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Hole-in-one fails to derail Lassies Classic reigning champions

Friday, July 20, 2012

(Photo)
Diane Fowler watches her tee shot on the fourteenth hole during the final day of the Lassies Classic Thursday, July 19, at the Cape Girardeau Country Club. Fowler and her partner Harriette Myers won the event.
(ADAM VOGLER)
Sherre Simmons provided the buzz with a hole-in-one during the final round of the Lassies Classic on Thursday at Cape Girardeau Country Club.

But even that buzz was no match for the buzz saw.

Diane Fowler and Harriette Myers carded four birdies over their final nine holes and turned Simmons' stellar moment into an exciting footnote by posting an 8-under-par 63 and a five-shot victory over Simmons and teammate Sissy Donahue.

It was the 11th Lassies Classic title in 14 years for the New Madrid golfers, who started the day with a two-shot lead over Simmons and Donahue after shooting a 64 on the first day of the 34th annual scramble.

The lead grew to three strokes on the first hole Thursday when the defending champions birdied the par-4 10th hole. The pair was in position to move four shots ahead when both Fowler and Myers put their tee shots close to the pin on the 100-yard, par-3 11th.

(Photo)
Sissy Donahue, right, and her partner Sherre Simmons line up a putt on the 14th green Wednesday at Cape Girardeau Country Club.
"We knocked it in there close, and [Simmons] knew she had to hit a good shot, and she did," Fowler said. "She hit a real good shot."

Simmons used a pitching wedge to unleash the buzz.

"It was perfect," Donahue said. "It was going right at the pin. It hit on the green and started rolling to the pin, and I said, 'Disappear,' and it did like a second later. It was awesome."

Fowler said she's seen two other holes-in-one this year at Fox Haven in Sikeston, Mo., and she's seen Myers knock in several over the years.

"I've seen enough of them," Fowler said. "I knew that one was going to be close to being in the whole time. Everybody's I play with goes in."

(Photo)
Sandy Barclay, left, and her partner Mary Jane Tyler react to Barclay missing her putt on the 14th hole Thursday.
Myers didn't mind the heroics by her opponent.

"I was like thrilled," Myers said. "It's always a thrill to see a hole-in-one. I don't care who it is."

Fowler and Myers' birdie-birdie start was negated with the one swing.

"It was fun," Fowler said. "It put a lot of pressure on the match, and they held the tee box on us."

Both teams birdied the par-5 12th before Donahue hit an 8-iron to within eight feet on the par-3 13th. Simmons rolled in the birdie putt to cut the deficit to one stroke.

(Photo)
Harriette Myers, left, watches as her partner Diane Fowler hits onto the fourth green Thursday during the final day of the Lassies Classic at Cape Girardeau Country Club. Fowler and Myers won the event. Check out more photos from Day 2 in our gallery at semoball.com.
(ADAM VOGLER)
Fowler and Myers clung to the slim lead at the turn and headed into a part of the course that has not has been birdie-friendly to them over the years. They've overcome a five-stroke deficit on the back nine in compiling their titles, but the front nine has been a more barren tract.

"We normally don't play the front too well, so I knew we really had to bear down and play and get some birdies," Myers said. "They normally play it better than we do, at least any time we play with them."

Both teams made birdies on Nos. 1 and 4 before Fowler started firing at pins. She hit approach shots within five feet for birdies on Nos. 5 and 7. Both went unanswered.

Her 6-iron from 140 yards left about a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 7 to push the lead to three strokes with two holes remaining.

"Well Sis, I don't think we can get there from here," Simmons said as she walked off the green.

(Photo)
Vicki Dye watches as Shawna Glueck hits out of the sand trap onto the third green during Thursday's final round of the Lassies Classic.
Myers said her own game was sporadic over the two days but lauded the play of her teammate.

"She played well both days," Myers said. "This was probably the best I've seen her play up here for two days. She's smacking it off the tee."

The pair missed a couple other good birdie chances over their final nine.

"That's probably the best front we've ever played," Myers said.

Donahue and Simmons appeared deflated after the birdie on No. 7 and bogeyed their final two holes.

(Photo)
Vickie Long, right, and her partner Janice Hoffman react as Long misses her putt on the third green Thursday during the final day of the Lassies Classic.
(ADAM VOGLER)
"I was waiting for a miracle for us," Simmons said about the final nine holes. "Because that's when they come on. The longer we played, the more that Diane ... she just started getting stronger. Her drives were stronger and [her iron shots] were amazing. I was just lucky I got to play with them today.

"Like I told them right before I hit that hole-in-one, 'You know guys, I'm just privileged to play with you guys. We're not even the same caliber.' And then I hit that hole-in-one."

Donahue, a member of Kimbeland Country Club, and Simmons, a member of Cape Jaycee Municipal Golf Course, won the title in 2010, when they shot a 63 in the first round of the tournament and saw the second day get washed away.

"It was a one-day event, and we couldn't do anything wrong," Donahue said.

This time they had matching rounds of 66 for a 132 total in their fifth appearance in the tournament.

(Photo)
Janice Hoffman chips onto the third green during Thursday's final round of the Lassies Classic.
"They're amazing competitors," Donahue said about the champions. "It's fun to play with them. It pushes you. They're sweet people, and I like it."

They found out a career highlight isn't even good enough to stop the New Madrid duo, but both women were thankful for that moment.

"I still haven't grasped the whole thing of it yet," Simmons said about her first hole-in-one. "I've seen a couple of hole-in-ones. I mean, I've always wanted one. Everyone always told me it's when you least expect it, and I was not even expecting it today, especially against Diane and Harriette. They're a little intimidating anyway, I think. They're just great players all the way around."

The team of Sandy Barclay and Mary Jane Tyler finished third with a 135 (67-68) total. Former champions Vickie Long and Janice Hoffman were another stroke back at 136 (70-66).

Alice Temm and Mindy Dull were fifth at 138 (68-70).

(Photo)
A Betty Boop head cover protects a club on the final day of the Lassies Classic Thursday, July 19, at the Cape Girardeau Country Club.
(ADAM VOGLER)
Complete results were not available at press time.

(Photo)


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