Steady Sedlar grabs first title at New Hampshire Women's Golf Association Amateur Championship
By ROGER BROWN New Hampshire Union Leader
Chelsea Sedlar, seen following a shot during Monday's first round, cruised to victory in the NHWGA Championship. (David Lane/Union Leader)
RYE — Chelsea Sedlar didn’t make many mistakes during the final round of the New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship, and that made her hard to catch.
Sedlar, an 18-year-old Merrimack resident, built a five-stroke lead during the tournament’s first two days and maintained that advantage during a stress-free final round at Abenaqui Country Club. Sedlar’s even-par 72 Wednesday gave her a three-day total of 219 and a five-shot victory over Dana Harrity, who was playing on her home course.
“I played a little bit more conservative knowing I had the five-stroke lead,” Sedlar said. “I didn’t have to make as many birdies as I did (Tuesday). I wanted to be a little bit conservative, save my pars and really make the pars count. That’s really what I went out there and did today.
“Dana’s a great golfer. I knew coming into (Wednesday’s round) that five strokes playing against her is nothing if you’re off your game even a little bit. On the front nine I really focused on myself. I knew if I could get through the front nine at even par or under par I’d have a strong chance at taking the tournament, and that’s what I did.”
One of the few hiccups in Sedlar’s round came on the 18th green, when she three-putted to finish with a double bogey. By then the competition had long been decided, however.
Sedlar’s first 17 holes featured 13 pars, three birdies and one bogey. Harrity, who has won this event 16 times, never had the opportunity to apply any pressure. Sedlar, a Nashua Country Club member, increased her lead to eight shots when she made back-to-back birdies on the par-4 eighth hole, and the par-3 ninth.
Harrity said he felt like she needed to shoot under par Wednesday to have any chance to win the tournament.
“I got it up and down on every hole and made every putt and she didn’t crack at all,” Harrity said. “(When) she made a couple birdies on eight and nine it was over. She played amazing. I thought her composure was fantastic.”
Harrity made birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 16, but she also made bogey on each of the holes in between.
Tracey Marshall, a member at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, finished third (239); Schmidt, who plays out of Candia Woods Golf Links, was fourth (240); and Dale Nims of Lochmere Golf and Country Club in Tilton, was fifth (241).
Sedlar, who attended Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, was playing in the Women’s Am for the third time. After failing to finish near the leaders two years ago, she was the runner-up to Lisanne Schmidt when last year’s tournament was played at Cochecho Country Club.
Sedlar won the Northeast Conference’s individual championship last spring, when she was a freshman on the Sacred Heart University golf team.
“Coming into (this tournament) I was looking to, if not win it, definitely be near the top,” Sedlar said. “Coming out of college playing well and (with) my game improving the way it has, I was really looking forward to it.
“It was definitely a good feeling to make back-to-back birdies against Dana in the middle of the round. When you get through nine and you have that pretty sizable lead it was a good feeling. I didn’t get too tense. I stayed loose, and it was a great finish.”