Birmingham’s Kathy Hartwiger and McCalla’s Lea Green started the day with an eight shot lead in the seventh annual Women’s State Four Ball Championship at Moore’s Mill Golf Club in Auburn and they concluded the championship in the same position.
They shot a spectacular 64 in Thursday’s opening round and followed that up with an even par 72 meaning they shot eight-under-par 136, with former Women’s Senior Amateur champion Sue Raines of Jackson’s Gap and her partner Nancy Schlich of Auburn shooting 72-72–144 to be in second.
Defending champion Kathy Hartwiger and former champion Lea Green have had great success in this championship. Last year, Hartwiger won with Lucie King and has also won it multiple times with Green. Green has also won with Linda Jeffery, and Hartwiger has also won with Missy Gooden.
So these close friends — both on and off the golf course — led the way again.
Their second round started quickly, as did their first round, and they were three-under-par through eight holes and looking at another low round. Three bogeys in the next six holes pegged them back, but they still ran out very comfortable winners.
“That’s just golf,” Green said. “We had a good start, but then a few mishaps. We wanted to shoot another low round and make as many putts as we could, but it wasn’t to be.”
Green, who commutes from McCalla to her job as an instructor in the Wellness Center at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, continued…
“We have fun playing together. It’s always nice to win a state title.”
The dynamic pair first met a number of years ago when they played for Alabama in the SWATCA team matches pitting various southeastern states. They decided to give the State Four Ball a shot and have had great success.
Hartwiger, who has won the Women’s State Amateur a record 10 times, has taken a break from competitive golf this year, but is still a determined competitor.
“I think sometimes (state titles) mean more a little while afterwards. When you allow yourself at the end of the season, the end of the year, to reflect. Looking back 10 years from now will be neat. When you are playing in them you don’t think in the same way.
“We don’t allow golf to define us. It’s part of our lives, but is not our life. This perspective is important and it comes with experience and age. I don’t ever want golf to define me. It is a wonderful, wonderful side to my life, but those closest to us will love us just the same irrespective of what we have done on the golf course.”
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Hartwiger also made a point to say how pleased she was for former Auburn golfer and former Auburn assistant golf coach and Atlanta, Ga. resident Margaret Shirley who won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship yesterday. This is the same national title that Hartwiger won in 2002.