- Golfer Benefits
ANDOVER, Massachusetts – Another warm sunny day at Indian Ridge was topped off by a new Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion being crowned. Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC) is now etched into the history books with an impressive first win in this event. Buck’s confidence and ball striking ability over the two days of competition was certainly that of a champion.
“It feels really nice,” Buck said. “I like I mentioned yesterday this this hasn’t been the best year golf wise so far. So I feel like I’m trending in the right direction with putting two good rounds together and get a win.”
Entering the day with a 7-stroke lead, Buck got off to a steady start and maintained her composure as her best friend, Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC), offered up plenty of competition to keep the leader on her game. Johnson shot the best round of the championship with her 4-under-par 70, and gave the eventual champion a run for her money until the very end.
“Shannon just played really great today and kept putting the pressure on, and that’s where it’s tough,” Buck said of her clubmate. “You don’t want to think about it as a match play and I was just trying to focus on my game and just do what I can do. It is tough when you’re playing with someone like Shannon, who can go and shoot really low. It was definitely a battle all day.”
Having to stay locked in on posting a good score to capture the victory, Buck felt like she set herself up to win with a great up-and-down on hole 16, a short 128-yard par-3.
“I was definitely feeling the pressure on 16 because Shannon had just made an eagle and a couple of birdies,” Buck said. “So that was a great up-and-down because chipping is not usually my strength. That built a lot of confidence and calmed me down a little bit. I knew if I just played steady the last couple holes, I could get it done.”
Followed in by several competitors who had finished their rounds earlier in the day, the lead group could tell that their level of play was celebrated by their peers. During the trophy presentation many women approached Buck to congratulate her and let her know that they are wanting to work harder after hearing interview yesterday.
“That’s why I love all the Mass Golf events,” she said. “When the competitors were finishing their rounds and some of them came out on the course and watched, it’s always just so great to see them. To hear them say ‘I’m cheering for you’ and then finishing and so many saying how they follow along when we’re away at the USGA events, it is just really cool. You’re out there by yourself, and you kind of forget that there’s so many people that do follow along and might be inspired by it.”
There was no stopping Gina Gallagher (Marlborough CC) as her impressive round of 2-over 76, propelled her to the top of the Tournament Division leaderboard and secured her the divisional win.
In awe of her performance Thursday, Gallagher still could not believe that she won. “I couldn’t even believe it. It was like I was Cinderella. Do I get to go to Disney World?”
Gallagher’s round was highlighted by a couple of birdies, but more notably by the 11 straight pars she made. That streak kept her in the hunt with a handful of other competitors at the top of the leaderboard after a disappointing first round.
“I left here yesterday and I felt like I didn’t play badly, but I just felt like I left a lot out there and it bothered me,” Gallagher said. “So I came back today and I was like, ‘you know what, just get revenge.’ So I came here with revenge in mind [and] just get those holes that got you yesterday.”
Taking the same sentiment as Kris Henderson (Bedrock GC), who finished tied for second in the division, Gallagher credited her playing partners for keeping things enjoyable out there.
“My playing partners, Diane Carter (Salem CC) and Elizabeth Darwin (The Tour), were just so great to play with. We all went on streaks of great holes. It was just incredible.”
Congratulations to the remaining top finishers in the Tournament Division:
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There will be several Mass Golf members heading down to the 2022 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida. Among them, the top two finishers Megan Buck and Shannon Johnson will be making their way down next week to get some practice in.
“I’m excited to go play. You know, it’s something that we talk about all year and it’s finally here and we get to go play,” said Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC). “I’ve never played the golf course, but I’ve heard great things about it. It will be great to get down there and reunite with my caddy Matt and see my parents and get the week started.”
“We’ll play a couple of practice rounds with Megan (Buck) and Mary Chamberlain is also joining us, but it’ll be fun we got a lot of Mass Golfers playing it so it’ll be a good time. Hopefully we all play decent.”
Mass Golf Members Competing at the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship