HARRIS - Victoria Elizabeth and Nicole Jeray are at opposite ends of the age bracket on the Symetra Tour, but Sunday they were together with Victoria Park by sharing second place at Sweetgrass Golf Club.
They finished three strokes behind Leah Wigger, who won the second Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass with a 209 total.
"I'm tickled pink," said Jeray, at 41 the oldest player on the Road to the LPGA circuit.
Hanna Kang of Seoul, South Korea holds the 7-iron she used Saturday to get a hole-in-one on the 12th hole at Sweetgrass Golf Club. She also earned $500 with her fourth career ace, and first tourney ace. (Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)
"I just try to play the best I can every week. I did the best I could (here) with what was in my control. Pretty soon everything will fall into place," she said.
With $15,713 in earnings this year, she doesn't really think about being a mother figure to the young pros. "I love playing. I feel I can still do well," she said, noting her young rivals "treat me with respect."
A one-time LPGA player, Jeray enjoyed Sweetgrass. "The golf course is awesome, the people are great. It is fun (the course) to play because you have to think. It is such a nicely run tournament. It is really a spoiler event."
Elizabeth, at 19 one of the tour's youngest members, visited Sweetgrass on a promotional trip in May. "I left a lot of shots out there but I still scored pretty well," she said after signing a batch of autographs.
She reached 5-under par with a birdie on the island green, then bogied the next two holes before getting a birdie on 18. She was pumped after the No. 15 birdie because "the next three holes are birdie holes."
That made the bogies all the more disappointing. "It is extremely, extremely frustrating," she said. "They were a big mistake. I have to make these as learning experiences."
It is the second runner-up finish this season for Elizabeth. "One of these times I'm going go and do it all the way," she said. "It is nice to put yourself in contention."
Park, one of four Koreans on the course Sunday, barged into the runner-up spot with birdies on the last four holes. "I really wanted to shoot 4-under," she said with a smile.
That followed a slow start. "I was so frustrated the first few holes," she said. "I had so many birdie chances that were very close. They lipped out a few times."
Hanna Kang, who joined Aimee Neff and Natalie Sheary in a fifth place tie at 213, had the shot of the tournament with a hole-in-one on the 170-yard No. 12 Saturday to earn an extra $500.
She hit a 7-iron into the rear bank of the biaritz green and the ball rolled down into the hole, which was located in the swale between the two elevated sections.
"Anybody didn't see it," Kang said of her playing partners and fans at the tee. "We got there and only see two balls."
It was her fourth career ace, but first in a tournament. "It is a totally different feeling in a tournament," she said.
Her caddy was Austin Guiliani of Loretto, who will be a Norway High School freshman in fall. "It is exciting to know that you are part of something like that," he said.
After shooting 70 Sunday with birdies on the final two holes, Kang said "it gives me more confidence. I keep progressing."
Birdie Kim of Seoul, South Korea finished in a seven-way tie for 19th place at 217. She won the U.S. Open in 2005 and is trying to find the game to put her back on the LPGA Tour.
"Golf is like life," she said of battling to get back by playing the minor league tour. She has a simple approach. "Just go for it," she said. "I try my best and not think about bad things. The goal is always to win.
"It is just timing. Some times you feel good, some times you don't feel very good. Maybe one day it can come together for me."
Sara Brown, who won the My Marsh Classic last month, tied for 11th after shooting 72 Sunday. She was one of four who shot 66 over the last two days to set a course record, joining Wigger and Park Saturday while Jessi Gebhardt hit 66 in the opening twosome Sunday.
"The first round killed me," said Brown, who competed in Switzerland the previous week in a European Tour event. "I couldn't buy a putt," she said, noting days of 39, 29 and 31 putts.
Sunday she birdied No. 10 to draw even for the round, then parred the rest of the way. "I need to start with a better round," she said.
After the miserable start she found incentive Saturday. "I wanted to make the cut so we could wear our cute outfits," she said of her July 4 red, white and blue skirt with a flag. Her caddy/boy friend/instructor Derek Radley also had a flag on his patriotic colored shorts. "I knew I could do it."
Carley Saint-Onge of Marquette, the only amateur in the 142-player field, failed to make the cut for the second time at Sweetgrass. She shot 85-79, with only two players finishing below her.
It was particularly disappointing and frustrating because she played numerous rounds at Sweetgrass, and Island Resort and Casino officials provided a variety of benefits.
"I had all the time to figure out the course and to let it get in my head is frustrating," she said. "The whole tournament the pace of play was out of whack. Some shots I rushed, some were too slow. I tried to find a happy medium."
Her group was placed on the clock for slow play both days, including three warnings Saturday, and she received a one-stroke penalty Friday. Both times her group led the shift, which throws off pace because no one is in front.
She had a couple of bad stretches each day, and had trouble putting.
After sitting through a red-shirt year as a Michigan State University freshman, she has a busy schedule the rest of summer to get ready for next season with the Spartans.
"I have to focus on my game," she said, indicating plans to play in the U.S. Women's Amateur qualifier at Country Club of Detroit July 10 and then will be in the Michigan Women's Open at MSU's Forest Akers Golf Course.