Richardson Claims Emotional Fourth Amateur & Third Senior Crowns

The final day of the 2017 NB Ladies Provincial Championships, presented by Delta Fredericton, brought sunny skies and an exciting finish as the Country Meadows Golf Club’s Leanne Richardson set out in search of her fourth NB Ladies Amateur Championships, her first NB Ladies Mid-Amateur Championship and her third NB Ladies Senior Championships.

With a chase pack in the Ladies Amateur Division that included some of the top names in ladies golf in the province, Richardson would set out at 9:50am off of the Mactaquac Golf Course’s first tee looking to become the first female golfer in New Brunswick’s long golfing history to claim three titles at once.

Starting the day with a three shot lead Richardson would need to continue her solid play that saw her card a two over par, (+2), 74, and an even par (E), 72, through the first two rounds, and with her nearest competition, the Miramichi Golf & Country Club’s, Morgan Matchett struggling her way to a six over par (+6), 42, on the front nine and falling into a tie for 4th with Jescynda Hotham (Country Meadows) through 45 holes, Richardson would have a little room for error.

Completing her outward nine with a two over par (+2), 38, with back to back bogeys at #4 and #5, Richardson would give a shot back to the field and make the turn just two clear of Covered Bridge’s Margo Dickinson who would combine birdies at #2 and #5 with bogeys at #3 and #9 to make the turn with an even par (E), 36, and cut her deficit to Richardson in half entering the final 18 holes.

In third position at the turn would be Richardson’s club mate and 2017 NB Junior Girls Champion Laura Jones.  Jones would bogey #2 through #4 before birdieing the par four 5th to settle the ship and make the turn with a two over par (+2), 38, and sit six shots back.

On her back nine Richardson would use up nearly all of the cushion she had garnered through the first 45 holes of the event.  With a bogey on #10 and a birdie on #14, she would start to falter on her way home as the normally stoic and businesslike Richardson would see emotions begin to take hold.  A bogey on the par three 16th, and a double bogey on the par four 17th would see her reach #18 tee with a three shot lead and while she would bogey the difficult finishing hole, her final round six over par (+6), 78, and three day total of 224 would be good enough to wrap up all three titles.

Ever present, Dickinson would look to set herself up for success with a birdie on the par five 12th, but a bogey at 14 and a costly double at 15 would see her close her round with a two over par (+2), 38 on the back nine for a three day total of 226 two shots back of Richardson.

Finishing an outstanding week of Golf with a T-2 finish was Laura Jones.  The Country Meadows product would take on an even par (E), 36, on the back nine thanks to birdies on #12, #15 and in front of an audience at #18 that offset bogies at #14, #16 and #17.

Rounding out the top five was a three way tie for fourth between Kathy Brewer-Dalton, Jescynda Hotham and Morgan Matchett.

In the Senior Ladies Division Richardson’s closest challenger came in the form of the Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club’s Kathy Grebenc.  Grebenc, a five time NB Ladies Senior Champion in her own right, would start the day nine of the pace, but would not be able to make up any ground on Richardson.  In making the turn with a seven over par (+7), 43, that included five bogeys and a double Grebenc’s focus would shift to securing second position and locking down a position on Team NB that will represent the province at the 2017 Canadian Women’s Mid-Senior Championships in August.

With a difficult front nine in her rear view mirror Grebenc settle down on the back coming home with a four over par (+4), 40, that included a double bogey on the difficult par four 17th to close her day with an eleven over (+11), 83, and a three day total of 238, finishing 14 shots back of Richardson in solo second.

In third position is Anderson, South Carolina’s Chrissie Spidell.  Spidell would fire a final round 82, to hold off the Miramichi Golf & Country Club’s Paula Napke-Flanagan, who also carded a final round 82, by three shots.  Despite finishing outside the top three, Napke-Flanagan secured the third and final position on Team NB for the 2017 Canadian Mid-Senior Championship.  Rounding out the top five is Kingswood’s Charlotte Evans.  Evens would post a final round 83 to land in fifth position and secure the first alternate position on Team NB.

Having played for the final time, competitively, with her dear friend, the late Heather Wilbur, at the venue, Richardson found herself emotional after draining the final putt.  “This is a special place for me”, said Richardson of the Mactaquac Golf Course.  “Thirty years ago I made my first team here and 19 years ago I played in the final group with Heather Wilbur & Sarah Meldrum and Heather won that one.  I think I had a little Heather Wilbur on my shoulder this week”, Richardson would say.

In the Super-Senior Division (65+ years of age) the Fredericton Golf Club’s Kris Harvey would go “wire to wire” to claim her first NB Ladies Super-Senior Championship.  Harvey (85, 87, 85, 257) would fire a final round 85 that consisted of two birdies, five pars, seven bogeys and four others to edge out club mate and 2013 NB Super Senior Champions, Kathy Meagher.

The pair would go back and forth on the day as Meagher would draw even on the par five 1st, but would find herself back down by two through two holes.  At the turn the Harvey would hold a two shot lead, but the two would continue their battle all the way home.  With a two shot lead heading to #18 tee, Harvey had the cushion she would need, enough so that a double bogey at the last would still be enough to hold on to claim the victory.

Third place would come in the form of another Fredericton Golf Club member, Connie Bothwell.  Bothwell would put together a consistent event carding an 86, 88, 86 for a three day total of 260 and finish just three back of Harvey.

In addition to the four provincial championships, also up for grabs were positions on both the NB NB Ladies Amateur and NB Ladies Senior Teams, along with an exception into the Mid-Amateur division at the Canadian Championships at the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, to be played at Cutten Fields in Guelph, Ontario from July 25th to 28th, 2017, and the Canadian Women`s Mid-Senior Championship, to be held at the Humber Valley Resort in Little Rapids, Newfoundland from August 22nd to 24th, 2017.

Joining Richardson as part of the 2017 NB Senior Ladies Team is Kathy Grebenc and Paula Napke-Flanagan, with Charlotte Evans serving as the first alternate.  In the Amateur ranks, New Brunswick will be represented by Kathy Brewer-Dalton, Jescynda Hotham and Molly MacDermaid, of the Gowan Brae Golf & Country Club.

For more information on the 2017 Golf NB Ladies Provincials, presented by Delta Fredericton including results and tee times please CLICK HERE.

For more information on Mactaquac Golf Course please CLICK HERE.

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