Minnesota Golf Association

Pilot and Williams On Top of the Leaderboard with a 68 at MGA Women's Senior Amateur Four-Ball

June 3, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  MINNETRISTA, Minn. – Following a four-year absence from the winner’s circle, including three consecutive runner-up finishes at the Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship, Claudia Pilot and Brenda Williams looked to get back to their winning ways Monday by shooting a 4-under par 68 to take a three-stroke lead over Leigh Klasse and Barb Miller at Burl Oaks Golf Club.
Pilot and Williams are in search of their fourth victory overall at the event and first since cruising to a 10-stroke victory, helped by a final-round 67 at the 2014 championship at Northland Country Club.
Ahead of Tuesday’s final round, Pilot and Williams both agreed that course management will be crucial in the tough conditions this week.
“I think we need to navigate this course. If you get in the rough, it’s thick,” Williams said. “I used to coach the boys’ high school team here and I knew that it’s tough. I said we need to play a practice round because there is hazards everywhere—practically every hole except the par’3s. But we ham and egged it well.”
“It was a really nice feeling when we had two birdie putts on a hole,” Pilot added. “Hit it straight, hit the fairways and greens, make pars and hope that some birdies go in. This is a difficult golf course and there’s a lot of trouble out there.”
Starting on the third hole during Monday’s shotgun start, Pilot and Williams started quickly when Williams stuck her approach at the par-4 fourth inside of four feet and converted her birdie putt.
Sharp with her irons yet again, Williams drilled the flagstick at the par-4 sixth, leaving a short birdie putt, but it was Pilot who sank her long birdie look to put the pair at 2-under for the round. Taking a step back with bogey at the seventh, Pilot and Williams moved back to 2-under when Pilot’s tee shot at the par-3 11th rolled to two feet.
Getting up-and-down for birdie at the 12, the twosome moved to 3-under before carding their second bogey of the round at the par-3 15th. Williams sank her birdie look at the 17th before Pilot carded a birdie on the first hole to send the twosome to Tuesday’s final round with a three-stroke victory with a round of 68.
Pilot and Williams first teamed up in 2010 to win their first Minnesota Women’s Golf Association Senior Amateur Four-Ball title at Ridgeview Country Club. The two hoisted hardware again two years later at Red Wing Golf Club before their most recent win in 2014 in Duluth.
Pilot has two prior victories with partner Mary Hoisser, winning the 2008 championship at Forest Hills Golf Club and successfully defending their title a year later at Owatonna Country Club.
Also beginning the championship at the third hole Monday, Klasse and Miller started fast by rolling in back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes before taking bogey at the par-4 eighth. Answering with a birdie at the ninth, Klasse and Miller moved to the back nine at 2-under par.
Unable to convert any chances over the final 11 holes, Klasse and Miller would card one more bogey to finish the opening round at 1-under par 71 and three shots back.
Klasse and Lynn Anderson have teamed up the last four consecutive championships, while Klasse and Hoisser also paired up to with the 2011 championship at The Bridges and again in 2013 at Rochester Golf and Country Club.
In the First Flight Monday, the pairing of M.J. Graphenteen and Kore Grate combined for a round of even par 72 and will take a three-shot advantage over the twosome of Trish Olsen and Karen Norten to Tuesday’s final round.
Luana Cortesi and Darla Phillips partnered up to card a round of 5-over par 77 in the Second Flight Monday and will enter Tuesday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over the team of Terry Nicholson and Bev Cote.
Playing in the Third Flight Monday, Karla Ryshavy and Mary Williams posted a round of 5-over par 77, taking a sizable six-shot lead over Kathy Fisher and Dale Ann Smith when the final round gets underway Tuesday.
Opening the championship with a round of 7-over 79 in the Fourth Flight Monday, Melanie Jaeb and Emi Sako finished one stroke better than the pairing of Caramia Antonello and Shawna Johnson.
In the Fifth Flight Jeanne Marquardt and Sally Olsen combined to card a round of 10-over 82 Monday and will take a five-stroke lead over Jodie Skolnick and Cheryl Nordby to Tuesday’s final round.
The twosome of Jean Buller and Katie Deeg combined to shoot an opening round of 16-over 88 in the Sixth Flight Monday and will enter the final round of competition with a slim two-shot lead over the pairing of Lisa Melamed and Kris Brown.
The final round of the 2019 MGA Women's Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship gets underway Tuesday at 8 a.m. at Burl Oaks Golf Club.


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