Sweet 16 for Abenaqui CC's Dana Harrity at NHWGA championship
WINDHAM — Abenaqui CC’s Dana Harrity won her 16th New Hampshire Woman’s Golf Association State Amateur Championship, coasting to a 12-stroke victory Wednesday at Windham Country Club, adding another title to already long list of accomplishments.
It wasn’t her best day, a 5-over par 77, but it was strong enough to win with a three-round score of 8-over-par 224.
Fourteen-year-old Lauren Thibodeau bounced back with the best round of the day, 3-over-par 75, to tie for second with Lisanne Schmidt of Eastman Golf Links in Grantham.
Tara Watt, who plays at Derryfield Country Club in Manchester, had the second best round of the day, 76, to finish tied for fourth with Joan Cyr of Rochester Country Club.
Beth Hamilton and Mindy Inglis-Reid, both of Pembroke Pines in Pembroke, finished tied for sixth at 241.
“It was unexpected but it’s great to win again,” said Harrity, of Rye. “I didn’t expect to win again, but after winning the New England (Amateur) I guess anything’s possible.
“When I started the season I was not expecting this,” said Harrity of winning two major tournaments. “I told my dad yesterday I had a seven stroke lead and he said ’What is happening with you?’ ”
Harrity started the day with a seven shot lead and played steady for the first nine holes but faltered on the back nine. But her nearest competitors fell even further behind during the day and Harrity cruised to victory.
“The course is very demanding. If you are off a little bit you pay the price,” said Harrity. “It was easy to make bogeys.”
Harrity previously won NHWGA state amateur championships in 1982, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012.
Meanwhile teen sensation Thibodeau, playing on her home course, erased Tuesday’s nightmare round to take second place. “I was charging the ball a lot better,” said Thibodeau. “I figured out (holes) five and 10 and hit them petty straight today.”
It was on the fifth and 10th holes that Thibodeau shot a 12 and a 9 and cost her the chance to keep up with Harrity. “I hit two out of bounds on the fifth yesterday,” said Thibodeau. “My seventh shot hit a tree and bounced back out.”
But she was all smiles Wednesday after a strong comeback round and an opportunity to play in the New England Charity Classic Symetra tour event at Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown starting Friday.
What’s next for Harrity? She says she will try to qualify for the 2014 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in New Jersey in September. And in 2015, Harrity hopes to qualify for the new USGA Women’s Four-Ball Championship in Oregon.
Harrity said she once considered a pro career long ago but is happy she remained an amateur. “My longevity made my decision not to turn pro so much better,” said Harrity. “When I was a kid I never dreamed I would do this.’’