No one ever will beat the game of golf, but 2012 Florida Women’s Senior Amateur champion Lynda Case can call the match all-square.
In a rare competitive appearance, the former veteran mini-tour player recorded rounds of 75-71 – 146 on the Fiddlesticks Long Mean Course, three strokes lower than Jacksonville’s Therese Quinn and six less than first-round leader Mary Jane Hiestand of Naples. Two-time defending champion Diane Lang, from Weston, finish tied for sixth at 158.
“I had a really good day,” Case said Saturday, following her 1-under par 71. “It’s really fantastic. It’s great to play on my home course, but that puts on extra pressure. You want to play well for yourself and your club.”
Paired with Hiestand, Case had no real expectations.
“Mary Jane is a real good player, but she got off to a rough start,” Case explained. “She’s coming off cancer surgery and it’s just great seeing her out there. Fortunately, I got off to a solid start.
“I didn’t know what I shot on the front nine until someone asked. I looked at the card and saw I shot 34 with no bogeys. It hit me that it was kind of good and if I just kept in there and took it shot by shot, something good might happen.”
Some motivation for Case came from playing in a familiar setting.
“I just didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of my friends and fellow club members,” she said. “I then just tried to stay focused on the shot I had and stay as calm as I can. I really tried to keep out of my own way. It was a good, solid scoring day.”
Case’s appearance marked what has become a rare appearance in the competitive arena, but it hasn’t always been that way.
“I haven’t played competitively in a while,” she said, “and it’s different. I played the mini-tours in the ’80s, then got my amateur status back in the ’90s. I haven’t played a lot of state events.”
However, it was the Florida Women’s Amateur that catapulted Case into the game that’s lasted a lifetime.
“I won the state amateur in 1982 (as Lynda Brown she defeated Leslie Shannon for the title at Lehigh Acres), and then I turned pro and started playing the mini-tours,” she said. “When I realized that was as far as I might go, I stopped and got my amateur reinstatement.”
She also got a husband. Tom Case, a former Wake Forest golfer in the Lanny Wadkins’ days and a Pine Valley member, is fresh off a win with teammate Jim Holtgrieve in the senior division of the prestigious Anderson Memorial annually held at Winged Foot.
And with the husband came a job heading up the estate planning and life insurance division of Case Life Solutions.
Her situation causes Case a dilemma. Her two favorite activities are golf and her job – not necessarily in that order. In order to be successful, she has to give up part of one for the other.
“I won’t be competing that much because of my job,” she explained. “I’m going to play in some four-ball and team events, anything where I can have a partner. I’ll try to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur. Anything beyond that is to be decided.”
Should Case’s schedule stop at her qualifying attempt, you get the feeling that she’s really cool with that.
“I love golf and I play every day I can,” she enthused. “It’s a fabulous game. The people are great and it’s a great lifestyle. As for competing, I tried it. I did it. I’m satisfied and fulfilled. Golf has put me in incredible places and I appreciate what I’ve done.”
As much as the nuances of the game can torture the soul, Lynda Case sees what the game has done for her rather than to her. She’s all-square with the game and if things get any better for her, she just may close out the match.
Nancy Smith of Northport shot 83-77-160 for a two-stroke win ahead of Jensen Beach’s Sandie St. Onge (84-78) in the event’s second flight. The third flight title went to Linda McMillan of Ormond Beach (86-75-161), who beat Plantation’s Ann Fulginiti (86-83) by eight strokes.
Meredith Wolf of Wellington (84-93) and Melinda Morgan of Debary (92-85) each carded 177 to tie atop the Super Senior division.