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Headline: Boston Strong Was On Full Display at Wellesley Country Club; Cindy Fentross Defeats Pam Kuong in the Round of 64 at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship
For Immediate Release: September 19, 2016
Cindy Fentross was featured on the USGA home page after defeating fellow Bay Stater Pam Kuong at Wellesley Country Club.
Watching the match on Monday were Shannon Johnson (bottom left) and Sue Curtin.
Wellesley, MA —Monday’s round of 64 at the 55th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship had more than one local feel to it.
In addition to the Championship being held at Wellesley Country Club, the only USGA Championship Proper in the Bay State this year, the only two players from Massachusetts who advanced to match play happened to be paired against each other in the round of 64.
The pairings, decided by the results of the tournament’s first two days of stroke play, set up Pamela Kuong (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) against fellow Bay State native Cindy Fentross (West Boylston, Mass.) in the first round of match play and ensured that only one of the original three competitors in the field with residences in Massachusetts could continue competing for the large Sterling Silver Cup Trophy awarded to the winner of the Championship.
Natalie Galligan (Cataumet, Mass.)was the third resident of the Commonwealth competing in the Championship Proper, but did not advance to match play.
Battling heavy rains, arguably the most the course has seen all season, it was the 34th-seeded Fentross who held off Kuong - the No. 31 seed - by a score of 2 and 1. Kuong was the runner up at the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship that was held at Hillwood Country Club in Nashville, Tenn while Fentross was playing in the event for first time.
The West Boylston native Fentross jumped out to an early lead, going up 4-up through the first six holes, and held onto a lead that she knew would likely dissolve as the day went along.
“I think I got a couple of lucky bounces, and I sank some putts where she just missed them,” said Fentross on opening an early lead. “It was a nice cushion to have, but knowing Pam and her skill and what she is capable of doing, I knew it wasn’t going to last.”
Fentross, a Commonwealth of Massachusetts employee, was correct in saying that her lead was not safe. Down four on the eighth hole, Kuong registered her first birdie on the day on the par-4 322 yard hole to take her first stab into the deficit.
Even with the score remaining unchanged through the next four holes, Kuong won back-to-back holes to bring the match to within one with just four holes left in the 18-hole regulation match. At that point, the spectators who endured the off-and-on downpours knew this match would remain close.
The two opponents, who are quite familiar with each other, last faced off in match play at the 2010 WGAM Amateur Championship, held at Kuong’s home course, Charles River Country Club, in a match that Kuong won on the 16th hole.
Both being Massachusetts residents, Fentross said that she always enjoys playing against Kuong, and that it helped knowing her opponent this go around.
“I’ve known her and [her husband] Peter for several years now,” said Fentross. “I knew exactly what to expect. I just needed to stay positive, go shot to shot, and see what happens.”
In part because she knew her opponent and in part due to the weather conditions, Fentross also added that her approach was different going into Monday’s first round of match play.
“My approach was to attack the ball, instead of playing conservative,” said Fentross, who has been commuting from her home about 30 minutes away from the Wellesley course. “[The rain] slowed my ball down, but it also slowed hers down. I get more height than she does and I think she relies on a lot of roll. She just didn’t get the roll today.”
The two would both make par on the par-3 15th hole before Fentross won the 16th hole to extend her lead to 2 up. The match ended with both carding even scores on the 496-yard, par-5 17th hole, with Fentross defeating Kuong by a score of 2 and 1.
Fentross will be back at the course tomorrow when she faces second ranked Kim Eaton, of Mesa, Arizona at 9:05 am. Eaton was victorious in her round of 64 match over Deborah Anderson (La Quinta, Calif) by a score of 7 and 6.