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ANDOVER, Massachusetts – Despite a one-hour rain delay to begin the second and final day of the Mildred Prunaret Cup, the team of Sally DeGan & Valerie Casella came out firing on the final 18 holes to win the tournament for the second time together Wednesday at Andover Country Club.
DeGan & Casella, of Granite Links GC, won all five of their nine-hole matches and finished with 33 points. They edged runners-up Cheryl Krueger (Orchards GC) & Barb Hecimovich (Beverly G&TC), who finished with 31.5 points to win the “A” Flight. DeGan & Casella, who led the “B” Flight, also captured the Prunaret Cup together in 2015 in an event that dates back to 1953.
Wednesday also marked the conclusion of the 2019 Mass Golf Women’s Tournament season.
After three round-robin, nine-hole matches Tuesday, players returned for 18 more holes of better-ball, match play split between two matches Wednesday. Teams received one point for winning each hole, a half-point for halving a hole and one point for winning the match. The tournament had 24 pairs divided into four flights of six to create the head-to-head matches.
Even after rain showers overnight and in the morning, the sun emerged and provided a pleasant atmosphere for the players. “Andover did a great job preparing the course for play,” DeGan said.
At the conclusion of play, the team of Sally DeGan & Valerie Casella finished atop the leaderboard with 33 points.
DeGan & Casella trailed defending champions Fran Vandermeer & Kris Herman, of Taconic GC, by a point through four matches. However, DeGan & Casella saved their best match for last, scoring 7.5 points against Mimi Johnson (Wedgewood Pines CC) & Marilyn Carson (Presidents GC). Vandermeer & Herman, meanwhile, scored just 3 points in their final match and tied for fourth with Kris Henderson (Bedrock GC) & Elizabeth Derwin (Norwood CC) with 29.5 points.
DeGan said she and Casella were motivated after falling behind early on in the final match against Johnson & Carson.
“We lost the first hole because we were angry, then we never let them win another hole after that,” DeGan said.
Casella & DeGan entered the day 1.5 points back of Krueger & Hecimovich, who only managed 10.5 points Wednesday after losing their opening match, 6-4. The deficit could’ve been larger, but DeGan & Casella sank a huge putt on the final hole of their second match against Barbara Quinn (Wollaston GC) & Donna Dileso (Sagamore Spring GC) on Tuesday to win the hole and grab an extra point for winning the match.
“We played right to the last putt,” DeGan said.
“Because every hole counts, for a point or half a point, you can’t let up, so it’s a grind all the way to the end,” Casella added.
Patty Roderick & Jane Fiste (Gannon GC) finished third overall by scoring 7 points in back-to-back matches to win the “C” Flight with 30.5 points. Jane Tryder (Mount Hood GC) & Alice McElhinney (Sagamore Spring GC) held on to win the “D” Flight with 28.5 points, finishing sixth overall.