Amy Kennedy described her putting during the first 12 holes of Wednesday's Women's York County Amateur Golf Association Championship as "OK but not great."
So making her birdie putt on the par-3, 115-yard 13th hole at Grandview Golf Club to pull even with Connie Shorb gave Kennedy a bit of confidence.
"I three-putted 10 to not win the hole. We tied 11. And then 12 she (Shorb) hit just an awesome shot in there. She pretty much had a tap-in birdie," Kennedy said. "So 13 is important. If I tie 13, fine. If I, heaven forbid, lose 13 then there's no good mojo. So making that putt, that was one of those that mattered."
The momentum propelled Kennedy the rest of the way, making par putts on No. 14 and No. 15 to go two holes up on Shorb. The golfers tied on 16 and Shorb conceded after the par-5, 412-yard 17th hole when her third shot landed in a sand trap next to the green and her next shot out of the trap sailed high over the hole and landed 20 yards past the green. Kennedy won it, 3&1, earning her sixth WYCAGA title since 2005.
"I'm always surprised when I pass Connie," Kennedy said of the win. "It feels great. We had a really good match. It felt like it was gonna go the other way for awhile. So I'm surprised and happy."
Kennedy's first WYCAGA back in 2005 came at Grandview, which is located in Dover Township.
"And no one was more surprised than I was when I won it," Kennedy recalled of her win nine years ago. "I was the worst qualifier. We had to qualify back then. You had to go play stroke play and they stack you up and eight people make the championship (round). I was No. 8. I was the first qualifier and no one knew who I was. So I had to play the No. 1 qualifier and work through the ranks and then I ended up playing Connie in the final. And I was absolutely dumbfounded when I won."
Now, Kennedy is well-known in golf circles in York County thanks to her prowess on the links. A South Dakota native who moved to Baltimore upon graduation from Kansas State University, Kennedy later came to York in 2002 at the age of 33. She had only been playing golf for about eight years to that point. And she credits a lot of her success since then to learning from Shorb, a York Suburban High School product who has won 31 WYCAGA crowns. Shorb said her third title came back in 1965 at Grandview, when Shorb was 19.
"We're really good friends," Kennedy said of Shorb. "In fact, when we finished there's a little part of me that felt terrible because she's my good friend."
Both players are members for the Country Club of York. Kennedy and Shorb squared off for the WYCAGA title for the fifth year in a row on Wednesday. Kennedy won it, 1 up, in 2010. Shorb won it on 19 holes in 2011. Kennedy beat Shorb in 2012, 2&1. And Shorb won last year's title over Kennedy, 1 up.
As a result of having played with or against each other several times over the years, Kennedy was relieved to avoid going to the par-3, 184-yard No. 18 against Shorb on Wednesday.
"Are you kidding me?" Kennedy said. "I would not have wanted to have a one-up lead going into 18. I've played enough with her to know she can pull a rabbit out of the hat at any given moment."
— Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.