When two golfers have played against each other for this long on a big stage, the relationship is likely to go one of two ways.
Either the pair will become enemies or develop a good friendship. For Amy Kennedy and Connie Shorb, the duo would qualify in the latter.
Sitting at a table inside an air-conditioned patio at the clubhouse of Regents' Glen Country Club on Thursday afternoon, Kennedy and Shorb went back and forth sharing compliments and jokes.
The two golfers, who are both County Club of York members, had just come off the Regents' Glen course in Spring Garden Township after competing in the Women's York County Amateur Golf Association championship. In a close match, Kennedy scored a two-up victory over Shorb in 17 holes to claim her fifth WYCAGA title since 2007 and first since last winning it in 2010. She kept Shorb from capturing a record 31st York amateur title.
The pair couldn't remember how many times they've met in the championship match, but it's happened several times in recent years. In 2010, it came down to the final two holes. In 2011, Shorb won it on 19 holes.
"I often tell ladies that I'm playing in tournaments to not get worried about competing," Kennedy said. "I use this (competing against Shorb) as an example. You should have fun with your competitor. Be happy for your competitor. We just like competition and we both want to do well. More times than not (Shorb) wins, but occasionally I win."
Then Shorb chipped in: "You're catching up."
CHAMPIONSHIP: Thursday's match-up turned out to be competitive, too. Shorb came to within plus-two of Kennedy on the par-four, 378-yard No. 13. Shorb hit the ball into a swamp area 20 yards in front of the hole on her second shot from the fairway. She couldn't find the ball and wound up doing the shot over, only to hit it up past the hole before deciding to give the hole to Shorb.
The pair would stay even the next three holes going into the par-five, 488-yard No. 17. On her first shot off the tee, Kennedy hit the ball to the left into the rough, while Shorb placed it down the middle of the fairway.
"The rough is brutal," Kennedy said. "This course is in fantastic condition. But I think Connie would agree with me, the rough is like concrete."
Kennedy would recover, though, getting the ball onto the green about seven yards behind the pin on her fourth shot and putting it in from there on her fifth shot to save par. Shorb had a chance to win the hole and pull to within plus-one, but missed a 12-yard putt for birdie on her fourth shot, allowing Kennedy to capture the title.
"I really figured Connie was gonna birdie," Kennedy said. "I knew I had to make it (the seven-yard putt for par) for it to matter. I kind of don't even remember really. I just kind of felt like I saw a line."
The match capped off what Kennedy and Shorb described as a really competitive tournament.
"I think this is probably the most competitive eight-person tournament we've had a in a long time," Shorb said. "Since we went to seeding instead of qualifying for spots, everybody was competitive."
"Every match was really good," she said. "So, it was a really good field. The field is getting better."
Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.