Cap Comes Close: Shanahan-Rowe Rallies for LPGA T&CP Win
The putter had been Laura Shanahan-Rowe's worst enemy for the first two rounds of the SkyCaddie LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (TC&P) Championship being played at Pinehurst Resort's No. 8 Course.
So she wasn't all that surprised when she three-putted from 20 feet on the first hole of the final round.
"I had been knocking the ball close all week but hadn't been making anything," Shanahan-Rowe said after claiming the $12,000 winner's check and a berth in the 2009 McDonald's LPGA Championship. "I wanted to really go after it today, to put some pressure on the leader, but that three-putt was a wake-up call. I knew I'd have to start watching myself."
Watching herself proved a lot more enjoyable for the rest of the round, as she made up a three-stroke deficit on 36-hole leader Kelly Cap, of Pinehurst, to win the title by two shots with a 54-hole total of 215.
The T&CP apprentice member from Bedford, N.H., ran in a 25-foot putt for birdie on the third hole and went on to post a 71 that enabled her to pass Cap, who shot 70-71-76 -- 217.
Shanahan-Rowe, recently named head professional at Canterbury Woods Country Club in N.H., used birdies on the seventh and 11th holes to offset a lone bogey resulting from a wrong club selection in the tricky wind that was raking the Tom Fazio-designed No. 8 Course.
"I've tried to get on the LPGA Tour four times, and just didn't quite find the success to make it," she said. "It's tough to be a working golf professional and keep your game up at the same time. I've played in the Canadian Women's Open a few times, but nothing compares to playing in McDonald's next year. I'm a very competitive person to begin with, and being so competitive is really what got me into golf in the first place. Just knowing that I'm in the field -- it's pretty much a dream come true."
Cap and Jamie Fischer, of Gurnee, Ill., finished tied for second at 1-over 217 and took home runner-up checks of $7,500.
Cap, a former Methodist University All-American who was recently elected into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame, was on top of her game for the first two rounds but stumbled in the final.
Cap, who left the LPGA Tour in 2007 after a seven-year career, is an assistant professional at Pinehurst Resort's Padgett Learning Center. She joined the LPGA T&CP and carries a Class-B membership.
Despite battling 95-degree heat in the opening afternoon round, Cap posted four birdies and two bogeys for the 70 and shrugged off the idea that she was enjoying local knowledge.
"I played here with a couple of pros early in the year, but to be honest, I've been teaching so much that I don't have time to play a lot of golf anymore," she said. "When I first started teaching, I wasn't sure that I'd enjoy it as much as playing on Tour, but I love it. The funny part is that I haven't been playing much.
"I guess I always drove the ball well, even when I played on Tour, so hitting every fairway was really the key to the 70. I've learned to control my swing and my short game more since becoming a teacher and that's showing."
Entering the final round with a three-stroke lead in the senior division, Linda Nevatt of Churchville, Va., began on the back nine, where she made birdies on holes 13 and 16. Making the turn at 2-under, the director of instruction at The ACE Club in Lafayette Hills, Pa., played a quiet final nine except for a double bogey on her next-to-last hole to finish the round at even par.
"The SkyCaddie and my new Yes! putter made a huge difference," she said. "I used a face-balanced putter here, and when the rep put it in my hands on Sunday, it gave me all the more confidence. I was making putts all week that I normally miss."
"The senior division is competitive to begin with. It's just as competitive at the championship division. Don't let anyone fool you. I never play golf enough to even wish that I could be competitive, but it worked differently this week."
"I've played this event since 1986 -- every one since Houston. It's always a fun week, trying to be competitive against your friends and enjoy the week. This was certainly one of those weeks for me. Every year you go home wondering why you didn't win, and it feels nice to know that I don't have to wonder this time."
Information for this article was provided by the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Championship
More like this story