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NORTH DARTMOUTH, Massachusetts – Once the fog had lifted at the Country Club of New Bedford, host of the 69th Grace Keyes Cup, a tight knit group of competitors kept it close through the entirety of the second round. However, staying within striking distance was not enough today and the 2017 Keyes Champion Sue Curtin (Boston GC), who maintained at least partial if not sole possession throughout the final round, hoisted the trophy once again with a 36-hole score of 4-over par 148.
After a one-over par performance the day prior, Curtin would show no signs letting up as she played alongside fellow competitors Krystal Knight (Bradford CC) and Pam Kuong (Charles River CC).
“I was trying to be disciplined at playing one shot at a time,” said Curtin. “I was pretty successful at that today until I made the turn.”
Prior to the turn Curtin had a better front nine than her first round, carding two birdies and three bogeys. Not only were her playing partners maintaining a strong pace, but the 2018 champion Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC) played an even-par front nine and began to close the three-stroke gap from the first round.
“I had no idea how Shannon was playing,” said Curtin. “She was in the group ahead of me and I knew she was going to play well but as far as knowing what she was shooting and how close the round was… that is just something that I don’t keep track of when I am playing. I just try to stay focused shot by shot and I don’t look at scores.”
Curtin’s back-to-back bogeys on 10 and 11 allowed for Johnson to continue pursuit. As other women finished up their competitive rounds, word spread that the scores were close and a crowd began to gather around the final few holes. Johnson pieced together a string of pars to keep herself in the game, but a hiccup on the par 3 17th hole would cost her a stroke to the eventual champion. A birdie on 18 was a great way to finish but it would not be enough to force a playoff against Curtin who once again found her rhythm and closed out the championship with seven consecutive pars.
“It feels great to win the Keyes again,” said Curtin. “I have been playing so much golf lately and to see it pay off at events like this is always special. Mass Golf always puts on a great Championship and I know that we all appreciate the hard work that goes into it. I hope that we can continue to grow the game and get more women into next year’s field.”
Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea) finished solo second with a 5-over par 149 followed by Kyrstal Knight (Bradford CC) who wrapped up with a 7-over par 151.
The Tournament Division Champion was Elizabeth Derwin (Brookmeadow CC) with a 36-hole score of 29-over par 173.
Sally DeGan (LPGA AGA Boston) matched Curtin with a total net score of 4-over 148 in the championship flight.
In the tournament division flight, Cathy Flatley (South Shore CC) and Reena Pande (Blue Hill CC) tied for the top net score of 8-over 152.
For complete coverage of the Massachusetts Grace Keyes Cup, visit MassGolf.org or follow @PlayMassGolf on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Interact with us throughout the tournament by using #GraceKeyesCup.