NORTH DARTMOUTH, Massachusetts – Sue Curtin showed up at the Country Club of New Bedford, host of the 69th Grace Keyes Cup, on a mission and over the course of two-days and 36 holes, she came, she saw and she conquered!
The savvy Boston Golf Club veteran posted a two-day total of 4-over par 148, that was good enough to edge a trio of tough competitors that included 2018 Champion Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC), Pam Kuong (Charles River CC) and Kyrstal Knight (Bradford CC).
During the final round, Curtin, who won the 2017 Keyes Cup, was in complete control and maintained at least partial or sole possession throughout.
“I was trying to be disciplined at playing one shot at a time,” said Curtin, a long-time Westwood resident. “I was pretty successful at that today until I made the turn.”
Prior to the turn Curtin had a better front nine than her first round, carding two birdies and three bogeys. Not only were her playing partners maintaining a strong pace, but the Shannon Johnson turned up the heat, playing the front nine in even-par, to close the three-stroke gap from round one.
“I had no idea how Shannon was playing,” said Curtin. “She was in the group ahead of me and I knew she was going to play well. But as far as knowing what she was shooting and how close the round was, that is just something that I don’t keep track of when I am playing. I just try to stay focused shot by shot and I don’t look at scores.”
Curtin’s back-to-back bogeys on No. 10 and 11 allowed for Johnson to continue pursuit. As players completed their competitive rounds, word spread that the scores were close and a crowd began to gather around the final few holes. Johnson pieced together a string of pars to keep herself in the game, but a bogey on the par 3 17th hole would cost her a stroke to the eventual champion. A birdie on No. 18 was a great way to finish but it would not be enough to force a playoff against Curtin who once again found her rhythm and closed out the championship with seven consecutive pars.
“It feels great to win the Keyes Cup again,” said Curtin. “I have been playing so much golf lately and to see it pay off at events like this is always special. Mass Golf always puts on a great Championship and I know that every player appreciates the hard work that goes into it. I hope that we can continue to grow the game and get more women into next year’s field.”
Shannon Johnson finished solo second with a 5-over par 149 followed by Kyrstal Knight who wrapped up with a 7-over par 151.
The Tournament Division Champion was Elizabeth Derwin (Brookmeadow CC) with a 36-hole score of 29-over par 173.
Sally DeGan (LPGA AGA Boston) matched Curtin with a total net score of 4-over 148 in the championship flight.
In the tournament division flight, Cathy Flatley (South Shore CC) and Reena Pande (Blue Hill CC) tied for the top net score of 8-over 152.
CREDIT: Mass Golf Staff
PHOTO: David Colt Photography