Story by: Paul Kenyon
SEEKONK _ Nathalie Filler of the Hartford Golf Club was the big winner in the 59th New England Women’s Amateur Championship, but not the only winner. It also turned out to be a successful week for the players from the host Rhode Island Golf Association, as well.
Filler gave the event a dramatic ending, finishing birdie-birdie for a final round 72, which is 2-under-par for women at Ledgemont Country Club. That gave her an impressive 54-hole total of 6-under 216. Filler needed every bird she could muster since she won by only one over Jacquelyn Eleey of Massachusetts.
The host Rhode Island team turned in one of its best performances in years, with seven players in the top 25. Veteran Lisa Griffin McGill led the way with a fifth place finish at 229. Perhaps the most positive aspect for Rhode Island, though, was the work turned in by its strong group of young players, the deepest group of talented players the state has seen in years.
State Amateur champion Susan Cavanagh had what she called a ``weird’’ event, finishing eighth at 232. Her scores told of her adventures as she posted 86-68-78. She did not make a birdie in round one, had seven birds on the way to her 68 the second day, then had two eights on par-5 holes on the final round.
She was part of a group that made Katie DeCosta, the RIGA’s director of women’s golf and member services proud. Cavanagh’s threesome, the third from the end, was all-Rhode Island as she was joined by two more of the bright young stars, Caroline Farber and Alexis Florio.
Farber finished in a tie for 10th on rounds of 75-80-80 and Florio was 12th with 78-75-83.
``We’ve got a good group of young players,’’ Cavanagh said of the youth movement in Rhode Island. ``I think it’s exciting. We all will be able to push each other.’’
Among other Rhode Islanders, Angel MacLeod tied for 13th (76-80-83), Kibbe Reilly 24th (84-77-82) and Nancy Diemoz tied for 25th (79-83-84).