HARRIS - Carley Saint-Onge endured another difficult start in her second professional golf tournament Friday.
The Marquette golfer shot 85 in the Symetra Tour's Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass in Harris, with only one player (Rebecca Durham) behind her. Last year she opened with 87, then matched par-72 on day two, but missed the cut.
The only amateur in the 142-player field stumbled to a 9-over-par 45 on her first nine, which was on the back side.
She lost a ball in the hazard on No. 14, the easiest hole on the course, then dunked her shot on the No. 15 island green by hitting an "excellent" 7-iron too far and lost her tee shot in a muddy patch on the dogleg- right 16th.
"I had a string of three holes where I kind of blew up," she said. "Two, three shots gave me a ton of strokes."
She kicked herself with a little lecture at the turn.
"Then I turned it on," she said.
However, she also ran afoul of a penalty stroke assessed for slow play after the group took 23 minutes to play No. 2, her 11th hole of the round. The group was put on the clock after that hole, but only Saint-Onge was given a penalty.
"It felt like I was flying out there," the frustrated Saint-Onge said while trying to choke back tears.
Laura Martin of West Chester, Ohio, resident moved into the title picture in Friday's opening round by shooting a 2-under-par 70. She's tied with Aimee Neff of Carmel, Ind., Courtney Massey of Gold Coast, Australia and Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla.
Saint-Onge's group, which included Big Break veterans Kelly Jacques and Nina Rodriguez, was the first to tee off from No. 10, and the following group was not even in sight when the penalty was assessed.
"It was annoying," said her caddy and boy friend, Dan Ellis of Negaunee. They each won their Upper Peninsula Golf Association championships last year and play golf at Michigan State University, although Saint-Onge was a redshirt last year as a freshman.
"It's hard keeping up with a clock," said Saint-Onge, who learned of the penalty after getting a par on the difficult fourth hole. "It was upsetting," she said.
Rodriguez said playing as the lead group is difficult when the clock gets turned on.
"There is no one in front for guidance," she said of the pace.
She offered advice about ways to step up the pace to Saint-Onge and Ellis after the round,
"Carley had a rough first nine. That will do it," she said.
Rodriguez, who shot 77, said "I played well, but I got on the bogey train for six holes."
Jacques shot 76 and said "I struggled today. The greens were wet and slow at the start, then they dried out and got fast. I left a lot (of shots) out there. I was on the good side of bad today."
Saint-Onge, still dealing with the penalty stroke, said "I was disappointed that a few shots cost me a few strokes. These greens are tough. It was hard putting in the wind, and also on the clock."