CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (Sept. 2, 2010) –– The six-golfer Mount Vernon Country Club team outscored Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club by a combined seven points over the final two matches to win the 64th Virginia State Golf Association Women’s State Team Matches, which concluded today at Farmington Country Club. In the format, each club is comprised of three two-player teams with each hole worth a single point for 54 points total.
With the six-point triumph (30-24), Mount Vernon, a VSGA member club based in Alexandria, Va., took home its third consecutive victory in the event. Additionally, Mount Vernon took home its ninth all-time victory in the matches, with five of their triumphs coming since 2000.
The deciding encounters were close throughout. Portsmouth-based Elizabeth Manor led off by notching a one-point victory as Kerry Johnson (Chesapeake) and Cindy Morris (Portsmouth) used five birdies to record a one-point victory over Alexandria residents Susan Podolsky and Shawn McCullough in a well-played match by both teams; the Mount Vernon players had four birdies in their own right.
Ultimately in erasing the modest deficit, Mount Vernon’s depth proved to be too much – it was the story this year and has been for each of their past three triumphs. Consistency throughout its lineup allowed Mount Vernon to become the first team to three-peat since Elizabeth Manor won a trio of titles from 2002-04.
Despite a slow start, in the second match reigning VSGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion Linda DiVall (Alexandria) teamed with Kim Franks of Springfield (pictured right) to outscore opponents Cyndi Carlson and Paula Stublen by three points (5½-2½) over the final eight holes.
Making just her second start in the matches after debuting last year, Franks was an important contributor, routinely hitting the solid shots the classic Farmington layout demands, all while basically brushing away any nerves with the calm of a seasoned veteran.
“Every hole – every shot – you could just see her gaining more confidence. My job was to drive the cart,” DiVall laughed. “She carried the day and would not be stopped. She knew what she wanted to do with every shot.”
Franks has quickly adapted to a team-match format. Her mindset?
“Play your own game,” Franks noted. “For a while, we started to play our opponents instead of the course, but we got refocused. You can’t control the other team. You can only control what you do and you have to try to do your best on every shot.”
In the final match, Alexandria’s Katie Cox and Joan Gardner jumped out to a three-point lead (6-3) following the first nine holes and went on to post a five-point triumph over Lynn Anderson (Chesapeake) and Kelly McAnally (Virginia Beach).
Knowing that negotiating Farmington’s sloping putting surfaces would be key to the team’s success, Cox mapped out a plan outlining the undulations of the greens and where shots should be ideally positioned at each hole that she distributed to team members after Monday’s practice round.
The detailed diagrams that Cox has developed is just one example of the uncanny camaraderie that Mount Vernon has built in its ranks. For team members, a close bond has been forged through playing in similar events at the club and by competing in other district matches in northern Virginia.
“All three of our teams were pretty evenly balanced,” Gardner said. “Because we play so much golf together, you develop chemistry, we know each other’s games and I think that helps.”
They also kept the same pairings each day at the Women’s State Team Matches, instrumental to the team regaining possession of the Nancy Hollenbeck Trophy. For the six-player contingent, an unspoken trust has been paramount to the team’s run of victories in recent years.
“I don’t think anyone thinks they’re out there on their own,” DiVall said. “It’s an absolute total team effort.”
In other flight action, Hermitage Country Club took the first flight, while the Country Club of Fairfax captured flight two. The Dominion Club triumphed in third flight action, while Fort Belvoir Golf Club took the fourth flight.
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