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Harrity Honored As Inaugural NHGA Women's Match Play Champion

May 22nd, 2019

Rye Beach, NH – With home course advantage on her side, Dana Harrity of Abenaqui Country Club captured the first-ever NHGA Women’s Match Play Championship title by defeating Betsy Knights (Hanover CC) 4 & 3 in the final match.
The Championship Flight final match began with Harrity winning the second and third holes, but Knights got one back before it got away from her.  Harrity struck again taking the fifth hole getting her back to 2up in the match.  Knights then battled the rest of the way on the front nine to get the match back to how it started, All Square.  Moving to the 10th hole, both players made six to halve the hole, but 11 is where is all started to go Harrity’s way when Knights put her tee shot in the water.  Harrity’s momentum carried her the remainder of the match as she won 13, 14 and 15 to take the victory, 4 & 3.
Harrity talks about the point in the match where she felt she was in a good position to win saying, “When I made the putt on 13 for a really, really difficult up and down and when I made the two-putt on 14 to go 3up, then I was pretty comfortable.  Making those quick, quick putts gives you a good feeling.”
As someone who is well-experienced with the match play format from competing in USGA championships over the years, Harrity discusses the mental aspect of this format versus stroke play.  She says, “Match play, you’re beating yourself up so you have to give yourself a pep talk throughout each match and just keep telling yourself that you’re not down; you may not be playing that well, but you’re not down.  So just try to hit the next shot and the not shot and the next putt and don’t make mental mistakes.”
The New Hampshire Golf Association is excited to have Dana Harrity as the first champion for this inaugural tournament, as she is the most decorated female golfer in New Hampshire.  Having won 16 NHWGA Championships throughout the years, Harrity adds a match play title to her lengthy resume of golf accomplishments, which came to a peak in October of 2018 when she was inducted as a part of the inaugural class into the New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame.
In the First Flight, a pair of friends ended up in the final match against eachother, Rowena Wilks (CC of New Hampshire) and Sharon LaVigne (Baker Hill GC).  Wilks got her advantage to 3up following the fourth hole, but LaVigne brought the margin down to Wilks at 1up at the turn.  The two traded holes on the back a couple times, keeping the match at All Square for much of the back nine.  It ultimately came down to the 18th hole where Wilks made a great par to win the match 1up.
For the Second Flight, Stacey Counts (Loudon CC) took on Ann Justin (Sagamore-Hampton GC) in the final match.  Justin took the early lead on the first hole, but soon after Counts captured a few holes herself and got to 3up and eventually 4up after the 11th hole.  Justin made a run winning holes 12, 13 and 14 and brought the match to all 18 holes.  Count ended up winning the match 1up after a strong fought battle from both.
As the inaugural NHGA Women’s Match Play Championship comes to a close, the NHGA would like to thank Abenaqui Country Club for being gracious hosts this week and providing a golf courses in outstanding condition given the spring weather New Hampshire has seen this year.
Complete Match Play Brackets: