Laura Leszczynski (above) will engrave her name on the Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur trophy for the third time in her career after outlasting, Rose Kubesheski, at the 57th Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Lake Panorama National Golf Course in Panora.
As the two leaders, Leszczynski and Kubesheski, approached the final three-hole stretch, there seemed to be anyone’s title for the taking.
“We didn’t really know what the scores were,” Leszczynski said. “I thought I was down one. On the last few holes, my goal was just to make par all the way in.”
On hole 18, Kubesheski was inches away from holing out for birdie from just off the green. Leszczynski stood and watched Kubesheski tap in for her par, knowing that she was going to need her eight-foot par putt to drop.
“I thought my last putt was for a push to go into a play off,” Leszczynski said. “I put a lot a pressure on myself for that one, so it was a relief to make that one.”
Her putt caught the lip of the hole and fell. Little did she know that putt was for her second straight Senior Women’s Amateur Title, but Leszczynski couldn’t take all the credit.
“Coming off of the USGA Event, I didn’t play well there,” Leszczynski said. “I was fortunate enough to have some time with my local head golf professional, Jason Marvelli. He fixed my swing, so I came in here with a brand-new swing. To know where the ball was going to go instead of wish where it was going to go was awesome.”
A new swing was just enough for Leszczynski to defeat the seven-time Iowa Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Kubesheski.
“Rose played great,” Leszczynski said. “She makes me play better and keeps me focused. For me, I just need to stay calm and remind myself to stay in the game. To watch her play and play so evenly is always fun to watch, but I needed to play my own game and not play against her.”
As Leszczynski glanced at the trophy she worked so hard for, she could only share how much fun she had.
“To win this one, in such a close way was fun,” Leszczynski said.
A two-time Super Senior Women’s Amateur Champion, Margene Grady, made it three with a playoff victory over Jeanette Fredericksen.
The crowd of senior ladies were filled with anticipation as they followed Grady and Fredericksen back to the 10th tee. After Fredericksen left her approach just short of the putting surface, Grady stuck hers to the middle of the green. Fredericksen was unable to save par, and Grady two-putted.
With a par on that first playoff hole, Grady headed back to the clubhouse with a big smile and a third Super Senior Women’s Amateur title.
Fortune wins shootout
Congratulations to the IGA’s first ever IGA Senior Women’s Shoot-out champion, Kathy Fortune. Fortune felt the pressure she said but came through and defeated Janece Schwartzkopf in a late chip-off to win the ‘last-man standing’ style mini-game.
1. Laura Leszczynski 77-77=154
2. Rose Kubesheski 77-78=155
3. Michelle Klein 78-86=164
4. Kathy Fortune 85-82=167
T5. Jeanette Fredericksen 87-82=169
T5. Margene Grady 86-83=169
T5. Kelly Grimes 82-87=169
Super Senior Division
1. Margene Grady 86-83=169 *Won Playoff*
2. Jeanette Fredericksen 87-82=169
T3. Janis Owens 91-84=175
T3. Jennifer Corkrean 88-87=175
Sue Harmon 83-93=176