LIMA – Match play golf is all about pars and momentum; it also doesn’t hurt if you can take advantage of your opponents’ miscues.
Rebekah Rader did all of the above and the result was a 5 & 3 win over Sandy Doan in the Championship Flight of the Lima Area Women’s Match Play Tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Rader got off to a good start when she made a long birdie putt on the first hole to grab a quick 1-up lead and Doan had trouble with her chipping game that would continue throughout the match.
“I got in the rough off the first tee and tried to lift it and instead chunked it,” Doan said. “That gets in your head and rattles you a bit.”
Rader took the second hole with a par four while Doan was making double bogey after hitting into the trap fronting the second green at Shawnee Country Club. Doan also faced trap problems as she found her way into the bunker on four different holes.
“We don’t see many traps at most of the courses we play.” Doan said. “Getting into those sand traps just made matters worse.”
The two halved the third hole with pars before Doan won the fourth hole with a par to get back to with-in 1-down.
Rader, playing in her first city tournament, proceeded to win the next three holes with pars to grab control as she suddenly found herself with a 4-up lead.
The two halved the eighth hole before Rader won the ninth hole to take a 5-up lead going to the back nine.
Doan would go on to win the 12th and 13th holes to get back to with-in 3-down but Rader righted the ship by winning the 14th hole with a par and then closing out the match with another par at the 15th hole.
“I knew the greens were fast so I tried to land short and stay out of trouble.” Rader said. “My course management was a key today.”
It was the first-ever match play tournament for the University of Northwestern Ohio junior and Rader found the format to her liking.
“Match play made me nervous at first,” Rader, a Shawnee graduate, said. “But I quickly figured out that one bad hole doesn’t really matter.”
Doan estimated she has played in 30 city tournaments and was playing in her 12th finals and finished with her seventh runner-up finish to go along with five city titles.
“I want to quit when I play like this but then I remember Phyllis Hill (11 time city champion) playing and winning against younger players.” Doan said. “I hope to continue to participate and be a good sport win or lose.”
City champions were crowned in three additional flights.
Carol Jackson defeated Jessie Whittaker 1-up in 19 holes to grab first flight honors. Tamara Pope won 3 & 1 over Jennifer Mefferd to take the second flight title. Dar Hollar grabbed the senior flight win with a 1-up in 19 holes victory over Teresa Adams.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.