By Bruce Berlet, CtGolfer.com
OXFORD – Former LPGA and Futures Tour player Jordan Mary Lintz made her Connecticut Women’s Open debut at the Golf Club at Oxford Greens quite memorable. Lintz, the second-year teaching pro at Great River Golf Club in Milford, parred the second playoff hole to defeat four-time champion Elizabeth Caron, a.k.a. Liz Janangelo.
Janangelo, the first-year teaching pro at Rockrimmon CC in Stamford seeking her first win since the 2009 Futures Tour, made a 6-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole in regulation to take a one-stroke lead, then three-putted the 18th, lipping out a 4-footer for par and the victory. Janangelo made a Houdini par on the first playoff hole, sinking a 10-foot putt after hooking her drive behind two trees and knocking her approach over the green. But the former LPGA Tour player three-putted the second extra hole, the par-3 second, from 60 feet, missing a 14-footer for par. When Lintz made a 3-foot par putt, she had her first victory since the 2000 Mountain West Championship while a senior at the University of Wyoming. She earned the $5,000 first prize after closing with a 1-under-par 71, the low round of the tournament, to finish 36 holes at 2-over 146.
“I’m really proud of myself for hanging in there,” said the 33-year-old Lintz, who played on the LPGA and Futures tours from 2000 to 2006. “It makes me believe in myself again. I started to feel that way a week ago in the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open qualifying at Crestview Country Club (in Agawam, Mass.) when I shot 74. I didn’t make it because I had an 83 in the first round, but I hadn’t thought about competing for awhile, and that got me going.” Caron started the day two ahead of 2007 champion Sue Ginter and was three in front of Lintz and Karen Davies.
Caron maintained her lead until Lintz made a 40-foot birdie putt at No. 9 for a front-nine, 3-under 33 and Caron three-putted from 30 feet, missing a 3-footer. Caron regained the lead when Lintz three-putted the 11th hole from 30 feet, lipping out a 3-footer, but Caron bogeyed the tough 15th while Lintz was making par after hooking her drive onto a cart path and having to hit her approach from a side hill lie after taking a drop. “I was actually thinking of laying up, but I only had 105 yards to the front of the green and decided to knock down a little 8-iron shot,” Lintz said. Lintz and Caron each made bogey 4 from just behind the 16th green, then Caron hit a deft chip to 6 feet and made the birdie putt to take the lead at No. 17. But Lintz was given a mulligan when Caron three-putted from the back of the 18th green, running her birdie try 4 feet past the cup.
“I just hit that one way too hard and then just didn’t hit a very good second putt,” said the 27-year-old Caron, a West Hartford native who married from Nationwide Tour player Jason on Jan. 8. “It would have been nice to win, but I’m pretty happy with the way I played until I started three-putting. My golf game will always be about the same; it’s not going to get much better or much worse. But I’m happy with the state of mind that I’m in with my game. Before I would just quit and feel sorry for myself mentally, but now I’m happy that just a little bit of fire to want to win and do well is back again.”
Davies, of Carefree, Ariz., shot 73 to finish third at 148, two ahead of Ginter (76), a former LPGA Tour player who is now a teaching pro at Rolling Hills CC in Wilton. Ellie Dutch of Moodus, who plays out of Fox Hopyard GC in East Haddam, shot 75 to finish as low amateur at 154, one ahead of the field’s youngest player, 14-year-old Kelly Whaley, daughter of non-competing three-time winner Suzy Whaley. Whaley was 2 under for the day until she went double bogey-triple bogey-bogey at Nos. 14-16 in closing with 76.
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