Step into the unknown yields winning strokes
By DAVE THEALL
Published July 21, 2007
Playing a match on a course you've never seen before can be a handicap.
That is, if you let it.
But that's not the way Lisa Hartley, the women's club champion at Clearwater Country Club, approached Monday's West Coast Women's tournament at the Bayou Club.
Hartley posted three birdies on the front nine for par 36 then 41 on the back for 5-over 77 and the win over Cathy Moss of the Vinoy, who shot 83.
"The key for me was to hit it straight off the tee then hit a lot of greens in regulation," Hartley said. "What hurt me was too many three-putt greens. I kept going long with my first putt and missed a lot of them coming back."
Overall, Hartley said she liked the course though she found it more difficult with more water than her home course. Still, she never found the water, which enabled her to score well.
"I never used my driver off the tee which helped my accuracy," Hartley said. "Working with my teaching pro, Ned Hall, at Clearwater, I stay with a 3-metal wood and that helps. Also, he's been helping me with my short game."
Hartley should have an advantage at the next Women's Association match Thursday at Clearwater Country Club.
Sarasota's Kathy Lawrence won Flight A with 83, one stroke ahead of Leslie Roberts of the Bayou Club.
Susan Diner of the Bayou Club won Flight B with 87 followed by Clearwater's Nan Habjan with 89. Mary Stiegler of Belleair captured second in Flight C with 93 and Else Nassif of Pasadena was runnerup in Flight D at 97. In net scoring, Kim Hollister of Innisbrook prevailed shooting 74.
STATE WOMEN'S AMATEUR: At Lake Jovita in Dade City, Sharla Cloutier of Niceville and Page Halpin of Osprey tied for first, shooting 4-under 212. Heather Hagerman of New Port Richey was the first area finisher at sixth, shooting 76-74-74-224. In net scoring, Palm Harbor's Mary Lou Edwards finished ninth (78-71-74-223).
CGA: At Countryside on Monday, John Andrick teamed with Eddie Grant for first in a better-ball match, shooting 2-under 70. In the Senior Division, Charlie Hilleboe and Roy Cox went low, crafting 67.
JUNIOR GIRLS: A.J. Newell, who plays for Northside Christian, tied for 10th in the 13-15 age division of the State Championship at Orange County National's Crooked Cat course, shooting 77-78-155. Dunedin's Justine Knox tied with Ryan Ashburn (Indian Rocks Christian) for 14th at 159.
Among girls 10-12, Anna Newell tied for eighth, shooting 82 on the Panther Lake course.
BOYS: Ryan Hicks of Clearwater won the 8-9-year-old division of Saturday's North Suncoast Junior rain-shortened match in Dunnellon with 24 for six holes. It was his fifth consecutive win. In the 10-12 age bracket, his uncle, David Hicks, and brother Robby shot 19 and 23 for first and third places, respectively.
FIRST TEE ST. PETERSBURG: Elliott Burke (St. Pete Catholic) and Michael Holmes (Shorecrest) will attend a qualifying event in Kansas City starting this weekend for the Wal-Mart First Tee Open, set for Pebble Beach in California next month. Burke also will represent the First Tee program at the First Tee National Academy in Nashville on July 30 where he will continue to build on the principles of the program. He has spent more than 500 hours as a volunteer youth mentor with the local program.
Also, the St. Petersburg program has been awarded a $55,000 grant from the USGA to assist with PGA instruction, course and range access plus outreach programs.
U.S. JUNIOR AMATEUR: Zach Sobel of Clearwater Beach travels to Augusta, Mo., this weekend to play in the 60th annual championship. The starting field of 156 will be trimmed to the low 64 after Monday and Tuesday's stroke-play matches.
PRO TOURS: Pinellas pros fared well overall at last weekend's tournaments.
Clearwater's Greg Kraft finished strong with 5-under 66 to tie for 18th at the John Deere Classic in Illinois. The county's other entries, John Huston and Bob Heintz, also made the cut to finish in the money with 72-hole scores of 7-under 277.
At the LPGA's Jamie Farr Classic, Brittany Lincicome finished with 3-under 68 (no bogeys), tying for 18th. Jenny Gleason of Clearwater missed the cut.
On the Nationwide Tour, Kyle McCarthy of South Pasadena missed the cut at the Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.
HOLES-IN-ONE: At the Tides Golf Club, Maria Rosado, 23, of North Redington Beach, celebrated Independence Day with an ace on the 128-yard No. 5 hole using a 9 iron.
Previously, club member Vito Golaszewski scored a rare double eagle on the par-5 No. 14 by canning his 210-yard approach shot from 210 yards with a 5 wood. And last month Chris Mecko of Seminole aced the 190-yard 15th with a 3 iron.
COMING UP: The Ryan Wells Memorial Junior Classic is set for Innisbrook's Highlands courses Aug. 18 and 19. There is a girls division and one each for high school boys and middle school boys. Call Doug Laseter at 942-5557.
The Innisbrook Senior Men's Amateur (50-plus) is set for Sept. 1-3. For more details, call 942-5557.