Reilley Rankin has been on the LPGA Tour long enough to get adjusted to the idea of being in a new city almost every week, usually far from her family on Hilton Head Island.
But Rankin has brought the family to her for the U.S. Women's Open, which begins today at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
With the help of her sponsors, Rankin was able to give her parents a pair of plane tickets to Colorado as a Father's Day gift. With her sister, Caroline Rankin, also hanging around The Broadmoor as an LPGA equipment representative, Rankin thinks having the family near to her will help ease the nerves of playing in the U.S. Women's Open for the first time since 2008.
She said her family helped her get through the experience of coming back from a near-fatal diving accident in 1999, and she hopes to get a similar boost this week.
Never miss a local story.
"The biggest thing I learned (from the accident) was how powerful love and support from your friends and family is," Rankin said last month. "They were just as determined as I was, and they were there and patient."
LEHMAN 2ND AT JUNIOR PGA
J.D. Lehman of Okatie shot rounds of 73 and 70 to finish at 1 under par and tie for second last week at the Carolina Junior PGA Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Course in Myrtle Beach.
Lehman finished four shots behind champion Carson Young of Pendleton and one shot ahead of Hilton Head Island's Kyle Eichelsbacher, who shot rounds of 73 and 71 to finish fourth.
Other local players in the boys division were Bluffton's Wesley Long (T-16th, 72-78--150), Bryson Nimmer (T-33rd, 79-75--154) and Zachary Boe (T-44th, 79-78--157) and Hardeeville's Jonathan Phillips (T-44th, 79-78--157).
Hilton Head Island's Lily Bartell led the local contingent in the girls division, carding a pair of 80s to tie for fifth. Bluffton's Kylie Nizolek was 17th with rounds of 81 and 87.
NIMMER, HAMMONDS COME CLOSE AT UPSTATE TOURNEY
Bluffton's Bryson Nimmer and Brandi Hammonds each placed third in their divisions last week at the Upstate Junior Classic at Smithfields Country Club in Easley.
Nimmer carded rounds of 77 and 75 to finish five shots behind champion Keenan Huskey in the boys 13-14 age group.
Hammonds rebounded from an opening 85 to shoot 76 in the final round and finish 13 shots behind champion Cayla Smith in the girls 14-18 division.