2014 Women's Amateur Championship

  Agawam Hunt
  June 23-27

Women's Amateur Championship

Qualifying Scores

Championship Division Match Play Tree

President's Division Match Play Tree

Championship Division Final Live Scoring

President's Bowl Match Play Results

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By Paul Kenyon

Final Recap

EAST PROVIDENCE _ Susie Cavanagh made her first victory ever over Nicole Scola a memorable one. It brought her a state championship.
       Cavanagh, a Pilgrim High grad who now plays ice hockey at the University of Connecticut, scored her biggest victory yet on the golf course on Friday when she rallied past Scola, 3 and 1, at Agawam Hunt in the title match of the R.I. Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship.
      After falling 1-down on the 13th, Cavanagh won each of the last four holes, including a near hole-in-one on the par-3 16th. After both players struggled at times, Cavanagh won it by finishing par-birdie-birdie-par in the last four holes.
         The two college stars have long since established themselves as two of the best women players in the state, but Scola had controlled all their previous head-to-head meetings.
          ``We’ve had plenty of battles,’’ Cavanagh said. ``She’s definitely won some good ones in the past, but I knew if I played well down the stretch I could get it.’’     
         ``It feels great to finally get it done,’’ she added.
       While Scola had won each of the last two RIGA championships as well as the Interscholastic League crown, Cavanagh progressed from reaching the round of 16, to the quarterfinals and last year to losing to Scola in the title match. A powerful player, Cavanagh’s game is still very much a work in progress. Scola is seeing it firsthand
      ``We’ve always had really great competition between the two of us and I’ve been fortunate to play well when we did that,’’ Scola said. `` But her game has changed in a very god way, especially her short game.
       ``Her drives always have been very long. That’s something difficult to keep up with but, I was always better finesse-wise. Now that’s she really strengthened her short game, her chipping and putting especially, it makes her a much  more well rounded player and even better competition, as you could see out there,’’ Scola offered.
      The two staged a back and forth match in the final, in part because neither played as well as she had earlier in the week. Scola appeared to catch a good break at the seventh. She was 2-down and put her approach in the bunker that guards the left side of the green. It was buried. But it also was very near a two-by-four piece of wood that helps fortify the bunker. She looked to have to either hit backwards or take an unplayable.
     However, because of the wood, she asked for a ruling. Bob Ward, the RIGA’s executive director, told her rules allowed her a drop away from the wood. Instead of potentially losing the hole, Scola got up-and-down and won it.
    Twice she pulled even with wins at 8 and then 11 (where Cavanagh four-putted). When Scola won 13 with a par she was ahead for the first time.
     Facing a deficit, Cavanagh responded with her best golf of the day, winning 14 with a par, then the par-5 15th with a bird to go back ahead. The biggest shot of the week came next.
     With the honor on the 145-yard 16th, Cavanagh consulted with her caddie, Tom Acciardo before deciding on a seven iron. As she stepped up to the tee, a strong wind came up.
    ``The wind was helping at first, so I had a seven iron. Then all of a sudden I’m about to hit it and the wind’s in our face,’’ she related. ``I thought there’s no way I can get a seven iron there so I hit I six.  I trusted my swing and I got it there.’’
    The shot drove through the wind dead at the hole. It landed softly and came to rest one foot from the cup, so close she did not even had to putt it. Now 2-up, she won 17 with a routine par. Scola, knowing she needed to win to stay alive, chipped past the hole, missed her par putt and conceded Cavanagh’s putt for the 3-and-1 final.
      ``It wasn’t great golf until I turned it on at the end,’’ the new champion said. ``Both of us just really battled all day.’’
       Cavanagh, who is spending the summer working at Agawam, will play in the New England Women’s Amateur next week in New Hampshire, but be back playing hockey for UConn in the fall. She loves hockey too much to give it up for golf.
      ``I’ll be at the rink in the fall for sure,’’ she said. ``But with Rhode Island summers, why not play golf?’’

