What a time for Penny Schiek to break out of her prolonged slump.
Schiek, a member of the host club, posted an even-par 72 on her own ball and teamed up with Jenn Lachell for a five-under-par 67 in the final round to win the Capital District Women’s Open Tuesday by two shots at Hiland Park Country Club.
Schiek and Lachell ended up shooting a four-under-par 140 to capture both championship flight and overall low gross honors in the 33-team field.
The two-day event featured most of the top women golfers in the Capital Region and beyond. Although Schiek and Lachell trailed co-leaders Mary Sicard with Ella Kellogg and Mary Jo Kelly with MaryEllen Burt by two shots entering the final round, they made up ground quickly and slipped past them without much notice.
In fact, Kelly and Burt, former champions, thought they had won when they were first to finish their final round and edged their co-leading playing partners by one shot.
But when Schiek and Lachell came in discussing their unusual birdie spree, there were new champions crowned and plenty of congratulations for the surprise winners.
Ironically, Schiek and Lachell had never been partners before. They met by chance at another recent tournament and decided to give this event a try.
“It was game on today,” beamed Schiek. “This is the best I’ve ever played here at Hiland. I’ve been a member here for eight to 10 years. I think I might have had a lower score before where I previously played, at Queensbury Country Club, but it wasn’t in tournament conditions. This is great.”
Her playing partner agreed.
“Penny made everything today. She was knocking in long birdie putts from everywhere,” said Lachell.
“I’m very surprised this happened today, because I’ve been in quite a slump,” Schiek said.
“But we had a very comfortable group to play with today [with former champions Pat Mayne and Karen Feldman]. They were very easy to play with. They kept us relaxed. Plus, Jenn and I ham-and-egged it pretty well out there. We didn’t leave each other out to dry very often.”
The long-hitting Lachell, a relative newcomer to the game, birdied the 13th and 18th holes, both par-5s. Schiek added five birdies, many from long range.
“I guess I had a couple of really long ones, like a 25- to 30-footer on the ninth hole. My partner showed me the line on that one,” she said.
Feldman and Mayne, longtime playing partners who have won just about every best-ball and individual event in the area, tied for second place with a two-day total of 142. They combined for five birdies. They tied with Kelly and Burt.
Nancy Kroll and Pam Zanetto won the championship flight low net with a 129.
Other flight winners were Laura Couch and Chan Lee (76-154) in the first flight, Anne Poulin and Carol Aiello (83-163) in the second flight and Diane Meckler and Celina Balick (89-177) in the third flight.
Championship flight — Gross: Lachell-Schiek 67-140, Feldman-Mayne 70-142, Kelly-Burt 71-142, Sicard-Kellogg 72-143, Vittengl-Brophy 72-146, Kroll-Zanetto 71-147, Kahler-Mansfield 75-150, Harkins-Van Buren 75-151, Harkins-Nevullis 77-156. Net winners: Kroll-Zanetto 129; Kelly-Burt 130.
First flight — Gross winners: Laura Couch-Chan Lee 76-154; Charyl Potter-Linda Kolnick 78-157. Net winners: Sandra Weckter-Gloria Dugan, 129; Diana Ramos-Kate Oppedisano 137.
Second flight — Gross winners: Anne Poulin-Carol Aiello 83-163; Kathy Canestrini-Amy Fey, 87-168. Net winners: Maxine Tucker-Tina Kohler, 130 (matching cards), Beth Sciurba-Mary Assey, 130.
Third flight — Gross winners: Diane Meckler-Celina Ballick 89-177; Donan Heskett-Mary Ellen Trumbull 88-178. Net winners: Joan Pettrone-Jean Prockup, 128; Joan Taylor-Geri Carr, 132.