Peterson Wins Third State Title, Defeats Williams at MGA Women's Senior Match Play

June 26, 2022
By Nick Hunter

  BECKER, Minn. – Riding momentum from her victory at the Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Christine Dean earlier this month, Adele Peterson defeated Brenda Williams Sunday at Pebble Creek Golf Club to claim the 2022 MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Match Play Championship.

Peterson built a big lead early over Brenda Williams during the championship match and held on to win, 4 and 3, to collect her third state victory over the past three seasons.

“This is awesome—I haven’t won a match play event since I was an amateur at the [Oklahoma Golf Association State Junior Golf Championship],” Peterson said following her win Sunday.

“I was driving the ball well this week, which helps. Driving is usually one of my strengths and playing shorter courses is an advantage for me.”

Back-to-back bogeys by Williams at the second and third holes to begin the final match led to a quick lead for Peterson, who would then sink a 15-footer for birdie at the par-5 fifth hole to increase her lead to three.

Winning three of the final four holes with par to close out the front nine Sunday, Peterson was in full control of the final match, but Williams would win the 12th to pull within five.

Needing to win the 14th to keep the match alive, Williams did just that with a par to trim the lead to four, but the two would halve the par-4 15th, giving Peterson her first Women’s Senior Amateur Match Play title, 4 and 3.

“I probably should’ve been more tenacious in closing the match,” said Peterson, who played holes 11 through 15 in 5-over Sunday. “I kind of had a little, mini collapse out there.

“I didn’t really know what to expect with this wind today because it was blowing hard. I got off to a good start, but I was questioning club selection quite a bit. Sometimes the wind would switch, and I felt like I had the wrong club and ease on it, which isn’t a good combination.”

Peterson, a product of Tulsa, Okla., won a pair of individual titles in high school in 1980 and 1981, as well as two OGA State Junior Golf titles. Playing her collegiate golf at Tulsa University, Peterson recorded 22 top-15 finishes in 32 events, helping TU to three top-six NCAA finishes. She finished ninth individually in the 1985 NCAA Championship.

A First Team All-American her senior season, Peterson graduated in 1986 and turned professional where she’d play the next seven seasons on the LPGA Tour. Her professional playing career was highlighted by her 15th-place finish at the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

Away from competitive golf for over 25 years, Peterson regained her amateur status shortly before the 2020 season, and quickly made her mark on the Minnesota golf scene by winning the MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Woodhill Country Club.

A health scare at the conclusion of the 2020 season forced Peterson to step away temporarily yet again, missing a portion of the 2021 season.

“I had five surgeries at the end of 2020 and into 2021,” Peterson said. “2021 wasn’t a very good year for me. But it’s great to be able to have a goal and come back and be able to do it.”

Despite her health issues, Peterson’s game remained sharp enough to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Senior Amateur at The Lakewood Club in Clear Point, Ala., where she advanced to the match play portion of the championship.

Eager to play a full 2022 schedule, Peterson quickly returned to her winning ways, pairing with Christine Dean to win the MGA Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Whitefish Golf Club earlier this month for her second state victory. In her eight starts in Minnesota since the 2020 season, Peterson has finished no worse than seventh.

Peterson cruised during her opening-round match against Lynn Anderson, 5 and 4, Friday before getting past six-time champion Leigh Klasse, 2-up, to reach Sunday’s final round.

Owner of 15 wins at state events during her career, Williams has been one of the state’s most consistent senior golfers for more than 10 seasons. She advanced from Friday’s opening round with a victory over Tracey Donesky, 3 and 2.

Facing defending champion and longtime friend, Claudia Pilot, during the semifinal round Saturday, Williams overcame a slim deficit during her front nine to pull out a victory to advance to the finals, 1-up.

Williams defeated Leigh Klasse to win the 2011 championship at The Jewel Golf Club but has now been denied in four appearances during the championship match in the 11 years since her victory.

“I didn’t play as well today as I had earlier in the week,” Williams said Sunday. “My driver was not working. The wind was so strong that I was trying to make something of it, and it just wasn’t happening. The greens were a little slower than I thought and I had a little bad luck, but I figured it had to turn.

“I feel like I’m hitting my irons well and my wedge shots. My wedges felt really good.”

Jacqueline Santopietro defeated Bernie Brown, 6 and 5, to claim top honors in the First Flight Sunday at Pebble Creek Golf Club, while Joan Frie finished on top in the Second Flight Sunday by defeating Colleen Boerboom in 21 holes.

Lynn Cunningham downed Tammy Nermyr, 5 and 4, to claim the Third Flight championship and Sarinna Dixon earned a win over Karyn Massmann, 2 and 1, to win the Fourth Flight.

*The match score was corrected to a 6 and 5 win for Adele Peterson after the match.

Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter is entering his tenth season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA's website. He resides in New Prague with his wife, Amber, and two sons.

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