By Marc Hardin
Three championship winners in two days and two aces in a single day made for one dramatic week of golf during the final rounds of GCWGA Spring Team play.
Hamilton Elks reclaimed the Division I crown on its home course and won a sixth championship in eight years on the final day, Friday, June 2, with a score of 35 for a grand total of 171.5. Hamilton Elks won each of the last three weeks to clinch the title.
“My girls are so excited,” said Hamilton Elks captain and No. 3 player Linda Coffey. “There are 30 girls to pick from. From the beginning in January when I start asking who wants to play they are excited and I’m so happy for them.”
A day earlier at Maketewah, Wetherington clinched the Division III championship, adding luster to the club’s 25th-year celebration. It was 15-year captain Liz Devine’s first win.
“Wetherington is 25 years old this year and this is just the second or third time we’ve won, and it’s been awhile,” Devine said. “We ham and egged it. One managed to do well when the other didn’t.”
The first day of June also was one to remember for Hyde Park captain Melissa Homan. She had a hole-in-one on her first swing of the day on No. 16 at Oasis. Homan finished up by leading her squad to the Division II crown. Hyde Park won the final week and finished with a season tally of 149, good for a three-shot margin over runner-up Miami View (146) in a tightly-packed group at the top. With fewer than seven points separating the top four — also including Western Hills and Camargo — every shot mattered for Hyde Park and nobody came up bigger than Homan, a third-year captain.
“We were all kind of tied going into (the final day) with Miami View in first,” said Homan, who aced the 140-yard, par-3 No. 16 with a 6-iron for her first career hole-in-one. “Then it all got switched around on the last day.”
Mardie Off from Camargo had a hole-in-one on Oasis No. 3 the same day Homan aced it, making it two for Thursday.
“I couldn’t believe it. Two in one day after not having any,” Spring Team play chair Laurie Brunsman said. “The entire season was a lot of fun. It went without any kind of issue. Nobody had a problem and everybody seemed to have a good time.”
It was smooth sailing for Hamilton Elks, a winner by 31 points in the upper division. Terrace Park (140.5) finished second followed by Kenwood, defending champ Bel-Wood, O’Bannon Creek and Clovernook. Joining Coffey in Hamilton Elks’ top six are Brandi Duckwall, Julie Sizemore, Stacey Hinkle, Mary Hermann and Toni Soule. Jody Rousche, Vicki Selver and Lori Roberts, all quality golfers, round out an impressive top nine.
Homan is part of a talented Hyde Park contingent that also includes Maryanne Cardone, Jenny Cutter, Sue Dempsey, Lynne Lamacchia, Renee Obial and Lisa Underhill. “I thought we played really well the last week against the home team, Oasis at Oasis,” said Homan. Ivy Hills and Oasis finished behind Hyde Park, Miami View, Western Hills and Camargo in the Division II standings.
Wetherington (112.5) held off Four Bridges, Maketewah, Cincinnati Country Club and Summit Hills in parity-struck Division III. Fewer than three points separated runner-up Four Bridges (108.5) and fourth-place Cincinnati (106). Top players at Wetherington for captain Devine are Cindy Guthrie, Toni Mathevy, Francie Russell, Michelle Staarmann, Mary Hackman, Diane Stevens, Sherri Pedoto and Valerie Barth.
The top two teams in Divisions II and III typically move up a division for the following year while the bottom two in Divisions I and II typically move down, but nothing is official until Brunsman double-checks team status. “We need to make sure they are fielding teams next year,” said Brunsman, captain of the Western Hills squad. “So we haven’t officially decided who’s moving.”
Once they do, stay tuned for what should be an exciting 2018 season when newly-minted six-time champ Hamilton Elks will attempt to equal the previous decade’s juggernaut, Terrace Park, the only team to win seven Division I titles since 1993. Kenwood won seven Division I crowns from 1987-98.