Women's city golf

First-round leader Allison Curtis talks about her 1-under 71.

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Leader board
At Chestnut Hills
Yards: 6,057 Par: 72
First round
Score Par
Allison Curtis 71 -1
Sarah Dusman 72 E
Karley Dobis 73 +1
Michelle Smith 73 +1
Taylor Lamphier 75 +3
Anna Feldman 75 +3
Ashton Taft 76 +4
Sarah Banister 77 +5
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette
Ashton Taft shot a 4-over 76 in the first round of the Women’s City Golf Tournament at Chestnut Hills and is in seventh place.

Leaders find answers as City tees off

Curtis holds 1-shot advantage on Dusman after opening round

Allison Curtis came looking to add length to a game that was already as straight as a Nebraska highway.

Sarah Dusman came in search of a swing she could live with.

Both found what they were looking for Saturday.

On a gray day that threatened rain but never really followed up, Curtis, the runnerup in last year’s Fort Wayne Women’s City Golf Tournament, took five birdies from Chestnut Hills and shot a 1-under 71 in the first round of this year’s tournament.

That was good for a one-stroke lead over Dusman, who shot even-par 72 with her still-under-construction swing.

“Actually, I played really well,” said Curtis, who plays collegiately for IPFW and whose only stumbles in a solid round were a pair of double bogies. “Right now I’m hitting the ball fairly straight and I have a fairly good swing right now.

“(Hitting it straight) is one of my biggest strengths, but today the distance came out too so I was really happy. My big thing this summer I’m gonna get longer. I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care how long it’s gonna be, I’m gonna get longer.

“Today was a very big step toward that. I got a lot accomplished so far.”

The same goes for Dusman, who’s a month into a revamp that pretty much has turned her swing inside-out.

“There’s definitely some flaws with it, but it’s working,” said Dusman, who played high school golf at Canterbury and now plays for Indiana University.

“And so I’ve been kind of changing the rotation of the top of my swing to go more clockwise rather than counterclockwise.

“It’s a big change. The first week was definitely hard. It was definitely a goofy feeling. I like to explain it as when you’re rubbing your belly and patting your head, and then you switch it and rub your head and pat your belly. It’s kind of like that.”

Curtis and Dusman sit a stroke ahead of Michelle Smith and defending champion Karley Dobis, both of whom checked in with 1-over 73s.

Two strokes back of Dobis and Smith are Taylor Lamphier and Anna Feldman, tied for fifth.

Feldman is one of four golfers from the Lifetime Sports Academy who are being sponsored in the tournament by the Fort Wayne Women’s Golf Association.

The others are Lydia Baldwin, Kylee Calloway and Haley Parker.

Dobis, meanwhile, was working on an even par round before her ball hooked into the water on the 506-yard, par-5 18th hole.

Just like that, a potential birdie became a bogey.

“I was a bit disappointed,” Dobis said. “In my mind, that was a birdie opportunity.

“But I was really proud I was able to keep it together after I went in the water. To stay away from the doubles and triples and that kind of stuff … 73’s a good start. You can’t really win it on the first day."