E.A. Sports Today

Howard falls in flight final

Berry rallies from 2-down at turn to defeat former Alexandria golfer

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN – Jessica Howard was a little hot, tired and a bit disappointed – but she can’t wait to get to her next tournament.

Howard, the former Alexandria golfer who just completed her freshman year at Montevallo, lost to Jan Berry of Madison 2 & 1 Friday in the second flight championship match of the 83rd State Women’s Amateur at Gadsden Country Club.

It was her best finish in a tournament of such magnitude, but instead of being discouraged about not sealing the deal, she’s eager for the next opportunity – the Women’s Stroke Play Championship at Shoal Creek next month.

“I have to give her some credit; she’s very consistent, very classy and she put up a good game today,” Howard said of her opponent, “but walking away getting runner-up I’m very pleased.

“I never made it this far in a tournament individually and for this being my first (time) … I was very happy.

“In the end you always have a feeling of disappointment you didn’t come out on top, but I came away with a lot of good experience and some really good golf was played. I’m looking forward to playing at Shoal Creek.”

The round started off well for Howard. She had a 2-up lead at the turn, but couldn’t get any putts to fall on the back nine.

Berry took the lead by winning the first three holes on the back nine. She got up and down for par on 10 and Howard missed to halve. Howard lipped out her birdie putt on 11 and Berry made hers to square the match.

Berry took the lead for good on the par-5 12th after Howard’s drive found the hazard and her recovery shot hit a tree and caromed into the hazard on an adjacent fairway. She made 8.

Berry went 2 up with a par on the short par-3 15th and closed it out with a par on 17.

“I did feel a little bit more at ease coming off 9 but that was done,” Howard said. “Although it kind of made it easier, I knew I couldn’t lose sight of what was ahead.

“I’m just glad I got the experience of it. I got to make it this far. I’m just very happy about that.”

Hartselle’s Heather Nail won the overall championship, defeating 10-time champion Kathy Hartwiger 1 up.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login