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‘Tricky’ pin placements at Blacksburg Country Club couldn’t derail the 2-time champion.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
BLACKSBURG — The difficult set of pin placements Saturday at Blacksburg Country Club duped many a player into multiple mistakes Saturday in the 27th Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women’s championship.
Savvy veteran Sara Cole didn’t fall for the sucker bait.
“I had actually played here the week before in the member-guest and they had some of those tricky pin placements,” Cole said. “So I thought, ‘I’m not going for them, I’m just going to try to play smart and hit it somewhere in the middle of the green.’
“Some of the pins were barely on the greens or tucked right behind some of the bunkers, so if you missed the green you were going to short side yourself and it was trouble.”
Cole was cerebral enough to methodically manage her way around the course and avert the danger spots that buried many. As a result, the semi-retired former professional posted a solid 1-over-par 73 and put herself in strong position to capture her third HOF crown in today’s final round at Ole Monterey.
“Why not just go for the middle of the green and hope that you’re putting well. And I did putt well, made a couple of long ones and was just steady on the others,” said Cole, a semi-retiree who won the title in 1989 and ’92.
Cole, who played the final 17 holes in 1 under following a double bogey on No. 1, takes a three-shot lead on teenager Katie Turk into the final 18.
Turk battled her way to a 76 on her home track.
“I play here all the time and I’ve never seen the pins that difficult here,” said Turk, a rising Blacksburg High School senior. “I called Brad [Ewing BCC pro] right when I finished and I said: ‘What was that?’ ”
Turk said Ewing told her that he and defending State Amateur champion Jake Mondy of Blacksburg picked the pin locations.
“So blame those, two, I guess,” said Turk, laughing. “It made you try to play smart and that’s good for us.”
Today, Turk will play an Ole Monterey course she’s never seen before.
Roanoke’s Kristin Hearp and Troutville’s Lyndsey Hunnell stand third and fourth, respectively, at 78 and 79. Eight-time champion Dot Bolling is fifth, seven shots back.
Led by Cole’s 73, Hanging Rock will be in pursuit of its first women’s team title. The Salem club leads second-place Roanoke Country Club by five shots.
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