Kim Kaul, Mary Jo Kelly reign over NYS Women’s Senior Amateur

Kim Kaul, left, of East Aurora Country Club, won the New York State Women’s Senior Amateur by four shots over Teresa Cleland, right, of Bellevue Country Club on Wednesday at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland. NYSGA Photo.

Kim Kaul, left, of East Aurora Country Club, won the New York State Women’s Senior Amateur by four shots over Teresa Cleland, right, of Bellevue Country Club on Wednesday at Pinehaven Country Club in Guilderland. NYSGA Photo.

GUILDERLAND — While the temperature at Pinehaven Country Club soared near 90 degrees, many of the 120 players in the field for the NYS Women’s Senior Amateur felt their frustrations rise just as hot. 

But Kim Kaul kept her cool, and it made all the difference.

The East Aurora Country Club representative and member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame captured her third NYS Women’s Senior Amateur crown with a business-like, second straight 5-over-par 77 in the final round. She posted a two-day total of 10-over-par 154 to hold off old rival Teresa Cleland of Bellevue Country Club (81-158) by four shots Wednesday for the Senior Division title. Kaul, a three-time Buffalo District Golf Association Player of the Year, has been a NYS championship runner-up three times — twice in the NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur and also in the 2005 NYS Women’s Amateur.

One of her near-misses, in the 2018 NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur, was her main motivation on Wednesday.

“A few years ago, I handed it away on the 18th hole with a double bogey, and then I lost in a playoff,” Kaul recalled. “That memory is still very vivid to me. That was in 2018, and I remember it well. I wasn’t going to get ahead of myself this time. I didn’t really add up my score today. Every hole I just tried to make par.”

Top Capital Region players were Sue Kahler of Ballston Spa CC and Mary Scatera of the host club, who each finished at 17-over-par to tie Tammy Blyth of Monroe GC in third place. Pat Mayne of Western Turnpike was another shot back at 18-over-par, followed by three-time NYS Women’s Senior Amateur champion Mary Sicard of Queensbury CC at 19-over-par.

Meanwhile, Mary Jo Kelly of Wolferts Roost CC won the Super Senior Division title with a final-round 80 for a two-day total of 14-over-par. It wasn’t her best golf by a long shot, but it got the job done, as she won by two strokes.

“I had a slow start once again, and I think it’s nerves,” said the former NYS Women’s Amateur titlist and six-time NEWGA champion who was playing in her first Super Senior division event. “I get into pressure situations, and I’m hitting shots I can’t even explain. They’re just that bad. I’m missing greens and hitting some loose shots. Then I settled down, but I missed some shots again. It’s another title, but I’m disappointed in the way I played. I hit some good shots, but not a lot of them.”

Leslie Arakelian of Orchard Creek, a four-time NEWGA champion who hasn’t played in a major tournament in nearly 10 years, finished in third place in the Super Senior Division at 17-over-par after shooting a solid 77 in the final round. A scoring error originally had her tied with Kelly, but it was discovered before plans for a playoff had begun.

Kaul, who once again played in the featured group with Cleland, her former college basketball rival and seven-time NYS champion, said she tried to keep her game simple and direct.

“My short game helped me when I got into trouble,” she said. “I really only had one bad hole. I had a double bogey on the ninth hole when I flubbed a chip. I hit my shot to the left over the hump, and I tried to be cute. I should have just gotten the ball on the green and two-putted, but I didn’t. But for the most part, when I got near the green my short game was pretty good today. I made three birdies, and I stayed out of big trouble.”

Scatena, runner-up in last month’s NEWGA Championship and the winner of the 2020 Schenectady Women’s Classic, said she had modest expectations for the NYS Women’s Senior Amateur.

“I was hoping to shoot around my handicap. I did that the first day, but I was a little higher on the second day,” she said. “A triple bogey set me off the tracks. There were a couple of swings I would have liked to take back, but like I’ve said a few times before, I’m not a scratch golfer. I am learning, and I need to play with the big girls. The more you get in these type of tournaments, the better you get. I’ve just got to trust my swing.”

Kahler, a two-time NEWGA champion, two-time Gazette Women’s Amateur titlist, two-time NYS Mixed Four-Ball winner and 21-time club champion at Ballston Spa CC, played much better in the final round to share local honors in the Senior Division.

“I had a much better day. I hit the ball better,” she said. “[Tuesday] was a bad day for me, but today I putted pretty well. I don’t always make it to the green, so I rely on my chipping and my putting. I got up and down for par quite a few times today, and I struck the ball much better.”

