Carolyn Mindel opened both rounds of the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association 50th Metropolitan Senior Women’s Championship with birdies on the first hole.
Unae Mueller had to bounce back from a less-than-stellar start. Both approaches worked. Mindel finished with a 76-78 – 154 to win the Overall Gross championship at Bel-Wood Country Club. Mueller added to what has been a solid 2021 season for her by winning the Overall Net championship, tying Beverly Weeks with a 83-77 – 160 Gross score and earning the title due to her handicap, which led to a 74-68 – 142. Weeks finished with an 84-76 – 160 Gross, which translated with her handicap to a 76-68 – 144.
“That was the best I’ve done at the Senior Met,” Mindel said. “A couple of years ago, I won the Senior Division of the Women’s Met at Hyde Park. A few years ago, I won the Ohio State Park tournament. I’ve won that two times.
“It makes you feel good when you open with a birdie,” she added. Mueller overcame shooting a 4-over 7 on the first hole. “I was not really feeling good that first day,” said Mueller, who four-putted the first hold. “I was thinking, ‘Uh, oh, this is not good.’ I was mad at myself for rushing myself. I said to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing here?’ I started to calm myself down. I had 10 pars and seven bogies after that. I had a pretty consistent first round.”
Senior Met flight winners were:
Gross: Young Romero, 82-84 =166
Net: Diane Herndon, 74-82 =156
Gross: Lesli Hopping, 86-76 =162
Net: Peggy Kelley, 73-76 =149
Gross: Beverly Weeks 84-76 =160
Net: Deb Fritz 74-85 =159
Gross: Delores Crowley, 89-89 =178
Net: Deb Gehring, 80-76 =156
Mindel relied on advice from Bel-Wood member Rex Conn on the best way to attack the course. “I was putting my driver in the fairway, and I had some good advice from a member,” Mindel said. “He said, ‘Stay below the hole on every green.’ I think that helped.” Mindel also made it a point to ignore the leader board for the entire 36 holes. “I wasn’t sure how the match went as far as being ahead or behind,” she said. “I consciously didn’t look at the leader boards. I can’t control how everybody else is playing. I didn’t want to know whether anybody was close to me or I was behind or ahead. There were a couple of times on the second day where I was tempted to look at the leader boards on holes that shouldn’t be trouble holes, but I said, ‘Nope, I’m not going to do it.’ I didn’t want to know.
“After it was over with, I turned my scorecard in and one of the officials who I know and was following the group, picking up markers, was the first one to tell me that I’d won. I was like, ‘Really?’ I was tickled to death.”
Mueller already had a Senior Met Net championship on her resume, having captured one at Kings Island three or four years ago, she recalled.
Like Mindel, Mueller chose to focus on her own game and not worry about the fallout. “I was in about third place or tied for second on the second day, and I go, ‘What the heck. It’s a beautiful day. I’m just going to play my own game and not worry about it,’” she said. “I played with Beverly Weeks both days, and we were neck-and-neck. Her handicap was one lower than me. On the second day, I had an eagle on the first hole. What a difference – first day, triple bogey, second day, eagle.” Mueller parred No. 2 before double-bogeying No. 3.
“Bad luck,” she said. “I went over the green and ended up next to a rock. I had to pitch out to the side. After that, I was able to settle myself down. On the 18th hole, I hit a birdie. How about that? I started with an eagle and finished with a birdie. I was feeling pretty good about it. You do what you can. “I really like Bel-Wood,” she added. “They have tight fairways. It’s challenging. The greens are pretty fast. I haven’t been playing over there in a while. It turned out to be a really nice two days. The GCWGA and the GCGA and Bel-Wood did a great job. It was very organized. It always is. Bel-Wood was very helpful.” Mindel was impressed with how Bel-Wood kept the course evenly competitive. “It was pretty hot,” she said. “They did a good job of marking the course. They did everything they could to not have the course conditions determine the outcome.”
By Mark Schmetzer