Hansen gets redemption
Jul 21, 2015 at 11:36 AM
On Thursday, with a chance at redemption from that loss, the 2009 Grand Haven graduate responded in stellar fashion.
Hansen defeated four-time tournament champion Joan Garety of Ada, 5 and 4, to claim the title at the 91st edition of one of the longest-running women’s amateur tournaments in the country.
“It’s a great feeling,” Hansen said. “Last year, I didn’t play my best, so it feels pretty good to come back here and prove I could do it.”
Unlike a year ago, the 21-year-old senior on the University of Detroit women’s golf team thrived with her putter, including a 12-foot birdie putt on a par 4 No. 8 that sent her on her way to a comfortable lead.
The West Olive native’s only bogeys on the day occurred on the first hole and on No. 9, where she had a less-than-desirable drive and couldn’t recover.
It certainly wasn’t her theme of the day, however.
“I felt I played pretty good besides 9. That hole was forgettable,” she said. “I had some good shots and I had some bad shots. But if I did, I felt I had a good recovery at least.”
Garety said she lost to a well-deserving champion in Hansen.
“Collette played very steady. She did a lot of good things out there,” said Garety, a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and a former standout at Michigan State University. “She’s a very worthy champion based on her play today.
“I made too many mistakes and missed too many putts,” she added. “I missed a lot of short-ish putts, and that always makes it hard to bounce back from.”
The duo dealt with a stretches of rain and a few wind gusts, but Hansen said the weather had no ill effects on her game.
“I’m so used to bad weather in the college golf season, playing in snow, rain and freezing weather,” Hansen said. “I’m exciting when that is over so I can become a fair-weather golfer.”
Hansen and Garety were even through four holes in the match play format, but once the sun peeked out on No. 6, Hansen took over.
Garety couldn’t bounce back from landing in the bunker on No. 5 and her third shot on the par 5 No. 6 hole landed directly in front of a large oak near the front of the green. Hansen was able to two-putt on the hole to go 2-up.
The players halved No. 7, but Hansen struck with her best putt of the finals on No. 8, which caught the edge of the hole and spun in.
“Six and seven were important holes,” Garety said. “Those certainly gave her some momentum, then I didn’t take advantage of winning nine.”
Rain drops started falling again as the players reached No. 10, a hole won by Hansen with a short par putt. She made pars the rest of the way to put any thoughts of a Garety comeback to rest.
Garety was uncharacteristically shaky with her putting, as she missed a pair on No. 11 and a three-footer on No. 12.
With Hansen 5-up after an even No. 13, she was able to clinch the title on the next hole. Garety could have extended the match with a long birdie putt, but couldn’t produce any magic.
Garety and Hansen exchanged a traditional handshake, then the champion gave a bear hug to her father, Dan, who also caddied for her throughout the tournament.
“I really didn’t say a whole lot to her,” Dan Hansen admitted. “She was in the zone.”
Hansen said it meant a lot that she was able to top Garety — a well-respected golfer in West Michigan.
“It means a lot, actually,” Hansen said. “It’s nice to see the older ladies here who have such awesome games,” she said. “It’s great to see because I know I can play this game forever.
“It’s so nice to see the ladies who have been playing in this for 46 years or something. It’s like what? I’ve got my three years of experience here. That’s nothing.”