(Par 72-144)
Leaders — Kim Kaul (East Aurora CC) 77-154, Teresa Cleland (Bellevue CC) 81-158, Mary Scatena (Pinehaven CC) 83-161, Tammy Blyth (Monroe GC) 80-161, Sue Kahler (Ballston Spa CC) 79-161, Carolyn Mancini (Binghamton CC) 84-162, Pat Mayne (Western Turnpike GC) 81-162, Mary Sicard (Queensbury CC) 82-163, Cindy Gomez (Colonial Springs) 81-164, Heidi Harkins (Ballston Spa CC) 84-164, Ingrid Narken (McCann GC) 84-168, Nancy Kroll (Schenectady Municipal GC) 89-168, Karen Feldman (Olde Kinderhook GC) 84-168, Pennie Carlo (Crestwood GC) 85-171, Nan Lanahan (Pinehaven CC) 88-171, Nikki Fowler (Stone Creek GC) 83-171, Ella Kellogg (Glens Falls CC) 85-172, Anne Van Buren (Pinehaven CC) 82-172, Heidi Vittengl (Glens Falls CC) 83-173, Julie Hamm (Sodus Bay Heights GC) 89-174, Sandra Jackson (Whippoorwil Club) 88-174, Carina Watkins (Beaver Meadows GC) 86-174.

Other top locals — Cindy Walkanowski (Ballston Spa CC) 86-175, Penny Schiek (Hiland Park CC) 89-178, Kathy Canestrini (Western Turnpike GC) 88-178, Anne Oakley (Windham CC) 90-184, Debra DiMaggio (Ballston Spa CC) 105-189, Kathy Meader (Queensbury CC) 94-189, Joyce Bassett (Ballston Spa CC) 101-193, Cindy Lafleur (Pinehaven CC) 99-193, Renie Gadani (Normanside CC) 101-201, Paula Laime (Ballston Spa CC) 99-202, Colleen Johnson (Queensbury CC) 105-207, Jody McQuiston (Ballston Spa CC) 109-217.

Leaders — Mary Jo Kelly (Wolferts Roost CC) 80-158, Deborah Enders (Links of Erie Village) 79-160, Leslie Arakelian (Orchard Creek GC) 7 7-161, Lynn Quinn (Clifton Springs CC) 86-166, Kathy Harkins (Ballston Spa CC) 87-167, Kitty Colliflower (Oak Hill CC) 86-168, Linda Sturges (Oswego CC) 85-169, Colleen Rutt (NYSGA eClub-Western NY) 89-173, Grace Kuqali (Beaver Meadows GC) 85-174, Ann Capobianco (Pinehaven CC) 84-174, Beth Currier (Queensbury CC) 91-175, Mary Corrigan (Western Turnpike GC) 87-176, Cindy Delappa (Queensbury CC) 85-176, Jo Ann Shupe (Beaver Meadows GC) 87-176, Lindley Bowen (Pendleton Creek GC) 91-177, Linda Kolnick (Canajoharie CC) 83-177.

Other top locals — Kate Oppedisano (Ballston Spa CC) 90-180, Maxine Tucker (Ballston Spa CC) 93-182, Sandra Weckter (Pinehaven CC) 91-182, Jamie Hall (Pinehaven CC) 91-183, Sheila Vergith (Chautauqua GC) 95-183, Sandy Morley (Burden Lake CC) 94-187, Mary Assey (Ballston Spa CC) 95-188, Christine McKnight (McGregor Links CC) 96-190, Bonnie St. Denis (Pinehaven CC) 99-192, Elaine Neiss (The Edison Club) 94-193, Noreen Leonard (Western Turnpike GC) 101-196, Pat Joseph (Ballston Spa CC) 99-199, Lisa Sunkes (Western Turnpike GC) 103-200, Sue Moses (Ballston Spa CC) 104-203, Lynn Cummings (Pinehaven CC) 106-209, Linda Doody (Western Turnpike GC) 109-211.

50-54 — Gross: Nikki Fowler (Stone Creek GC) 171. Net: Fowler 157.
55-59 — Gross: Mary Scatena (Pinehaven CC) 161. Net: Nancy Kroll (Schenectady Municipal GC) 150.
60-64 — Gross: Kim Kaul (East Aurora CC) 154. Net: Kaul 152.
65-69 — Gross: Mary Jo Kelly (Wolferts Roost CC) 158. Net: Mary Corrigan (Western Turnpike GC)147.
70-74 — Gross: Colleen Rutt (NYSGA eClub-Western NY) 173. Net: Maxine Tucker (Ballston Spa CC) 156.
75-plus — Gross: Sandra Weckter (Pinehaven CC) 182. Net: Weckter 152.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected]

Categories: Sports

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