Women's Am: No generation gap here
Lauren Thibodeau putts on the 13th hole Monday during the New Hampshire Women's Golf Association state championship. (Harry Kozlowski)
Veteran Dana Harrity, the 15-time NHWGA Am champion out of Abenaqui Country Club in Rye, and teenager Lauren Thibodeau, the reigning four-time NHWGA Junior Amateur champ playing on her home course, both shot a 1-over-par 73 Monday on Day 1 of the three-round tournament at Windham Country Club.
Christina Ricci of Atkinson Country Club enters Round 2 Tuesday morning third at 3-over 75. Beth Hamilton and Mindy Inglis-Reid, both playing out of Pembroke Pines Country Club in Pembroke, and Joan Cyr of Rochester Country Club are tied for fourth at 6-over 78.
“I used a 9-iron,” Harrity said of her approach. “It hit the green. I never saw it — rolled up and rolled in.”
Meanwhile, Thibodeau played a steadier game, making par on 13 holes and getting birdies on 15 and 16.
“Definitely. You know where to land shots,” she said. “The greens especially, are a big thing — where to put the drive, everything.”
“Probably 16, which was my second birdie,” she said. “I hit a 4 wood and a 3 hybrid into the green, then made my long putt.”
This is Thibodeau’s second women’s State Am — she finished 10th in her debut at Hanover two years ago but missed last year’s tournament — but being the youngest player in the field was on her mind nevertheless.
Well, maybe not everyone.
Harrity has played in more than 30 State Ams, with victories in 1982 and 2012 and 13 others in between.
For Ricci, a double-bogey on the par-5 fifth hole and a bogey on 18 were setbacks that kept her from joining Harrity and Thibodeau atop the leaderboard.
With its narrow fairway, Windham CC is course that requires a more technical approach, according to Hamilton.
“When you have a hazard on the left and out-of-bounds on the right, you have to be committed to your shot.”
“You learn every time you play here,” Inglis-Reid said. “I think I could shave three to four shots off (today).”