Indiana native Kristen Obush sure had to earn it, but she did so emphatically on July 19 in the Women’s Golf Association of Western Pennsylvania championship, winning her second title by defeating defending and 15-time champion Carol Semple Thompson in the tournament at Longue Vue Country Club in Penn Hills.
Playing out of Ligonier Country Club, Obush was seeded third out of 16 players in the match-play event. She squeaked out a 1-up first round victory before more comfortable victories of 4 and 3 and 5 and 6 to reach the final, a rematch of the 2012 championship.
Obush led Semple Thompson, of Allegheny Country Club, by one hole until Semple Thompson pulled even on No. 13.
Obush won No. 15 with a par to regain the lead, and with both players in the rough on No. 17, Semple Thompson conceded after discovering she had played the wrong ball in her approach, giving Obush a 2 and 1 win.
Indiana Country Club’s Sue McMurdy also played in the championship flight, winning a first-round match in dominating fashion, 8 and 7, before bowing out in the quarterfinals.
• McMurdy qualified for her sixth USGA championship event, shooting a 78 to grab one of two spots at the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier on Wednesday at the Country Club of Hudson, in Hudson, Ohio. She has qualified for all the USGA Women’s Championships in which she is eligible to compete, including the Girls’ Junior Championship (1973), Women’s Open Championship (1978), Women’s Amateur Championship (1979, 1985) and Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship (2005).
The Senior Women’s Amateur Championship will be held Sept. 21-26 at the CordeValle Golf Course, in San Martin, Calif.
AT MEADOW LANE: Ray Blystone is the first-round leader of the Meadow Lane club championship.
Blystone fired a 1-over-par 71 on Saturday and holds a one-stroke lead over Colton Wiggins going into today’s second and final round.
Blystone actually played better on the front nine in the morning rain, firing a 1-under 34, before coming in with a 2-over 37 on the back.
“It was wet early when we went out,” he said. “It rained, and probably for five or six holes it was pretty wet.
“For me, the front side was much better than the back side. I had a lot more birdie opportunities on the front and played better on the front, then on the back I just hung on for dear life. You’d have thought it was the opposite.”
That was the case for Wiggins, who shot a 39 on the front and a 33 on the back. But Blystone birdied No. 17, a par 3, then made par on No. 18, also a par 3, to finish strong.
“I didn’t do anything terrible,” said Blystone, who has never won the title. “I didn’t have any double bogeys, so when I did make mistakes I was able to make bogey out of them, and even a couple holes I made par.”
Chris Edwards and Rich Moorhead are tied for third at 74, and Rick Adair and Kevin Jack round out the top five at 77.
Vicky Nastase has the lead in a tight race in the ladies’ championship. Nastase shot a 42-42—84 to hold a one-stroke lead over Kathy Glassford and a two-stroke lead over Kathy Whitesel.
Adair leads the senior championship group. Other flight leaders are: Todd Redinger, first; Butch Nanni, second; Jeff Cribbs, third; Todd Drzewiecki, fourth; and Wiggins, Junior.
“I think for all the golfers out here, when you come to the club championship, it’s your opportunity,” Blystone said. “We don’t get a chance to play competitive golf at any other time, really, during the year, so it’s our chance to kind of see where our games are at and how your game stands up against other guys’. It’s a good opportunity, and it’s a lot of fun. For me, I look forward to the club championship every year.”
Chestnut Ridge Golf Course is also holding its club championship this weekend. The final results will be available for Monday’s paper.
• The bracket champions have been crowned in the Coney Island-Meadow Lane Match-Play Tournament.
Jeremy Flynn defeated Rick Adair, 1-up, in the Palmer Bracket; George Berringer beat John Lowmaster in 20 holes in the Nicklaus; and Ray Blystone topped Dave Dixson, 1-up, in the Hogan.
Bob Volk previously beat Shawn Askins, 5 and 4, in the Snead Bracket.
Paula Witherow is in prime position in the ladies’ bracket. She defeated Kathy Glassford, 2-up, to remain undefeated going into the finals. Witherow will have to be beaten twice in order for her to lose the championship.
Kathy Whitesel defeated Elaine Berringer, 5 and 4, in a consolation match.
• Kathy Glassford and Flora Isenberg won the Ladies’ 18-Hole league’s event on Wednesday. Glassford also won prizes for a birdie on No. 5 and a chip-in on No. 6.
AT INDIANA COUNTRY CLUB: John and Sue McMurdy won the gross title, and Ben and Carolyn Stiles took the net championship in the Husband/Wife Championship last weekend. John and Cathy Pettina won the novice division.
The McMurdys scored a 75, six ahead of Jim and Darlene Shea. Tom and Connie Sgriccia took third place, and Rick and Sonia Levy came in fourth in the gross.
Ben and Carolyn Stiles shot a 70 to edge Arch and Mary Moore and Drew and Sally Adamo, each by a stroke. Ron and Donna Yvanek and Frank and Sherry Holuta tied for fourth place in the net at 72.
The Pettinas shot a 78, five ahead of Steve and Marlinda Smith.
• The country club will host a USGA Senior Amateur Sectional Qualifier on Thursday. W.H. Spadafora and Don Erickson are the only local players competing. There will be 25 players competing for one spot in the Senior Amateur Championship.
• The Father/Son event has been re-scheduled for next weekend.
AT INDIAN SPRINGS: Pat Lewandowski won the Tuesday Morning Ladies’ League’s Double Trouble event with the most bogeys. Ginny McGinnis won the low putts with 13 and also had two chip-ins.
• The club championship is next weekend.