PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (May 20, 2014) -- Veteran Northern California amateur Lynne Cowan is now a senior champion.
The 51-year-old Cowan, who lives in Rocklin, picked up her first senior victory Tuesday by shooting a final round 79 to win the annual California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at par-72 Poppy Hills Golf Course. Cowan, a four-time winner of the California Women’s Amateur Championship, finished the two-day, 36-hole event at 11-over 155 to defeat a group of five players by three strokes.
“It’s pretty special,” said Cowan, who was runner-up in her senior debut last year. “This tournament has a lot of history. It’s nice to have my name on both trophies.”
Coming off a first round co-leading 76, Cowan had an up and down final round, carding three birdies to go with three bogeys, two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey. But it was enough to get the job done.
On the par-5 9th, Cowan received a two-stroke penalty when she grounded the club she was carrying–her putter– into the rocks of the now unearthed creek in front of the green. She’d get one of the strokes back on the par-3 17th after hitting a choked-up 8-iron to within five feet of the hole for birdie.
“I’m still learning where to put the ball here where there’s the least amount of trouble,” Cowan said. “I just kept plugging along, trying to hit greens.”For everyone in the field, one of the challenges was the new Poppy Hills.
“It’s a challenge. It’s still new and the greens are firm. It’s playing like a U.S. Amateur course,” said Cowan, who has played in five U.S. Amateurs. “You have to be more strategic and precise to score.”
While Poppy Hills was a test, just getting to the event was an ordeal for Cowan. On her way down from Rocklin on Sunday, her car broke down near Tracy. She’d call and get a tow, but being Sunday the shop was closed. After the tow, she called her husband Carl, who came and picked her up. After what turned out to be seven hours, Carl dropped her off in Pebble Beach.
“I don’t even know if my car is done. I may have to spend the night at the dealership,” quipped Cowan.
Finishing tied for second at 158 were five players–Portland’s Charisse Spada (75), Mary Budke of Palm Springs (77), Judy Miller of Tucson, AZ (79), Corey Weworski of Carlsbad (80) and San Francisco resident Sally Krueger (80).
Weworksi won the CWAC title in 1998. Krueger, a six-time winner of the San Francisco City Amateur, garnered national attention in the late 1990′s when she competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, becoming the first female to play in the event since 1977.
Coming into the final round, Cowan was tied for the first round lead at 76 with record seven-time winner Marianne Towersey of Pebble Beach. Towersey slipped to a second round 84, landing her in a tie for seventh at 160.
“I did it to myself,” said Towersey, who had four double-bogeys. “I got into some bad spots and saw a lot of the golf course.”
Defending champion Kim of Eaton of Tempe, AZ finished T-11 at 168.
View results for California Senior Women's Amateur Golf Championship