Shelly Stouffer battled more than just her closest pursuers in Thursday’s final round of the B.C. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. She also battled the butterflies, which were in full flight as she walked the final few holes at Nanaimo Golf Club.
Stouffer, a Nanoose Bay resident, overcame her nerves and held off Alison Murdoch of Victoria and Christina Proteau of Port Alberni to win the Mid-Amateur title by two shots. “I am pretty happy,” Stouffer said. “I was able to hang in and win coming down the stretch. I was nervous, man.”
Thursday’s final round was something of a roller-coaster ride for Stouffer, who shot a final round of four-over 76 to finish the 54-hole event at 16-over par.
That was two shots better than the 66-year-old Murdoch, who closed with an 80. Murdoch, a Victoria Golf Club member, had begun the day with a two-shot lead on Stouffer.
“I was just trying to hit every shot the best I could and it was a much better ball-striking day certainly than the first day, but I just put myself in some awkward spots that I couldn’t get out of,” Murdoch said.
Stouffer also claimed the Mid-Master title for players 40 and over. So she won two provincial championships in one day. Not a bad day at the office.
“I’ve never won the Mid-Am before so it’s exciting,” she said. “In a major tournament like this I have never beat Christina before, so it’s a good feeling.”
Last summer, when the Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master events were contested separately, Stouffer won her first Mid-Master title and finished runner-up to Proteau at the Mid-Amateur. Proteau, the pre-tournament favourite, simply could not buy a putt on Thursday, or most of the tournament for that matter.
She finished alone in third place, three shots behind Stouffer. “I hit a lot of good shots at one point and then I didn’t really pull the trigger the last couple of holes,” Proteau said. “It just happens, I guess.”
— NEWS Staff/B.C. Golf