By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Amy Thompson has accomplished something no other woman has ever done in the history of the Elkhart County Women’s Golf Tournament.
The senior-to-be at the University of Indianapolis carded a 74 Tuesday at Maplecrest Country Club to go with an opening round 70 on Monday at Timber Ridge Golf Club near Millersburg to win her fourth consecutive championship.
Pam Scheidel won three in a row (1982-84).
“It’s feels pretty good,” Thompson said. “I like to play in this event and I like the people I got to play with.”
Thompson, a NorthWood High School graduate, played on Tuesday with Elkhart Memorial High School and current Colorado State University golfer Haley King.
“I haven’t played with Haley since high school,” Thompson said.
Thompson is one win short of matching the five total tiles by Elaine Marohn who won in 1991, 1996, 1999, 2001 and 2002.
“My game was pretty solid today,” Thompson said. “My putting was good. I tried not to over-read putts and to stay on the inside of the cup. My approach shots were below the cup, because a lot of the greens here slope from back to front.
“I missed a couple of putts and there were one or two chips I didn’t hit right.”
The tourney is played from the women’s tees — something Thompson is not accustomed to.
“I played a practice round here and one at Timber Ridge from the women’s tees,” she said. “That helped me know what clubs to hit into the greens.
“The courses we play in college are 5,800 to 6,200 yards.”
Other low gross flight winners were Ellen Blythe second, Ann Porter third and Kay Miller fourth. Low gross winners were Heather Gladfelter in championship, Pat Rezutko in second, Deb Minter in third and Lisa Lehr in fourth.
King (73-76—149) was the runner-up to Thompson in the championship flight.
King was long off the tee on Tuesday.
“I work out a lot,” she said. “I train for triathlons and that has helped me get more distance off the tee. But it doesn’t matter how far you hit it if you can’t finish on the greens. It is all about technique. You can have the fastest swing in the world, but it will not help you if you don’t hit the ball on the sweet spot. Amy was hitting everything within 12 feet. She was putting lights out. My score could have been lower had I been able to hit some putts.
“I enjoyed playing with Amy. We have always been friendly.”
King enjoyed playing in the tourney.
“It was fun to catch up with people,” King said. “Playing out in Colorado sometimes makes me feel alone. It was fun to be around people that I know. The ladies in the tournament were fun to play with. They have a lot of enthusiasm for the sport.”
Goshen High School graduate and current Drury University golfer Heather Gladfelter finished fourth in the championship flight (78-79—147).
“I have been struggling with my irons,” she said. “My short game needs some work. If you are not hitting greens then your chipping and putting have to be good.”
Nearly an inch of rain fell on the course overnight before the beginning of Tuesday’s round.
“The course was kind of soggy,” Gladfelter said. “But we were able to play lift, clean and place. That was nice. The rain made the greens putt slower than normal.”
Thompson said, “The course was in nice shape. There was some casual water. The greens and fairways were softer than normal. There were holes where you didn’t get much role on your drive. The softer greens helped more than the softer fairways did.”
This was the first year for Gladfelter to play in the event.
“It was enjoyable,” she said. “It was my first time in a long time to play from the women’s tees. The tourney reminded me that I don’t play for scores but for the love of the game. Our group was series about the tourney, but we still had fun.”
Amy Thompson 70-74—144
Haley King 73-76—149
Brenna Sherwood 74-79—153
Heather Gladfelter 78-79—157
Brittany Gingerich 81-90—171
Jess Dooley 70-NC
Ellen Blythe 87-89—176
Dodo McLemore 89-90—179
Ann Porter 86-98—184
Deb Minter 89-98—187
Kay Miller 101-111—212
Sandy Coy 105-110—215