Taking heed to the printed message on the side of her drink-holder - "Don't take life seriously, it isn't permanent" - Nancy Callan decided midway through her round at Thursday's Women's State Amateur to lighten up a little bit.
Callan's change of attitude helped her to recover from a shaky start to shoot an even-par 74 at the Valley View Golf Course. That gave her a 3-shot lead going into the final round of the women's premier event of the year.With a 150 total, the 23-year-old former BYU golfer was three shots ahead of last year's runner-up, Patty Price, and six shots ahead of defending champion Lisa Ikegami and City Parks champion Laurie Wolfe.
"I was getting too serious, so after the seventh hole I decided I had to relax and play like it was a scramble or a Sunday afternoon round," said Callan. "I decided to forget it and jump on my drives. Then I started crunching them." A native of Victoria, British Columbia, who now lives in Murray, Callan boomed her drives in the 250- to 260-yard range, well ahead of her competitors. That left her with 9-iron or wedge shots to many of the holes.
Through seven holes, Callan had been 3-over par and was trailing her playing partners. But with her new attitude, she proceeded to birdie the next two holes and four of the next five holes to take the lead for good.
For the day, Callan had seven birdies, with her other birds coming at 13, 5 and 8. Callan played the back nine first and had seven bogeys in her strange round, which included only four pars.
"Today I wanted to shoot under 70, because I haven't done that for a long time," she said. "I made seven birdies, but to only shoot even par - that's terrible."
Callan had several putts lip out, including a 3-footer for birdie at the final hole.
Price, the 26-year-old from Salt Lake, who is looking for her first State Am crown, wasn't exactly pleased with her play Thursday. She was especially displeased about making bogeys on the 9th and 18th holes, a couple of par-5 "birdie" holes.
"I didn't hit the ball that well, but I hung in there real well," said Price. "It was always a struggle and it seems like I fought for every shot. So I have to be happy about a 77."
Three shots behind Price are Ikegami and Wolfe, who were likely going to need sub-par rounds Friday to catch Callan and pass Price.
Nancy Minhondo fired her second straight 80 for a 160 total, which put her a shot ahead of Lachell Simmons and Julie Gfall at 161.
Flight leaders included Marta Aardema-Giles at 169 in First Flight, Pat Millburn at 176 in Second Flight and Nesha Humphrey at 196 in Third Flight.