CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2013) – In a period of less than 20 minutes, Shannon Aubert went from dejection to elation in the final round of the women’s Dixie Amateur at Heron Bay Golf Club. On the 72nd hole, playing partner Simin Feng chipped in for birdie to tie the third-round leader and force a sudden-death playoff.
But Feng missed a five-footer to halve the first hole of the playoff after Aubert made a clutch putt to save par.
“I told her that was cruel what she did to me,” said France’s Aubert, who watched in disbelief as Feng chipped in on 18 from 50 feet to force the extra hole. Nicole Morales, who finished third, drove into the hazard on the last hole of regulation, took a drop and still made par but missed the playoff by a shot.
Aubert started the day with a three-shot lead but at one point found herself one shot back. Birdies on 10, 12 and 13 put her back in the lead going into the final holes.
“I was a bit nervous and it showed on my drive on 16,” she said after friends drenched her with water in celebration of her victory. She made a saving par there but a bogey on 17 after another poor drive put her in a tie with Feng.
“I was three back with five to play,” said Feng, who closed with a 68 and final total of 280 (Aubert shot 71). “I’m not displeased at all. In fact I’m happy where I am now especially after coming back to tie.” On the first playoff hole, Feng had a similar chip to the one she made 20 minutes earlier but this one ran five feet past the cup. She said it was an easy chip and if there was any disappointment, it was because she left herself with such a long putt coming back.
Defending champion Isabelle Lendl never got much going even with her famous father, tennis champion Ivan walking with her group. Lendl, a University of Florida senior, closed with a 74 to finish tenth alone.
Even though the wind was strong again, 17 players broke par in the final round.