Glen Lakes' Shirley Henry anticipates an invitation to play in the Lollypop Invitational next year. But she doesn't expect the tournament to be shortened from 36 to 18 holes.
"I'm only supposed to play one day here," Henry joked Wednesday afternoon.
Henry's calm demeanor was impressive considering she had just shot a 10-over-par 79 in the final round of the 23rd annual Lollypop Invitational at Seven Rivers Golf and Country Club to finish with a 154 total and share of second place with Seville's Barbara Ragan. Judi Meador of Silver Springs Shores wound up at 153 and claimed her second title in three years.
Meador's 5-over-par 74 Wednesday included a 34 on the back nine, where three holes were shortened due to heavy weekend rains. That left the course 477 yards shorter and three strokes below the normal par-72.
"My putting was very good today," Meador said. "I also chipped good on the last hole and had a gimme putt for my par-3, so that helped a lot.
"But I hit my irons a little better today and was keeping my drives in play. My driving wasn't great, but I didn't get myself into any trouble."
The outcome was in doubt until the last hole, a 150-yard par-3, where Meador hit her drive about 25 yards shy of the green. She chipped to within a foot of the cup, then sank the short putt for par and a one-stroke win.
Henry opened with a 75 Tuesday and led by three shots midway through the tournament, the second straight year she was ahead at the halfway point. Henry avoided any deja vu, like the 98 she scored in the second round last year, but poor putting Wednesday kept her out of the winner's circle again.
"I couldn't miss any putts (Tuesday) and I couldn't make any today," Henry said. "I hit into three sand traps, then two- or three-putted every time."
Sand traps plagued Henry on hole Nos. 6, 12 and 16. She three-putted greens on Nos. 1 and 8 Wednesday.
Black Diamond's Elizabeth Retterath, a 14-handicapper in the first flight who was in second place with a 77 going into Wednesday's round, carded 83 in the final round. She finished as overall low net winner with 132.
Gross winners included: Betty Whiting of Golden Hills, 165 in first flight; Esther Hoffman of Citrus Springs, 174 in second flight; Diane Colford of Inverness, 175 in third flight; Lynne Bengston of Golden Hills, 178 in fourth flight; and Dolly Schwalbert of Seven Rivers, 190 in fifth flight.