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Top Players Prevail Despite Strong Winds on Second Day of NHGA Women's Match Play Championship

May 21st, 2019

Rye Beach, NH – As 30 mile per hour wind gusts blew through Abenaqui Country Club, the first and second round of matches in the inaugural NHGA Women’s Match Play Championship commenced.  Dana Harrity (Abenaqui CC) and Betsy Knights (Hanover) weathered the storm today and managed to advance to the final match of the Championship Flight.  Rowena Wilks (CC of New Hampshire) and Sharon LaVigne (Baker Hill GC) also find themselves in the final match of the First Flight in the tournament.
In the Championship Flight, top seeded Dana Harrity was given a run around her home golf course, first by Suzanne Flynn (Pease GC) in the Quarterfinal match and then by Kimberly Beekman (Nashua CC) in the Semifinal match.  Harrity closed out both matches on the 16th hole at Abenaqui CC, but not without a few uncharacteristic mistakes on the course, mainly due to the high winds.  Harrity mentioned after her round that the winds today were the strongest she has ever played in.
For Knights, her road to the final match was a little different.  In the Quarterfinal match in the morning, she defeated Beth McGuerty (Portsmouth CC) 5 & 4, which led to her Semifinal match against Margaret Brenner (Nashua CC).  Brenner is a strong competitor and had a firm hold on the match at the turn, being 4UP.  Even thru 12 holes, Brenner was 5UP.  Knights started her epic comeback by winning holes 13, 14, and 15 to get back in the match.  The two halved the 16th hole, but Knights took 17 and 18 forcing extra holes.  On the 19th hole, both players were around the green in two, but Knights was able to get it close in three while Brenner struggled with a chip shot that went just over the green, not giving herself a chance, which opened the door for Knights to take the match.  Knights moves on to face the most decorated female golfer in New Hampshire golf, Dana Harrity.
The First Flight final match will be among two friends who frequently play golf together, Rowena Wilks (CC of New Hampshire) and Sharon LaVigne (Baker Hill GC).  On her way to the final match, Wilks defeated Karen Brickner 6 & 4 and Karen Dorow 5 & 3.  For LaVigne, she captured wins over Maggie McCabe 5 & 4 and Elaine Smith 6 & 5.  Wilks and LaVigne are the top two seeds in the First Flight and will face off on the final day of the championship.
In the Second Flight matches, there were a couple close ones finishing up at 1up, including Ann Justin (Sagamore-Hampton GC) defeating Sherry Osgood (Lochmere Golf & CC) and Carrie Yakola (Wentworth by the Sea CC) defeating Joan MacQuarrie (Owl’s Nest GC).  Justyna Hudson (Breakfast Hill GC), competing in her first tournament, also won her match, coming out on top 5 & 4 over Andrea Jalbert (Concord CC).  Stacey Counts (Loudon CC) and Hudson will be up against eachother in the morning to see who will take on Ann Justin in the final match for the Second Flight.
The common struggle among all matches today was the wind.  When the day begins with 20 mile per hour gusts whipping through the golf course, you know it will be a tough day, especially trying to select the proper club to hit into greens.  The final day of the championship should bring calmer winds, some exciting golf and champions will be crowned.
Day 3 Complete List of Matches:
Championship Flight—Dana Harrity (1) v Betsy Knights (3)
First Flight—Rowena Wilks (1) v Sharon LaVigne (2)
Second Flight—Stacey Counts (1) v Justyna Hudson (5); Ann Justin (3) v Winner of 1 & 5
Match Play Brackets: