PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Make it two in a row for Rocklin resident Lynne Cowan.
Cowan shot a final round 1-over 73, and held off a challenge from 2010 U.S. Senior Amateur winner Mina Hardin and some winter-like weather in May, to capture the annual California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship on Tuesday at par-72 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
With the win, Cowan, who finished with a two-day total of 4-over 148, now has six titles under the CWAC umbrella. Along with defending her 2014 Senior crown, the 52-year-old is also a four-time winner of the California Women’s Amateur Championship.
“It’s still special,” said Cowan, a golf equipment sales rep. “Each win means a lot to me.”
Early on, things didn’t look too good for the reigning champ. Playing in a cold morning drizzle, and on the tougher Poppy Hills front-nine, she’d open with a 3-over 39 after carding three bogeys.
Right there to seizing on the opportunity was Hardin. Having started the day three shots behind Cowan after an opening round 78, Hardin shot a front-nine 35 that featured three birdies (including back-to-back on holes No.8 and No.9) and a pair of bogeys. With the birdie on No.9, Hardin took a one shot lead over Cowan.
“I was a little concerned after the front-nine. It was enough to make me really pay attention,” Cowan said. “At the same time, I also knew we were going to the back, where there are more birdie chances.”
Everything did change on the back-nine, and in a hurry. While Cowan opened with four straight pars, Hardin fell behind by one after bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes.The big difference maker, though, came moments later on the par-4 14th. There, Hardin got stuck enough in the front greenside bunker that it took her three shots to just get out. She’d end up with a quadruple-bogey on the hole, while Cowan drained a 15-foot birdie putt.
“From then on, I just tried to make par,” said Cowan, who added another birdie on the 16th– which played as a par-5 for the championship—for good measure.
Despite the snafu at 14, Hardin took second at 155 after a final round 77.
Finishing in third place was Windsor’s Stacey Camara, who came in at 156 after her second straight 78.
Multiple Chicago District champion and Trans-National winner MaryKay Thanos-Zordani of Palm Desert, who was tied with Cowan for the first round lead, fell back to fifth place after an 85.
“It was a very difficult day for me,” said Thanos-Zordani, who suffered three double-bogeys in the finale. “The conditions were much tougher for me. It was brutal.”
Record seven-time Senior CWAC winner Marianne Towersey of Pebble Beach shot 83 to finish T-6.
Like Cowan, Menlo Park’s Arleene Wilkolaski also added to her CWAC trophy collection.Wilkolaski won the Super Senior Championship (age 70 and over) title, finishing at 178 following a final round 86. Wilkolaski won the Senior title in 1994.
During the championship, Cowan played with Hardin and 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Corey Weworski. While she’s played in a slew of USGA events, Cowan has yet to win a national title. As per the norm, she aims on playing in those events later in the year.
“I’d like to step up and get one of those on my resume,” Cowan said.
View results for California Senior Women's Amateur Golf Championship