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POCASSET, Massachusetts – The rain held off for what was more than just a grey day of competition at Pocasset Golf Club. Setting a new course record, Falmouth’s Hannah Ghelfi brought home the Edith Noblit Baker trophy with great composure posting a two-round score of even par 144.
Ghelfi, a member of Pocasset Golf Club, captured her first Edith Noblit Baker victory, defeating Shannon Johnson of Thorny Lea Golf Club, who was in pursuit of a fifth Baker trophy. Finishing the second round at 1-under par 71, Ghelfi was one stroke better than Johnson, who finished the round at even-par.
“Shannon is so good and you can’t take anything for granted when she is playing, she can easily make those long putts and difficult shots” said Ghelfi of her competitor following her round.
Entering the second round, both Ghelfi and Johnson shared the lead, piecing together 1-over par 73 rounds on Monday.
With three birdies and a bogie each on the front nine, Ghelfi and Johnson would continue to trade the lead on the challenging back side of the course.
“I just had to get refocused after each hole. It was really exciting with the both of us dropping putts” said Ghelfi, a rising Senior at the University of Michigan.
The lead changed three times before a champion was crowned and both competitors felt the pressure. “I definitely did not know for sure that I was going to win until I actually won,” said Ghelfi.
“It was back and forth the whole round and I felt as though I had some good momentum into the back nine,” said Johnson, a resident of Norton who is a sales representative for PING golf. “I struggled a little with my scoring irons and didn’t hit anything too close to give myself enough good looks.”
With the round tied up on the 17th tee, Johnson took a chance at the green and opened the door for Ghelfi. “I was a little over 200 yards out and gave it a rip with a 3-wood and ended up with an unfortunate lie. I really only needed two more yards to have been in better position. She played the percentage shots on that hole and played it well to get the par.”
On the final hole, Ghlefi fired a drive down the middle of the fairway while Johnson sent hers off to the right and onto the fairway of the 1st hole. Johnson rallied, for what looked like a comeback, and struck her second shot onto the green for a potential birdie putt. “It was fun to hit a good shot over those trees and end the day on something big like that. It’s always good when you have an opportunity to put some pressure on your opponent like that,” said Johnson.
Ghelfi stepped up and maintained composure to finish the round with a par. “She hit an unbelievable shot and I knew I had to knock it close which thankfully I did. The last putt that I had was downhill pretty good and I knew if I didn’t hit the right speed it was going to be a tough two-putt,” said Ghelfi.
A role reversal from last year’s Edith Noblit Baker, Ghelfi would be the one celebrating the win and great competition, bettering Johnson by one stroke to win.
“It’s always fun to play Shannon, I feel like I get better by just watching her tempo. So whenever I can get into a final group with I am always really excited,” said Ghlelfi of her competitor.
Ghelfi admittedly did not win it on her own, her caddie Steve Molis was an important part of her team over both rounds. “He is a founding member here and a good family friend. He was awesome! His reads on the greens were really good, knowing where to hit the ball and where you should miss. He knows this course so well.”
“It was really cool to play it here and win here. A lot of members came out to follow me and a lot of Griscom Cup teammates from this year were playing here this week so the support at the end was great. A fun day overall,” said Ghelfi.
For Ghelfi and the rest of the Pocasset Country Club family, this was a very special event. “It was great to have Mass Golf here and a wonderful opportunity for us to host the Edith Noblit Baker. It was especially nice that Hannah won it, being a long time member here and growing up here. She came away with a great victory,” said Jeff Halunen, Head PGA Professional at Pocasset Country Club. “Jennifer Keim tied the course record with a 72 today and 20 minutes later Hannah broke that record with a 71. A lot of good golf played today.”.
Barb Hecimovich of Beverly G&TC paced the Tournament Division side of the field, as she shot 78-82 for a two day total of 160, or 16-over par. Hecimovich won going away with a four shot victory over Alexandra Dunn(Brae Burn CC) and Diana Olney (The Country Club).
Hecimovich had a two shot entering the day over Lisa Heaps, (Olde Barnstable) and was able to keep pace above the rest of the field. Hecimovich is a former Massachusetts Women’s Senior Amateur Champion, (2017) and Cris Eaton Foursome Champion. (2014)