Semifinal Recap

EAST PROVIDENCE _ It will be the two-time defending champion against the medalist for the title in the R.I. Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship.
       Nicole Scola, the reigning champ, and Susie Cavanagh, the medalist, earned spots in the final with strong performances in Thursday’s semis at Agawam Hunt.
       Scola took control by winning four straight holes in the middle of the match and went on to a 4-and-3 triumph over fellow college star Kelsey Hayward. Cavanagh had a much tougher battle. She had to win the last two holes to squeeze past former champion Lisa Griffin McGill, 1 up.
      The results set up a repeat of last year’s final when Scola edged Cavanagh in a contest that went down to the final hole.
       The two collegians have grown up together in golf
        ``I’ve played Susie all through high school. She’s great. We’ve always had fun,’’ said Scola, now a member of the Quinnipiac golf team. ``We’ve known each other since the RIWGA clinics we went to as kids.’’
       ``We used to play junior stuff together, play dates, clinics, stuff like that,’’ said Cavanagh, now an ice hockey stat at UConn. ``So, yeah, it goes back. ‘’
      If the match is anything like the one Cavanagh survived in the semis, it will be a good one. The Cavanagh-McGill battle was the best of the tournament thus far. McGill shot 75, with only 31 putts, including four straight one-putts late in the match, but lost because Cavanagh shot 76, despite two doubles, with 33 putts. The two were never more than one hole apart and each player had a 1-up lead three different times.
     ``It was back and forth it was a dogfight all the way around. It was awesome,’’ Cavanagh said. ``That’s the kind of thing you want at the end. It’s not much fun to clobber a player. You want it to be competitive.’’
     The long hitting Cavanagh had the advantage off the tee but the steady McGill almost never makes mistakes. Surprisingly, it was on a par-5, the 15th, where McGill took her last lead. Cavanagh decided to play safe in the dogleg leg and hit iron off the tee rather than drive. She drove through the fairway, had tree problems and lost the hole to go 1-down.
   On the par-3 16th, Cavanagh hit the green while McGill was in the right bunker.
    ``She made a great sandy there,’’ Cavanagh said. McGill blasted to six feet and made the par putt to keep her lead.
     Cavanagh pull even with a par at 17 after a great drive. The match was decided on the 18th green. Cavanagh’s approach on the par-4 was on the back of the green, about 40 feet from the cup. McGill was off the green but closer to the hole, at about 35 feet.
    Cavanagh putted first and left the downhill putt about six feet short. McGill then chipped too strongly. It ended up about seven feet past the hole. She missed her par putt, then Cavanagh made hers to win the match.
       Scola earned her return to the title match for the third year in a row with an efficient performance. Hayward, who plays golf for Sacred Heart, had finished second in qualifying while Scola was third. Scola won the first hole with a par and then the two halved five straight holes, four with pars.
      ``On the front nine there were a couple holes I should have capitalized on.  I thought I should have been 2 or 3-up but I made some mistakes,’’ she said. ``But then I started getting into a groove and on a roll and I got my confidence back.’’
     She won four holes in a row as she went par-par-birdie-par. Scola put it away on 12 when she hit a six-iron second shot on the par-5 from 160 yards within 12 feet and made the putt for eagle.
   Hayward stayed alive by winning both 13 and 14 with pars, but both parred 15, giving Scola the 4-and-3 decision.

Quarterfinal Recap


EAST PROVIDENCE _ Lisa Griffin McGill is determined not to let the college stars dominate the R.I. Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship.
           McGill, the 2005 champion in this event, is the only semifinalist in the event at Agawam Hunt who is not still in college. On a day that included the best scoring of the week, McGill staged a tremendous performance in blitzing Angel Macleod, 7 and 5, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
        McGill was 4-under-par on the day, and never lost a hole. Still, she barely had the best performance of the quarters. Her opponent in the semifinals, medalist  Susie Cavanagh, had a very similar day.
       Cavanagh, the former Pilgrim three-sport star who now plays ice hockey at the University of Connecticut, also swept to a 7-and-6 triumph over Nancy Diemoz. Cavanagh also never lost a hole, never made a bogey. She was 5-under for the 12 holes, including an eagle on the par-5 sixth.
     The other semifinal will pit two former All-Staters who also attend college in Connecticut. Kelsey Hayward, a former Bay View star now at Sacred Heart, topped Mage Foss, 4 and 2, and former state Interscholastic champion Nicole Scola of Westerly and Quinnipiac, held off Kibbe Reilly, 3 and 2.
    Strong performances by the college players have come to be expected. McGill has become the one player most often in the way of the college sweep.  A summer resident and member at The Misquamicut Club, she has had a number of excellent performances, none better than the one she turned in against Macleod, a Wanamoisett member who was a tournament semifinalist last year.
     Macleod summed up what happened.
    ``I birdied the seventh,’’ she said of the short par-4. ``I didn’t win it. She did, too.’’
    McGill also had birds on 4, 6, and 12, all par 5s, in earning her spot in the semis. She shrugged off her big day.
     `I didn’t putt out all of them,’’ she noted, saying that two were conceded. ``We had a great day out there. It was fun.’’
        Cavanagh continued her outstanding play all week as she won six holes in a seven-hole stretch beginning at the third. She was 4-under in that run, including the eagle on six. She had 40 yards left for her third on that hole.
     ``I dunked it,’’ she said of the shot that went in on the fly. ``It was neat. I’ve always wanted to do that. I had never done it before.’’
      Hayward lost the first hole to Foss but then came right back with a deuce on the par-3 second. She won 5 and 6 to take control and did not look back.
     Scola had to work to get past Reilly. Scola won 3, 4 and 5 to go up by three. Scola birdied both 6 and 8 but could not build on her advantage because Reilly also birdied.
    ``It was a ridiculously tough match,’’ Scola said. ``Kibbe’s so nice but so tough to play against. Even if you outdrive her, she hits it close and makes you play well.’’



