SL Invitational matches go extra, extra

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:47 PM

Collette Hansen was faced with a shot she literally didn’t have in her bag during Tuesday’s Spring Lake Invitational Tournament.

The Grand Haven High School graduate and defending SLIT champion sat 150 yards out from the green on No. 1 — the 19th hole of her match against Susan Campbell.

With the wind in her face, Hansen didn’t have enough club to get there.

Fortunately, she had plenty of club for her next shot.

Hansen chipped in for birdie from 20 yards off the green for a 19-hole victory and a chance to meet four-time winner Joan Garety.

Garety edged Spring Lake’s Kathy Eisenga in 22 holes.

“I was hoping to get it close,” Hansen said of her winning chip shot. “The previous shot, I don’t have a club for that distance. I was 150 into the wind, and I don’t have a 155. I took out my 5-iron and said I’ll try it, but I didn’t have confidence in it.

“Obviously, I had a very nice chip.”

Her birdie ended a fiercely competitive match with Campbell, who is also a former SLIT champion.

“I hit some bad tee shots, but I got some up-and-downs,” Campbell said. “I laughed because yesterday, I lipped out two putts, and I don’t usually lip them out. I said it owes me a few, and I got paid back very nicely today. I missed one (on No. 18) that I should have made, but that’s the only one I struggled with.”

Both players had birdie putts to win the match on No. 18. Hansen’s longer putt came very close to falling, and Campbell’s shorter putt refused to drop, sending the pair on to an extra hole.

They made the turn onto No. 1, where Hansen boomed a drive that split the fairway while Campbell sent her tee shot into the rough on the left-hand side. Both players’ second shots came up short, and Campbell’s third barely reached the green.

Hansen then sank her chip to advance in the tournament.

“I started off really slow today,” Hansen said. “She was 2-up after the third hole. I was struggling to read the greens and get my second shot close. I finally pulled it together, started hitting better shots, but every time I birdied, she birdied with me.

“It was a little windier today, and I wasn’t really concentrating very well on my club selection. I was maybe too relaxed.”

Hansen will look to make it back-to-back wins over Garety today. The recent University of Detroit-Mercy graduate defeated Garety during last year’s final, 5 and 4.

Garety looked to be in control of her quarterfinal match against Eisenga on Tuesday, but the reining SLCC club champion sank birdies on 16 and 18 to force extra holes.

Both ladies scrambled through the first three playoff holes, but on No. 4, both hit fantastic drives that split the fairway.

Eisenga was out, and her second shot buried itself in the greenside bunker. Garety, knowing she could play it safe, sent a low shot that skipped to a quick stop just past the pin.

It took Eisenga two shots to get out of the sand, meaning Garety simply needed to 2-putt for the win. Her first putt, on a slippery downhill path, slid 4 feet past the hole.

Eisenga slammed her putt home for bogey, forcing Garety to hit her come-backer for the win. She did just that — barely.

“Let’s just say I didn’t hit it any harder than I absolutely had to,” Garety said with a laugh. “That was very close to stopping. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it dropped in, thankfully.”

Eisenga’s bid to become the first SLCC member to win the SLIT in many years came up just short.

“I was up and down all day, and got kind of lucky at the end there with birdies at 16 and 18 to force extra holes,” she said. “Then I took it four, so that’s good. I can’t complain.

“My second shot (on No. 4) looked really good. I thought it was good, but it ended up being short right into the bunker. I wasn’t warmed up for it (hitting out of the sand) because I hadn’t been in the sand much today.”

Garety and Hansen will meet at 8:39 a.m. while the other semifinal features Britni Gielow and Donna Benford.

Gielow, who recently graduated from Mona Shores after winning four consecutive state championships for the Sailors, defeated Bobbi Ferreira, 4 and 3. Benford edged Diane Kiino, 1-up.

In First Flight action, Cidy Obermeyer edged top-seeded Fran Upton, 3 and 2; Chris Zeiger scored a 1-up win over Laura Monea; Leslie Fletcher held off a fierce comeback to top SLCC’s Michele Yasenak, 1-up; and Carol Elias topped Sherrie Glas, 5 and 4.

Another SLCC member, Karen Sherwood, suffered a 6 and 5 loss to Mary Kline in the Third Flight.

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