Linnenbom wins third Franklin County title
There was a 10-year gap between victories at the Franklin County Women's Golf Tournament for Jamie Linnenbom.
The 1998 Westerville North High School graduate defeated 2012 Groveport Madison graduate Kasey Petty 6 and 4 on July 13 at Little Turtle Golf Club to win her first Franklin County title since 2002.
"My mom (Linda Rishel) pointed out that I've won it as a teenager, then in my 20s and then in my 30s," said Linnenbom, who also won the 1999 title. "I'm trying to do it every decade, I guess."
A tradition in Columbus since 1923, the match-play event was held July 9-13 and featured golfers from 23 courses and country clubs.
Linnenbom, who played for the University of Florida in 1999 and for Ohio State from 2000-02, won four of the five holes played on the back nine to pull away from Petty.
Long drives helped Petty, who will play for the University of Findlay in the fall, win three of the first seven holes. However, Linnenbom relied on her consistency and her short game on the back nine.
"When I made the turn, I told myself that I needed to stay out of trouble on the back nine," Petty said. "I couldn't stay out of trouble off the tee and I was having some trouble with my shorter irons and my wedges."
The only Little Turtle member in the championship flight, Linnenbom said that gave her an advantage.
"I knew coming into it (Petty) was going to outdrive me a little bit. But on this course I knew where I wanted to put the ball and I felt comfortable with where I hit it," Linnenbom said. "Keeping it in play is my strength. I hit a lot of fairways and greens.
"I was hitting the ball well all week, so I just tried to stay calm and play my game and make a lot of pars. That was my goal."
Linnenbom also said she almost always competes in match-play events, while Petty was playing in that format for just the second time in her career.
"I think I buckled a little bit because I was so nervous," Petty said. "I'm used to playing with girls my age. These older, more experienced players have been through it all and they know how to handle certain situations. I was just so nervous that I didn't know what to do with myself."
Linnenbom said winning a Franklin County title was worth the 10-year wait.
"There's always good competition here," she said. "Match play is my favorite way to play competitive golf. You know exactly what you have to do. There's a lot more strategy involved with it."
*Other champions in the Franklin County tournament included Natalie Pardi (York), who defeated Em Clifford (Riviera) 2 and 1 in the first flight. Mary Macynski (NorthStar) defeated Jane Ahearn (Bent Tree) 1 up in the second flight and Nancy Albarelli (Little Turtle) defeated Vicki Dutcher (Little Turtle) 3 and 2 in the third flight.