Round of 16 Recap
EAST PROVIDENCE _ Nancy Diemoz provided both the upset of the day and the highlight of the day Tuesday as match play began in the R.I. Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship at Agawam Hunt.
      Diemoz rolled in a 30-foot putt from off the green on the 19th hole to edge Melissa Hem. Hem was the eighth seed, Diemoz the ninth seed.
      Diemoz, the wife of Montaup pro Steve Diemoz, used her golfer’s memory to help her drain the winning putt.
      ``She (Hem) had that same putt this morning,’’ Diemoz related. ``It was that kind of day. I made a lot of good putts today after I missed then all yesterday.’’
     ``Even the ones she didn’t make were right there, the kind where you go ``oohh,’’ Hem said.
    The two had a wild match that saw only four of the 19 holes halved. Hem went up early.  Diemoz was 1-up through 11 before Hem won 12 and 13 to go ahead. Diemoz answered that by going par-birdie-par to win 14, 15 and 16 and go 2-up. Hem won both 17 and 18 to force extra holes.
     The other highlight of the day was the work of the mother-daughter duo of Marge Foss and Matison Leand. Mom won while her daughter was eliminated.
     Marge Foss edged Judy Davis, 1 up, in another great match. Davisd fell behind four different times but rallied to tie each time. When she won the 14th, she was ahead for the first time. But Foss won both 16 and 17 with pars to advance.
      Foss’ daughter, 17-year-old Matison Leand was beaten by Lisa McGill Griffin, the 2005 winner, 5 and 4. McGill was only one-over on the front side in the way to the victory.
      The other high seeds won. Medalist Susie Cavanagh ousted Felicia Revens 6 and 5, defending champion Nicola Scola swept past Leann Casario  9 and 7, Kelsey Hayward beat Angela Brunero 4 and 3, Kibbe Reilly got past Annie Corio, 3 and 2, and  Angel Macleod, the fourth seed, had to work to get past Bette DiDonato, 2 and 1.
       ``It was a good match,’’ MacLeod said. ``I knew I was in trouble when I birdied the first hole. It never seems to be good when I do that.’’
      MacLeod, a semifinalist last year in her first year in the event, fell 2-down when DiDonato won 2, 3 and 6.  DiDonato was still 1-up through 13 before Macleod won 14, 16 and 17 to take the 2-and-1 decision.
    Reilly also was tested in her match. She and Corio were even through 11 before Reilly won 12, 13 and 15, all with pars.

Qualifying Round Recap
EAST PROVIDENCE - For a part-time player, Susie Cavanagh has a terrific golf game.
          The former three-sport star at Pilgrim High was so good on Monday that she captured medalist honors in the R.I. Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship at Agawam Hunt. Her four-over 76 edged fellow collegian Kelsey Hayward by one shot for the top spot.
          Still another college star, Nicola Scola, who also is the defending champion in this event, took third, with a 79.
         The top three know each other well since they have grown up competing against each other. Cavanagh is a bit different than the other two in that golf is not her priority right now.  She excelled in field hockey, ice hockey and golf in high school and has opted to focus on ice hockey at the University of Connecticut.
           ``It was tough making a decision,’ she said, ``but I have a small window for hockey. You can only play for so long. Golf you can play all your life.’’
          Cavanagh took a regular turn as a forward for the Huskies and scored three goals on the season.
           ``I grew up playing hockey. I just love hockey,’’ she said. ``I want to play it while I can. I loved playing field hockey in high school, too, but I grew up with (ice) hockey.’’
            Since school ended, Cavanagh has been playing a lot of golf to get her game in shape at Agawam, her home course. She dealt with a different challenge, though, in the Amateur.
          ``I usually play from the back. I like playing from the back,’’ she related. ``Playing this way (about 600 yards shorter) makes for different course management on some holes. I’m hitting wedges (for second shots) instead of five irons.’’
         Cavanagh had three birdies, but was a bit disappointed with her finish, a double on the par-3 16th and a bogey on the par-4 17th.
           Hayward, a former All-Stater at Bay View who now attends Sacred Heart University, had a chance to match or edge Cavanagh but finished bogey-bogey. She had no complaints.
     ``I played well and had fun,’’ she said.
      Scola, who played in her Quinnipiac University shirt, got off to a shaky start with a double on the first hole. She was 4-over through six before steadying and playing well from there.
     The event is being run for the first time under the auspices of the Rhode Island Golf Association. The men’s and women’s organizations merged at the end of last year and now form one large organization.
     The field is one of the smallest in years, with only 25 players. Several factors have contributed, said Katie DeCosta, the new director of women’s golf and member services. A number of possible competitors are involved in the CVS Caremark Charity Classic, which began on Monday. The top high school players were taking part in the New England Interscholastic Championship that began Monday. And finally there are several member-guest events this week which are in conflict with the Amateur Championship

Past Champions