It was a match with several turning points and even one turning around point.
Caitriona Griffin and Jill Schmitmeyer competed for 21 holes before Griffin, a UNOH golfer from Castlemaine, Ireland, defeated Schmitmeyer, a University of Findlay golfer from St. Marys, on the third playoff hole to win the championship flight of the Lima Area Women’s Match Play tournament Sunday at the Shawnee Country Club.
Griffin ended the match by winning the third playoff hole with a par while Schmitmeyer was taking a bogey.
But one hole earlier, Schmitmeyer had kept the match going with a putt that rolled about two feet past the cup but turned around and began to roll slowly backward on a downhill slope until it dropped into the cup.
At that point the spectators might not have been the only ones thinking the match might still be going at sunset.
“I said that to my coach, ‘How many holes are we going to end up playing?’ ” Griffin said. “It was a bit like mini golf the way it came back.”
One more hole was all it took for Griffin to become the third UNOH golfer to win this tournament in the last five years. She and Schmitmeyer, the medalist in the qualifying rounds, entered the tournament for the first time this year.
The first-time champion led by two holes after six holes before Schmitmeyer won four of five holes from No. 7 to No. 11 to build a two-hole advantage of her own.
Maybe one of the first turning points came when Griffin birdied No. 12 to keep Schmitmeyer from extending her lead with a birdie of her own there.
“She was two up going down that hole and I just thought I needed to put a good chip in there because I couldn’t let her get to three up,” Griffin said. “It was definitely good to get that.”
Griffin won No. 13 with a par and Schmitmeyer’s lead held up until No. 17, where Griffin won with a par to even the match.
“That was a really important hole. It was a tough two putt where I had landed. So I was pretty nervous to try to two putt but it was important that I did that just to keep the match going because I knew that I would have been a lot more nervous going down No. 18 one down and having to try to win that hole,” she said.
Schmitmeyer then made a five-footer at No. 18 to send the match to a playoff.
Seven other flight championships were determined on Sunday.
In the first flight, Debora Hemmert defeated Connie Shutt. Dawn Crow was the second flight winner over Kasey Carrico and Brenda Kattman won the third flight over Ashley Meas.
Charlotte Schaub won the fourth flight over Deb Osburn. Melissa Smiley took home the fifth flight championship over Kelly Marsh. Carrie Miller won the sixth flight over Katie Durgbacher and Tamara Pope was the senior champion over Becky Komminsk.