Shelley Stouffer Wins Big In Her Senior Debut
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
CAMPBELL RIVER -- It was not a question of whether she would win, but rather by how much. The answer turned out to be 12 shots.
Shelly Stouffer made her senior debut a runaway as she captured the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship at Campbell River Golf & Country Club on Thursday.
Stouffer, a Nanoose Bay resident who plays out of Fairwinds Golf Club, finished the 54-hole competition at six-over par. Diane McFarlane of Surrey and Sandra Turbide of Maple Ridge tied for second at 18-over par.
Stouffer began the day with a nine-shot lead, thanks to a solid three-under 67 in Tuesday’s second round.
She acknowledged it was tough playing with such a big lead and knowing she’d have to completely collapse to lose the tournament.
Shelly Stouffer With The First Of What Could Be Several BC Senior Women's Trophies - Image Credit Chelsey Sweet/CSweet Media
“It is different because there’s no one chasing you, really,” Stouffer said. “It is a different mindset. I tried not think about it too much. At least I parred No. 18. Last year I had the five-shot lead at the Mid-Am and I four-putted for double.
“I had a great second day. It wasn’t like I was leading after the first day. It is fortunately three rounds and I know I typically get better as the week goes on.”
Stouffer, who turned 50 this past New Year’s Eve, had a decision to make before entering the tournament. Three different championships -- the B.C. Women’s Amateur, the Mid-Amateur for players 25 and older and the Senior for players 50 and over -- were contested here this week.
Shelly Stouffer Flanked By Diane McFarlane (left) And Sandra Turbide, Who Tied For Second - Image Credit Brad Ziemer/BC Golf
Stouffer could not compete in both the Mid-Am and Senior divisions because the Seniors was played from more forward tees. She decided to make her Senior debut and needless to say it turned out well.
“I would have liked to have defended my (Mid-Am) title but it is one of those things,” she said.
There’s really no telling how many Senior titles Stouffer could win in the years ahead. “Maybe just a few,” she said with a wry smile. “I don’t know, we’ll see. Hopefully I stay healthy and don’t have any injuries or other crazy stuff that happens.”
Stouffer joked about not saving her best for last. Her final round, a six-over 76, wasn’t exactly pretty. “I didn’t hit the ball as well today,” she said. “I made some bad decisions and I hit two in the water.”
But she had plenty of shots to play with and as she said after hoisting the championship trophy, “Turning 50 is great.”
McFarlane, who said she had a restless night after trying to sleep on the first-round lead, played a solid back nine to grab a share of second place. “I couldn’t even breathe on the front nine,” McFarlane said. “I’m very happy. Shelly is a great competitor.”
Alison Murdoch of Victoria finished alone in fourth place at 20-over and won the Super Senior title for players 60 and over. The Senior women’s competition also included a net Stableford component. Stouffer won the 'A' flight with 102 points. Joan Hinkey of Nanoose Bay took the 'B' flight with 99, Amber Dufour of Comox won the 'C' flight with 104 points.
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