By Jennifer Myers
TERRE HAUTE — I played in the Terre Haute Golf Association Women’s City Match Play Tournament a couple of weeks ago. It had been a couple of years since I had played in it, and I had missed three or four before that due to conflicts of schedule, so I didn’t feel like I was quite in “tournament shape,” especially mentally. You have to really want to play four days in a row, especially with those dew-sweeping early morning tee times! The lure of playing with some tough competition won out over my intense dislike for playing while still asleep, so I signed up. Besides, if Eileen Mann could get out of the house that early with a 2-year-old boy at home, it was a piece of cake for me.
The venue for the tournament was at Hulman Links, which often scares many of the women away. This year however, many of the tees on the par 4s and 5s were moved forward, making the course less daunting for some, and very playable for others. The move seemed to work. There were 37 ladies playing in the tournament this year, up from 33 last year when the event was held at Rea Park.
If you’re familiar with Hulman Links, you can visualize some of these tee placements on the par 4s and 5s: The green tees were on the forward part of the tee box for holes 1, 2, 3, 9, 12, 15, and 18. Black tees were placed in the first cut of the fairway for holes #5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, and 17. This made the course much shorter, which made it less tiring and easier for most. The forward tee that affected my play the most was on number 7, because the lake came into play for me, so I decided I should visit it in my match against Rachael Pruett. I almost saved par though, and should have, with a very makeable 5-foot putt.
I was probably helped the most by the forward tees on the long par 4s. Both Cara Stuckey and Rachael hit a long enough ball that they would have had no trouble reaching them with the tees in their regular position, while I might have been hitting a wood or long-iron into those greens. With the forward tees, I was usually left with a mid or short iron (if I hit a decent tee shot). Granted, they were hitting wedges into those greens, but I was at least in the ball park.
The days of match play were fun, and I think they can be very good for your game. My first day of match play I played Stephanie Meyer, and I felt nervous that day. I missed a lot of shots that I would normally have no trouble with, just due to nerves. I finally prevailed 2 & 1 (which means I was two up with one hole to go) after hitting a great shot into the 17th green. My son Phillip was my caddie, and by that point he knew what club I needed to hit, so he just handed me a club and said, “Don’t look at it, just hit it.” That took all of the doubt, and overthinking out of my mind, and all I had to do was hit the shot. It worked great!
The next day I played against Pruett, who is a long hitter and a very good player. She was very enjoyable to play with, even though I lost. I didn’t play badly though, so I couldn’t feel too bad. I was 1-under par at the turn, and down by two holes, because Rachael was 3-under at that point. She had had four birdies and one bogey on the front 9. I had had three birdies and two bogeys.
Rachael and Cara played an outstanding match on Monday in the finals. Rachael ended up winning on the 18th hole, when Cara had her first 3-putt of the tournament. She had a downhill and sidehill putt to win after Rachael had left her birdie putt on the lip. She just missed, but the putt slid by 3 or 4 feet, leaving her a longer putt than she would have liked for the comeback. When that putt circled the lip and stayed out, Rachael was the winner. Both ladies played a great match.
All in all it was a fun time, and I do owe a lot to Phillip for being so wonderful to me, and being a great caddy. I did already buy him dinner and a cherry pie. He thinks he deserves more pies though, so that might be an ongoing thing!
• Quote of the Day: “Match play is so much more fun than stroke play.” — Sergio Garcia
Vigo County Golf Leagues
Rea Park Wednesday Evening — Standings: Mann-Bocard 29, Clements-Harden 23, Cannon-Snow 23, Swalls-Hiatt 23, Durand-Atterson 22, McCord-Price 21, Meyer-Petty 19, Honselman-Luttrell-19, Padgett-Pair 19, Hamilton-M.Johnson 18, Hyde-Rusk 18, Lanke-T.Johnson 18, Horrall-Ugo 16, Mozley-Bedwell 12. Low gross: Toni Johnson, Shirley Padgett 42. Low net: Cheryl Bedwell 33. Birdies: Eileen Mann (1), Candy McCord (2). Chip-in: Carolyn Hyde.
Ft. Harrison Ladies 9-hole — Low gross: Mary Shake, Low net: Annita Cheek. Low putts: Lucy James. Play of day: Darby Gugliemetti, Mary Ann Tackett. Birdie: Mary Shake.
Paitson’s Eastend Ladies — Standings: Natalie’s Consignment Furniture 556, Turner Coach 533, Coaches Corner 526, Sandy’s Touch of Magic 521, Krock Racing 521, Otis Elevator 512, Advanced Chiropractic 457, Baesler’s Market 452. Low gross: Marge Kintz 41. Low net: Lou Ann Johnson 28. Play of day: Kintz.
Mark’s Par Three Men’s Senior — Standings (second half): Watts Farms 313, Vigo Bowl 286, Dew Drop Inn 275, Tabco 256, C&E; Environmental 253, Mattingly Collision 253, Old National Trust 248, Sycamore Chevrolet 224. Low gross: Kenny Walsh 36. Low net: Walsh 27. Closest to pin: Bill Brock (12). Longest drive: Al Newman (18). Longest putt: Dennis Hays (17).
TH Savings Bank Senior Men — National Division standings: Fore Seasons Golf Complex 200, Pizza Hut 198, Page’s Market 182, Complete Kitchen and Bath 175, Paitson Bros. 168, Lough Bros. 168, TH Savings Bank 156, SMC 143. Low gross: Ernie Smith 37. Low net: Dave Laycock 31. American Division standings: Poplar Flower Shop 209, Spring Clean Car Wash 197, Tabco 184, Gurman Container 184, Salt of the Earth 170, VFW No. 972 145, Baesler’s Market 127. Low gross: David Bays and Chuck Cardinal 39. Low net: Elmer Mason 31.
Idle Creek Home Builders Tuesday Evening — Low gross: Lenny Isles 41. Low net: Jack Simpson 32. Closest to pin: Simpson (3). Closest to pin: Roy Longstreth (9).
Idle Creek Ladies Tuesday Morning Scramble — First place team (40): Peggy Burlison, Kathy Brannen, Mary Brannen. Second place team (41/tie): Katy Drummy, Candy Lovvron, Barb Alcock and Lora Snyder, Tracy Woolery, Michelle no last name. Longest putt: Snyder (4). Closest to pin: M.Brannen (3), Burlison (9).
Idle Creek Terminal Sports and Spirits Wednesday Evening — Low net: Mitch Love 34. Closest to pin: Cliff Carrithers (12), Love (16).