SYLVANIA, Ohio — Gone is the Jamie Farr name atop the marquee.
Even though it’s now the Marathon Classic for the first time in its 28 years — and the actor who played the cross-dressing Corporal Klinger from M(asterisk)A(asterisk)S(asterisk)H has stepped into the background — a major drawing card for some of the LPGA’s finest players remains unchanged.
“When I first came here to Highland Meadows, I thought this was a tough golf course,” Inbee Park said. “But it seemed like everybody was scoring so low out here that I couldn’t keep up with them.”
When the No. 1 player in the world — and winner of the first three women’s major professional championships this year — thinks she’s being lapped by so many birdie-happy adversaries, that’s saying something.
The course in suburban Toledo, not far from the Michigan-Ohio state line, has been the site of some of the best rounds in LPGA Tour history.
A 20-year-old rookie named Se Ri Pak put up a 61 in 1998 while winning her first of a record five titles at the course. Paula Creamer had a 60 in the first round five years ago to cruise to a victory. And rookie So Yeon Ryu shot a final-round 62 to come off the pace to win last year.
Over the last six years, the winners are a combined 103-under par.
“It’s a golf course that once you feel comfortable, you do play very well out here,” said Creamer, who followed up her career-low 11-under 60 with a ho-hum 65 and then coasted to a two-shot victory.
The galleries have become used to players going low. Maybe too used to it.
Locked in a four-way, all-South Korean tie for first heading into the final round a year ago, Ryu pulled away with a string of birdies.