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Highland alumna Jessica Porvasnik wins pro event in Toronto

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Jessica Porvasnik has a habit of not keeping tabs on her opponents.

Playing in her first career international event Thursday in Toronto, however, one was staring her right in the face.

When the former Highland High and Ohio State standout headed into the clubhouse after a rain delay hit the DCM PGA Women’s Championship, she peaked to see the situation she was in.

“They had a scoreboard and I saw that I was one (stroke) back, so I did see that, but other than that, I had no idea,” said Porvasnik, who had three holes remaining when rain hit. “I knew I was still in it, but I would rather not know. It’s better just playing.”

That knowledge didn’t affect her, as she retook the lead and held on for a one-stroke win, her first outside of the United States. Porvasnik finished with a 4-under-par 140 for the two-day event, holding off Sandra Angulo and Aram Choi by a single shot.

“Seeing that I can pull off a win like this was definitely cool,” she said. “Coming down the stretch, I knew things were close, and it played tougher than I thought it would play.

“I was just steady, had a lot of pars, and in golf that’s always good.”

That trademark consistency has served her well in her short time as a professional and proved to be key with the challenging layout of the Ladies Golf Club of Toronto.

After a strong start in which Porvasnik recorded six birdies en route to an opening-round 68, she realized she needed more than breaking even on every hole.

“Lately it’s more been that I can shoot around par, but around par at this level, you’re not going to win,” Porvasnik said. “You definitely have to go low. It’s definitely eye-opening.

“There were a ton of par 5s and a ton of par 4s, so I knew the course was getable and that you could definitely go low. The birdies will come and you never want to force things.”

For the four-time Gazette MVP, it came down to putting.

Her short game, which she says hasn’t always been the strongest part of her skill set, proved to be one thing that helped her claim the win.

“The girl in the scoring tent was like ‘Wow, you really putt well,’ and that’s always something that helps you win,” she said. “It’s definitely gotten better. In my college career, we really focused on my self-talk when it comes to putting because I always like ‘Oh, I’m not a good putter,’ but that’s been an improvement.”

Improvement has been the name of the game for Porvasnik this summer, as she’s looking to pick up as much experience as possible before heading back to PGA Tour Qualifying School in California.

Porvasnik, who recently won her second straight Ohio Women’s Open, will be back on the links today in Sylvania as she attempts to qualify for the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows. She also plans on playing in the Tennessee Women’s Open before Q-School starts in August.

“It definitely feels like it’s headed in the right direction,” Porvasnik said. “This win really boosts my confidence.”

No matter what happens today in her qualifying round, Porvasnik has been enjoying every step of the journey in the hopes of joining LPGA Tour on a full-time basis.

Until then, she will continue to fine-tune her game and play the sport she loves.

“I definitely have a few swing changes to make in the offseason, but nothing I can make now,” Porvasnik said. “Now, it’s about building the confidence and strategy heading into Q-school.

“I’m loving it. I’m meeting tons of people, and the journey has been great so far. I’m looking forward to the future.”

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


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