It was an exciting day at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club for the final round of the 2nd Carolinas Women’s Club Team Championship. Temperatures reached the mid 70s and a light breeze moved through the pines. The day began with defending champions Pinehurst Country Club one stroke off the lead, but ended with Pinehurst CC captain Kendra Muir hoisting the Women’s Club Team trophy once again.
The final round format was Pinehurst alternate shot where both partners tee off, switch balls, hit their partner’s second shot, then pick which ball they would like to play. Partners then alternate for the remainder of the hole. Pinehurst Country Club is where the format originated (hence the name) and perhaps their familiarity with the format helped propel them to the lowest aggregate score today. Both sides for Pinehurst CC posted four-over-par 76 to finish with 152, a very good score in an intense, nerve-wracking format.
“We felt like the [final day] format was an advantage for us. We play it a lot. We’re comfortable with it and it’s my personal favorite format. It gives you a little bit of leeway with the first two shots, then puts the pressure on the alternate shot. I think it’s a great format,” said Pinehurst Country Club Captain Kendra Muir.
Pinehurst CC was neck-and-neck with 2017 runner-up Cowans Ford Country Club all week, but was able to pull ahead and beat CFCC by five strokes in the final round to finish with a four-stroke victory overall.
Muir said there was definitely some extra pressure coming into the tournament as defending champions, but they felt confident coming into the final round. “I think we were confident. We had confidence in our pairings, which were different each day. We were confident with our players in this format and it’s fun to come from behind. We knew it was going to be a battle because those guys are good players.”
The back-to-back champions narrowly defeated Cowans Ford CC two years in a row.
In the Carolinas Division, the lone South Carolina team of Greenville Country Club continued their dominating play in the final round with the Pinehurst alternate shot format. The side of Tricia Reed-Hall Bickmann tore up the course with a net six-under-par 66 and the other GCC side of Kristen Rooke-Aloma Smith also finished in red numbers with a one-under-par 71. Their fantastic final round meant that GCC finished at fifteen-under-par 417 to have the lowest team score in the Carolinas Division and win the first flight in that division.
In the second flight of the Carolinas Division, Colonial Country Club pulled way ahead of the rest of the flight with a final round seven-over-par 151. The side of Sook Hee Yang-Tess Kirkman combined for an even-par 72, which was the low score of any tandem in the second flight. Colonial Country Club finished with a team three-day total of 439 (+7), which gave them the second flight win and put them in third place overall in the Carolinas Division. (Teams in the Carolinas Division were flighted after 36 holes based on score)
Feature photo: 2018 Carolinas Women’s Club Team Champions, Pinehurst Country Club (L-R Patty Moore, Kendra Muir, Donna Tanner, Sally Means)