Rasmussen wins third Longshore title
Published 12:27 pm, Thursday, August 9, 2012
Jo Rasmussen added another crown to her resume Saturday, defeating Jean Murdoch 7 and 6 in the finals of the Longshore Women's Golf Association's 52nd annual club championship at the Longshore Golf Course.
It was the third club title for Rasmussen, the lowest handicapped player in Longshore's 18-hole women's league. She also won club championships in 2008 and 2010.
Rasmussen reached the final after defeating Jane Dally in 19 holes in the semifinals on Friday.
Dally, who rallied from four-down after nine holes to force the playoff, was considered the second favorite behind Rasmussen but qualified fourth, setting up the semifinal meeting with the eventual champion.
Rasmussen closed out Saturday's victory with a par on the 12th hole. It came after she caddied for Jerry Courville Jr., earlier in the week in the Connecticut Open at Wee Burn County Club in Darien. Courville made the cut and finished in a tie for 17th.
"When I caddy, I learn a lot from him, just playing, how they putt," said Rasmussen, who plays to a seven handicap. "I'm inside the ropes. Therefore, it made me a better player."
Earlier this year, Rasmussen won the club championship at Fairfield's Smith-Richardson for the fifth consecutive year and the seventh time overall. Last year, she also claimed the championship at the Oronoque Country Club in Stratford. Rasmussen is a member at those two clubs, in addition to Longshore.
"I like the competitive side of it," Rasmussen added. "I like tournament golf, I really do."
Murdoch reached the finals with a 1-up semifinal victory over Patty Kondub, the girls' junior varsity golf coach at Staples High School.
"My goal was to beat (Rasmussen)," the 70-year-old Murdoch said. "She hits her ball, and I was like, `Okay, I can do this,' and [she] was always one better."
After posting a 36 for the first nine holes Friday, Rasmussen's goal was shoot a 76 Saturday. Her career low at Longshore is 77 from the white tees and an even-par 73 from the yellows.
Rasmussen made the turn Saturday at 39, six shots better than Murdoch, who volunteers her time doing the books for the LWGA and is admired by her fellow club members.
"She's such a sweet person, and she's such a great competitor," Rasmussen added. "I'm so honored to play against her. I hope that I can be in the final when I'm 70. That is such an inspiration."
Leela Narang-Benaderet, who is expecting her second child in about two weeks, won the LWGA title last year in a one-hole playoff against Dally. She attempted to defend her title but dropped out after seven holes in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The medalist in qualifying won the championship in all three flights. In the second flight, Johanna Swartley defeated Jeannie Klinge 5 and 4 I in the finals in a battle of best friends.
"It was very relaxing playing against a friend," Swartley said. "Neither of us had our `A game, but we survived."
"He who makes the least mistakes wins," Klinge added.
In the third flight, Dolores Mockler closed out her match on No. 17 for a 2-and-1 victory over Wendy Montanaro. Mockler's victory was significant because she is scheduled to have hip replacement surgery on Aug. 15.
The LWGA alternates the format of its club championship and switched to match play this year after a 36-hole, medal-play format last year.
In Wednesday's quarterfinals, Rasmussen defeated Jean Ryan 6 and 4, and Murdoch advanced with an 8-and-7 victory over Allison Tane.
Bob Birge is a freelance writer.