By John Stewart, MSGA
Walking off the 11th green, Kelly Lynch was down but not out.
Four-down to Elyse Smidinger in the final match of the 88th Maryland State Women's Amateur championship at Old South Country Club, Lynch had just lost her fifth hole in a six-hole stretch. Defeat seemed imminent.
"Going to the 12th tee, I didn't think I was going to win," Lynch said after battling back to score a 1-up triumph with a par 5 at the 18th hole. "My brother [Jamie, 17] was caddying for me and he tells me there are seven holes left -- plenty of time."
After losing to eventual champion Caroline Sweet in last year's tournament, Lynch, a James Madison University junior, can now add Women's Amateur to collection of titles that includes a state high school championship and a Maryland State Junior Girls title.
Lynch, from Severna Park and Chartwell CC, promptly won 12 when Smidinger three-putted, and took 13 when her opponent needed two chip shots from rough beside the green. Two-down,
Smidinger, from Crofton and Crofton CC, regained a measure of control when Lynch three-putted the 14th.
Three-down, four holes left.
Lynch then won 15 and 16 with pars, and got a conceded birdie at 17 when Smidinger drove into the left woods, needed three shots to reach the green, and took one putt. Lynch had driven down the middle and put her second shot to eight feet at the par-4 test.
Lynch hit driver, 3-wood, 9-iron to the green at the long, uphill 18th.The iron shot was right on line and landed on the green. Smidinger's third stopped 22 feet behind the cup. When Lynch ran her first putt to the lip and Smidinger's second from three and a half feet (and a half) slid past the hole, it was over.
"I was nervous the whole time. I'm still shaking," Lynch said. "My caddy talked me into it." Coincidentally, the same situation occurred in last year's final. Sweet, with her brother Jordan caddying for her, was 2-down after 13 against Lisa Schlesinger, had not won a hole since the fourth (Lynch had not won a hole since the fifth when she began her run), and was trying to control her emotions. Sweet won then, 1-up.
Kim Takes Amateur
Rockville's Joseph Kim shot rounds of 71-73 for par 144 to win the seventh annual Amateur Public Links championship of the Maryland State Golf Association by two strokes at Northwest Park Golf Course on July 23.
Defending champion Ted Coon, from Silver Spring, used one of three afternoon rounds in the 60s to climb into second place with a 77-69--146.
"I hit it very well in the morning, not so well in the afternoon," said Kim, who has recovered from a wrist injury which forced him to withdraw part way through the sectional qualifying event for the U.S. APL last month. "I was fortunate to get a lot of up-and-downs in the second round."
Posted July 24, 2009