Sweet Caroline, Sweet Victory: Caroline Smith Wins Kentucky Women's Open
DANVILLE, KY (July 13, 2021) - Another day filled with delays at Danville Country Club met the final round of the 25th Kentucky Women’s Open, but Caroline Smith emerged victorious with a two-stroke margin of victory over Sarah Shipley.
Smith fired a final round of 69 (-3) to overcome a two-shot deficit entering the day to clinch the championship. She completed the event with a total score of 140 (-4). She hails from Inverness, Illinois and currently is a member of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Women’s Golf team.
“My strength was my putting today," Smith said after the round. “I made two lag putts early and made everything inside of eight feet. I hit a lot of fairways and played boring golf.”
Smith’s definition of “boring golf” came in the form of dropping in five birdies and just two bogeys on the day. She was able to make back-to-back long putts for birdie on the 5th and 6th holes which got her momentum going. She made consecutive birdies once again on the 9th and 10th holes which put her in the lead, where she remained for the rest of the tournament. A birdie on the par-five 17th gave her a two-shot cushion heading into the last hole which thwarted her opponents' chances at catching her.
Playing in the final group alongside Smith and finishing runner-up was Sarah Shipley. Shipley was the first round co-leader after shooting 69 (-3) on Monday and backed it up with a 73 (+1) on Tuesday. Shipley was steady throughout the week, but was unable to make enough birdies to reach Smith. Shipley only made three bogeys in the tournament, which all came in the final round. Shipley recently turned professional after graduating from the University of Kentucky this spring. This runner-up finish goes alongside another recent runner-up finish that she recorded in June’s Women’s Kentucky Amateur from University of Louisville Golf Club.
Rounding out of the top-five are a trio of players who finished with scores of 144 (E). Those players are Rylee Suttor, Victoria Elizabeth and Michaela Williams. Suttor, current Centre Colonel, shot a final round of 73 (+1) which included three birdies. Elizabeth shot a final round of 71 (-1) with three birdies as well. Williams, one of the first round co-leaders, shot 75 (+3) on Tuesday.
NOTES & STATS
- Two eagles were made during the final round. Moyea Russell snagged one on the par-five 3rd while past champion Christine Lindsey holed out on the par-four 13th.
- Tuesday’s hardest hole was the par-four 11th. Its stroke-to-par average was +0.92 with just two birdies made there today, those coming from Moyea Russell and Madison Smith.
- 11 played as the most difficult hole for both rounds combined as well.
- The par-three 16th was the easiest hole of the final round and the only one that yielded an under-par average on Tuesday. That mark was -0.05 with a dozen birdies recorded on it in the second round.
- The following hole, the par-five 17th, had the lowest average on the golf course with both rounds combined.
- Tuesday’s scoring average was 79.10 with both nines playing nearly identical in terms of difficulty.
- With Monday’s average equating to 79.48, Tuesday proved to be a slightly easier day for scoring.
The Kentucky PGA Section extends its thanks to Joey Sachs, PGA Head Golf Professional at Danville Country Club and his staff for their assistance in staging a memorable edition of the Kentucky Women’s Open. Appreciation is also expressed towards each player and spectator who made the 25th Kentucky Women’s Open one to remember.
The final State Open of the season will take place on July 27-29 from Persimmon Ridge Golf Club with the 102nd Kentucky Open. Next on the calendar for premier championships in women’s golf in Kentucky will be the second edition of the Kentucky Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship which will be held at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club in Richmond on August 11-12. Registration for that tournament is open and will be through August 4.