Young, Steele top defending champs in playoff

Friday, July 15, 2005

The duo defeated Myers and Fowler on the second playoff hole at the Lassies Classic.

Robyn Young and Leslie Steele stared down two formidable foes in Thursday's playoff of the 27th annual Lassies Classic at Cape Girardeau Country Club.

Harriett Myers and Diane Fowler. Six-time champions of the two-woman scramble tournament. Defending champs after claiming the event in a playoff last year.

But on the second hole of this year's playoff, Myers and Fowler blinked. Each missed a 3-foot putt for par, and Steele hit a short putt for the championship.

"Neither of us had ever been in a playoff before," Young said. "Leslie and I were talking about that on our way to the first tee box, but I said, 'We can do this,' and we had a lot of support from the gallery."

Young and Steele, members of the host Cape Girardeau Country Club, had shot a 3-under-par 32 over nine holes Wednesday to take the lead in this year's 27-hole event. They combined for a 5-under 66 on Thursday, while Myers (Dalhousie) and Fowler (New Madrid) scored a 64 to tie for first place.

The two leading teams were four strokes in front of two third-place teams.

With about 30 observers following the playoff, both teams birdied the par-4 first hole with pressure putts. After Fowler missed from 15 feet, Myers drilled her putt home. Steele then missed from 8 feet, but Young converted.

"I focused on what I had to do," Young said. "I just focused in, and Leslie did as well."

On the par-3 second hole, Steele and Young were closer to the pin after the tee shots -- although both teams had long putts -- and Steele left her putt about a foot from the hole.

Myers and Fowler, just 3 feet from sending the playoff to another hole, were unable to hit their two par chances.

Young, playing in the classic for the eighth time with her fourth different partner, and Steele, in her third classic and teamed with Young for the second year, celebrated on their home course.

"It really gives you a charge to know we needed to bring it back here," said Young, the club champion for the last four years.

The tournament, organized by the country club's Women's Golf Association, was shortened by nine holes Wednesday due to rainy weather, but it ended in sunshine with a dramatic conclusion.

"With that hurricane," said Kathy Morris, the first-year co-chair with Deb Mealy, "we thought it was going to be canceled. Through positive thinking and the Lord above, we got it in."

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* Tournament scores, contest winners in Saturday's edition

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