KENSINGTON, Conn. – Jean Sennett might have set an all-time golf record for perseverance.
After failing to win a state title in 37 attempts, the 66-year-old Sennett birdied the 18th hole to defeat defending champion Leslie Li 1 up in the Connecticut Women’s Golf Association Championship final at Shuttle Meadow Country Club.
“It was a good close match where we each shot (1-over-par) 74, so I’m really happy,” Sennett said after her 22nd appearance in the championship. “It wasn’t as much relief as I thought it would be maybe because it was such a tight match. I didn’t have time to think about ‘What if?’ ”
Neither finalist had more than a 1-up lead, and Li, who will be going to the University of Hartford in the fall on a full scholarship, got even when Sennett three-putted the 15th hole. After each player made a bogey and par on the 16th and 17th holes, Li drove into trouble on the par-5 18th played from the men’s tee and had to pitch her second shot into the fairway. Li (Tumble Brook CC-Bloomfield) was on the back of the green on her fourth shot, while Sennett stayed in play and hit her third shot with 7-high bred to.3 feet and made the putt for that elusive first major title in her fifth trip to the final.
“You never know in this game,” Sennett said. “Mimi Schreck won two years ago, and she’s older than I am, so as long as you can beat the youngsters, you keep trying, especially because of the format (match play)”
Schreck was medalist this year with a 78, which included a hole-in-one on the 13th hole. She finished one stroke ahead of three players, including Sennett.
Sennett is a 20-time winner of the club championship at Wampanoag Country Club in West Hartford, starting in 1992 and running through 2018. She has captured the Super Senior division in the Connecticut State Women’s Amateur Championship that she has played 15 times. She also was a runner-up in the CWGA Super Senior Championship.
In the Founders Cup final, Cheryl Ziebka defeated defending champion Pam Burt 3 and 2 between members at the Country Club of Farmington.