Aug 01, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A player named LaCrosse won in Syracuse — go figure.
Of course, the success of Cindy LaCrosse at this week’s Alliance Bank Golf Classic had nothing to do with her coincidental last name, and everything to do with her calm, poise — and sharp game.
Rounds of 67, 66 and 68 on Drumlins Country Club’s testy East course gave LaCrosse a three-shot victory over Amelia Lewis. More importantly, the $14,000 LaCrosse earned for her second win of the year put her back on top of the Duramed Futures Tour’s money list with $70,307.
“I’m excited about this win,” LaCrosse said. “This makes me breathe a little bit, and feel a lot better.”
Even with the no. 2 spot on the money list going into this week and a win earlier this year in Mexico, the 23-year-old LaCrosse said she was not feeling too confident about her game after some recent inconsistent play. Plus, when she appeared at this tournament in 2009, she had missed the cut.
Enter the family unit — specifically, her father to caddy for the first time all year, and her mother to see just her second tournament of 2010. LaCrosse said having them both close at hand settled her down and let her focus back on the golf.
In all, 144 players started on Friday morning, tackling a Drumlins East course that would stay firm and fast, a stark contrast to all the rains that plagued the 2009 event.
Immediately, LaCrosse streaked to the front, tearing up the easier front nine and going five under par for her first 10 holes. A double bogey at 12 caused problems, but she survived the gusty winds and snagged a birdie on the difficult 18th to cap off her opening 67, four under par.
This tied LaCrosse with Lewis and Jane Rah, one shot back of Dolores White, who carded a 66 in just her fifth professional start. The winds and firm conditions took its toll, as just 16 players broke par.
During Saturday’s second round, White, LaCrosse and Lewis stayed tied with each other through 12 holes, but the day, and the tournament itself, turned on the par-5 13th, which doglegs 90 degrees to the right.
White’s second shot smacked a tree, went into an unplayable lie, and she ended up with a quadruple-bogey nine, falling out of contention. Meanwhile, LaCrosse birdied and would take a lead she would never relinquish.
Not that Lewis, a 19-year-old rookie with her brother serving as caddy, gave it a try. On both the 17th and 18th holes of the second round, Lewis hit close approach shots that led to birdies — only to see LaCrosse sink longer putts for her own birdies to stay in front.
This created separation with the rest of the field, as LaCrosse went to Sunday at nine-under-par 133, one ahead of Lewis and three clear of Rah. No one was else was closer than six shots of LaCrosse.
Quickly, the final round evolved into a tense match between LaCrosse and Lewis, as they matched birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes. When LaCrosse added another birdie on 4, Lewis countered with a birdie on 5.
LaCrosse developed her first cushion on the 8th hole, a birdie moving her ahead by two. And there it stayed for a while, as the pair matched bogeys on 8 and 10, plus pars deep into the back nine.
Meanwhile, the battle for third place was settled. Danah Ford Bordner shot a sizzling 65 to finish at 206, seven under par, one ahead of Rah and Jennifer Song. That 65 tied for the tournament’s low round with Selanee Henderson, whose own 65 moved her up to a tie for seventh.
Back at the main event, Lewis moved within one shot when she birdied 14, only to give it right back with a bogey on 15. LaCrosse, who parred that hole to double her margin, promptly made the winning move.
On 16, LaCrosse’s curling birdie putt found the hole, putting her at 12 under, and another birdie at 17 (after she hit the flagstick on her approach) made the margin five shots when Lewis bogeyed.
A final bogey did not matter as Lewis, finishing with a birdie to post a 70 and a total of 204, beat Bordner by two shots for the runner-up spot. But it was LaCrosse taking the champagne bath from two fellow pros as she walked off the 18th green, heading for the trophy and the big check.
Among the local interests, Section III champion Mary Fletcher, from Christian Brothers Academy, shot 85 and 86 to post 171, while Fayetteville-Manlius graduate Jillian Fraccola had a two-day total of 160. Ithaca native Lori Atsded played all three rounds and, with a 220, tied for 60th. Jenny Suh, the defending champion, never could get into contention, but still shared 14th place at 213.