SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP – It was Sandy Doan’s sixth Lima Area Women’s Match Play Tournament championship trophy but she showed she still had the shots, the grit and, yes, the vertical jump of a first-time winner.
Doan won five of the final seven holes after falling three holes behind Jennifer Mitchell 11 holes into the match to claim championship No. 6 on Sunday at the Shawnee Country Club.
After evening the match by winning No. 15 with a bogey, she took the lead by winning No. 17 with a bogey, then wrapped up the match with a two-putt par at No. 18 for a 2-up win.
When the match-ending putt dropped, she jumped into the air and applauded a victory possibly made sweeter because it wasn’t easy.
“It was kind of unreal. I never thought this opportunity was going to come again. I let the last few slip away and I almost did it again today,” said Doan, who has more runner-up finishes (seven) than championships in this tournament.
She said she was “just toughing it out.”
“I didn’t want to miss the opportunity one more time because I didn’t know if there would be any more. I’m going to keep playing but I thought ‘I have to continue to try to pull this out one more time.’
“I just wanted one more. I just fought back,” she said.
“Actually, I didn’t feel like I was hitting the ball bad, I was getting bad breaks. I kept thinking, ‘She’s got to make a mistake eventually.’ That’s part of what you do in match play. You have to be patient and just wait and it’s not over until it’s over,” she said.
Mitchell, a senior at the University of Urbana, said, “I didn’t know how much I was up. He (her dad who was her caddie) would not let me see the scorecard, which was probably good. I was just thinking play my own game and what happens happens and that’s what I did.
“It was a great experience. I loved playing with everybody. “She (Doan) is competitive, she’s a challenge. I think it made me better as a golfer to be able to play someone as good as her.”
Three other championships were decided on Sunday.
Deb Hemmert won the first flight 1-up over Jessica Whittaker. Kasey Carrico, in her first year in the tournament, won the second flight 3-up over Danielle Good. The senior championship went to Tamara Pope, who came back from four holes down early in her match, to win 3-and-2 over Carol Jackson.