New York Women's Am: Schultz wins 3rd

WAYNE HILLS (July 10, 2008)--Christy Schultz of Brook Lea Country Club became only the ninth woman in New York State history to capture three Women’s Amateur Championships.

Schultz defeated 16-year-old, first-time finalist Rene Sobolewski of Transit Valley G.C., winning the championship match 7 & 6.

Despite saying she felt nervous on the first tee, it was Sobolewski who took the early initiative, holing a long birdie putt on the first green to take a 1-up lead.

Sobolewski then struggled to find the form that saw her reach the final, stringing together four bogeys in a row starting at the second, before double-bogeying the short seventh and allowing Schultz to move 4-up.

The eight and ninth holes were halved with both players recording regulation pars. Schultz then pressed home her advantage as Sobolewski’s swing deserted her, pushing her tee shots on both 10 and 11, only managing bogeys to Schultz’ pars.

With a 6-up lead on the 12th tee Schultz hit another perfect drive in the right center of the fairway and hit her third shot safely onto the putting surface. Sobolewski hit her second shot into the trees on the left and was unable to recover and make par.

After lagging her first putt to three feet, Schultz was able to sink her par putt and seal her third Women’s Amateur title in five years.

“I’m really happy to win the State Amateur again. It’s even more special now that I’m getting older and the girls I’m playing against seem to get younger every year, and they are always improving,” Schultz said. “I think Rene just ran out of gas in the end today and I was able to hit a lot of fairways and make a lot of pars which kept the pressure on.”

Schultz said she was a little disappointed not to record a birdie in the final, despite having some good opportunities, but felt she did what she needed to do to win.

“I felt like my short game and especially my lag-putting were really good, which it needed to be as I wasn’t hitting it super-close,” Schultz said. “That really helped me out this week and pars were good enough a lot of the time.”

Schultz began playing golf after watching her mother and father play, at a young age. She attended the Duke University Golf Camp in South Carolina after her father insisted that she learn the game from professionals, despite the fact he was an accomplished player himself.

After the Duke Camp, Schultz’s mother Rhonda said Christy returned with a great deal of enthusiasm and desire to play golf.

In a junior career where she captured the State Girl’s Junior title, Schultz went on to play in the Junior Ryder Cup at St. Andrews, Scotland. She was one of six who qualified to compete against a team of Europe’s best female junior golfers.

After graduating high school, Schultz earned a scholarship to play NCAA Division I golf at Purdue University. She had a successful career at Purdue, where she was part of the Big Ten Championship winning team in 2000.

After graduating from Purdue, Schultz toyed with the idea of turning professional, but decided against it after realizing it wasn’t for her.

“I saw some of my teammates trying to play on the mini tours and they weren’t making any money,” Schultz said. “Some of them weren’t making any money and sleeping in their cars at night…it just wasn’t for me.”

Remaining as an amateur seems to have been a good decision. With her win today, Schultz joins Helen Hicks, Ruth Torgerson, Margaret Nevil, Barbara Bruning, Diane Wilde, Lancy Smith, Moira Dunn and Danielle Downey as players to win at least three Women’s Amateur titles.

“Christy has been able to experience so much over the years through playing golf,” Rhonda Rittenhouse said. “She worked her way up from the bottom and I’m so proud of how successful she has been, but I’m also proud of the fact that she’s stayed humble.”

Schultz will be back in action at the Rochester District Women’s Amateur at the end of the month, an event she has won the last six straight years, and will also try to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur to be held in Ann Arbor, Mich. in September.

--Courtesy NYSGA

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