-- amateurgolf.com staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (June 24, 2012) – Under unseasonably mild temperatures and light breezes Casie Cathrea successfully defended her title at the 77th Sacramento City Championship at Bing Maloney Golf Course. After an opening round 2-under-par 71, Cathrea started her day with a one stroke lead over U.C. Davis assistant women's golf coach, Lauren Dobashi.
The 16-year old from Livermore, who earlier in the month successfully defended the Sacramento County title, put on a commanding performance en route to her third consecutive City title. With long drives and laser-like approach shots she posted five birdies on the front nine. After a two-foot tap-in birdie at the first, she had a miscue on a 5 foot par putt on a tricky slider at the par 3 number 3 which gave Cathrea her only bogey of the day.
Recovering quickly she rolled in a six footer for birdie at the short par 5 6th and continued with a twelve footer at hole 7, a twelve footer at hole 8 and a ten footer at 9. She now was 4-under-par for the front nine and six ahead of Dobashi who carded a 1-over par 37 on the front nine.
Although her driver gave her a little trouble on the back nine with a couple loose shots to the left, Cathrea recovered making no worse than par.
Her best shot of the day was a 210 yard approach at the par 5 number 11. After punching out from the trees on the left and not reaching the fairway, she hit her third shot high over the trees bordering the left side of the fairway landing softly in the fringe pin-high left about 15 feet away. She made her par and then went on to make another birdie at the tricky dogleg par 5 number 12 with an up-an-down from the greenside bunker. She parred in from there posting a 1-under par 36 on the back nine and a 68 for the day.
Cathrea’s goal for the day was to match her 66 she shot in the second round last year.
“Even though I didn’t shoot 66, I know what I need to work on,” said Cathrea.
Although she didn’t make today’s goal she did make one earlier in the week. She earned medalist honors shooting a 71 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior qualifier held last Monday at Mira Vista Country Club. Cathrea will now prepare for the U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier in a few weeks at Fountain Grove Golf Club and then will compete in the Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced Golf Club mid-July.
It was a roller coaster round for Dobashi who finished the day with a 1-over par 74 and tournament total 146. She carded birdies at holes 2, 11, 13 and 18 but gave them back with bogeys at 3, 5 and 8 and a double bogey at the 12th after an errant drive found the out-of-bounds on the left.
“It was a grind, the putts weren’t falling. Nothing came easy today.“ commented Dobashi.
The 23 year old from Gold River is planning on playing in a Cactus Tour event in Las Vegas later this summer and will prepare her game for the upcoming U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier at Fountain Grove Golf Club in a few weeks.
Third place went to two-time Sacramento City Champion and amateurgolf.com member, Lynne Cowan who shot 148 with back-to-back 74’s. After a good start of 1-under after four, Cowan had a triple bogey 6 at the par 3 5th. Poor iron play lead to many scrambling up-and down pars but she rallied with birdies at 16 and 17 to get within a few shots of Dobashi.
There was a three way tie at 150 between Karen Garcia of Cool (76-74), Sagee Palavivatana of North Highlands (77-73) and Devin Dougherty of Woodland (78-72).
Cathrea will be back next year to defend her title with the hopes of winning four in a row. If she does she will beat the records of Golf Channel’s Big Break 2008 champion, Kim Welch and current Big Break competitor, Christina Stockton.