Putter abandons Mussani at Barrie Women’s Golf Tour stop

BARRIE – Normally, Burlington’s Salimah Mussani would be happy taking a share of the lead into the final round of a golf tournament.

But the two-under par 70 that Mussani carded on Monday’s opening round of the CN Canadian Women’s Tour event Settler’s Ghost Golf Club in Barrie reflected a collapse more than a charge.

Mussani started her day with seven birdies, including five straight through holes four to eight. But then her putter decided the day was long enough and gave up, leaving Mussani with five bogies, including three on the back tie.

“My putting has been plaguing me for the last little while,” said a dejected Mussani, who shared the lead with Corina Kelepouris of Drayton Valley, Alta., and Michelle Simpson of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. “It was a bit frustrating considering the way I was hitting the ball but I’ve got to stick to my game plan of hitting fairways and greens.”

Unfortunate circumstance kept Kelepouris from taking the outright lead as she was assessed a one-stroke penalty on the fifth hole when her caddie accidentally backed into and moved her ball which was at rest on the fairway. The former CN Canadian Women’s Tour winner regrouped with five birdies on the day.

The record field of 90 players went into the final round battling hot and breezy conditions again.

Burlington’s Carrie Vaughan was in a four-way tie for 20th but just four strokes off the lead. Nineteen golfers are within three shots of the leaders heading into the final round. Scores of other Hamilton and area golfers included Jessica Shepley of Oakville and Liz Earley of St. Catharines, tied at 24th after rounds of 75; Georgetown amateur Mary Ann Lapointe had a 78; and amateur Jennifer Lochhead of Burlington had an 82.