ahead.”

Before all that, Porvasnik will test her skills against the top players in the world.

Porvasnik will tee off in one of the final groups but is familiar with Highland Meadows after playing there earlier in her career as well as caddying for younger sister Alicia in a 36-hole event. Porvasnik also got in a long practice round Tuesday and a nine-hole workout early Wednesday.

Porvasnik is looking forward to the afternoon tee time to get her mind right but, more importantly, she’s going to enjoy every second.

“I just want to take it all in,” Porvasnik said. “Somebody put it well (Wednesday) in an interview about just going out there, having fun and doing the best that you can. You’re here. It is what it is and just grind it out. The last few days have been hectic, so I’m excited to ease into it (today).

“For me, it’s huge. I’ve been waiting awhile for this. It’s cool to just play with the girls and see where your game is at. I’m excited.”

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


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