Donna Benford of Linden survived a back-nine rally by Ann Lauer of Auburn Hills to win the 12th Michigan Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Travis Pointe on July 7.
Benford, a doctor with a practice in Fenton, had a 4-up lead after sinking a 25-foot birdie putt at the 11th, only to struggle as Lauer won three of the next four holes with pars and finally tied the match on the 18th hole.
“I just tried to stay in the moment, in the shot,” Benford said. “I didn’t think about the lead. I just tried to hit solid shots. I finally hit two solid shots in a row on the first extra hole.”
Lauer, meanwhile, hit a 4-iron approach into a greenside bunker and left the first bunker shot in the sand, which eventually allowed Benford to win the title match in 19 holes with a closing conceded par.
“I didn’t hit a good drive, so instead of hitting 8-iron in there like I have the last two days, I had to hit 4-iron and didn’t hit it very good,” Lauer said. “Then I didn’t get the first one out and that did it. Donna is tough. She lost the lead, but she kept trying just like I did.”
It was the third Golf Association of Michigan senior title for Benford, but first in the Amateur that features match play. She said Lauer started making pars and she started hitting some poor shots.
“I hit a few of them fat, just not good shots and I had a few tough lies, too,” she said. “The lead disappeared.”
Benford beat Lori Pospiech in 20 holes in a quarterfinal match Monday and then topped Claudia Cenko of Beverly Hills 1-up in the Tuesday morning semifinal round.
Lauer, meanwhile, beat two-time former champion Susan Campbell of Kalamazoo 3 and 1 in the quarterfinals, and had to go 19 holes to get past Mary Ellen Kalkhoff of Clinton Township in the semifinals.
via: Greg Johnson