With her usual playing partner down in San Diego enjoying the U.S. Open this week, Sue Nyhus had to find a new teammate for the Women's State Four-Ball Championship for the first time in more than a decade.
So she asked her friend Kari Lawrence, a doctor from Utah County who rarely plays in tournaments, to join her this year.
It turned out to be a wise choice, as Nyhus and Lawrence teamed up for a four-stroke victory in a 36-hole tournament that included 59 teams.
Nyhus and Lawrence had a best-ball score of 71 and were the only team to break par at Glendale Golf Course Thursday on a blustery morning where temperatures never got out of the 60s and most women wore sweaters and windbreakers in un-June-like conditions. Stephanie Belnap and Jean Labrie finished second at 147 with a 72.
"It worked out great," said Nyhus, a two-time State Amateur champion who is the women's golf coach at BYU. "We teamed well together. It was a tough day with the wind, but we had fun today."
"We're golfing buddies," said Lawrence, a North Dakota native who played basketball for BYU in the late-1980s before going to medical school. "We've been playing together for about three years. We made some tough par putts today when we needed them."
Nyhus, who has won numerous tournaments since she played for BYU in the early 1980s, had won the State Four-Ball tournament with Joyce Billings in both 2004 and 2005, and the duo finished second in 2006 and third last year.
Tenille Slack and Sally Horrack had started the day in the lead after shooting a 71 on Wednesday at Rose Park, but they struggled on Thursday. A 40 on the front nine dropped them five shots behind at the turn, and a late rally that included a tap-in birdie by Slack on No. 14 and 40-foot birdie putt by Horrack at No. 17 was too little, too late.
When asked what happened Thursday, Slack replied, "Motherhood." She said she and Horrack, who are young mothers, had only played a couple of times this year, and their lack of practice hurt them.
Things hadn't started off great for Nyhus and Lawrence, who bogeyed their first three holes at Rose Park the previous day. However, they settled down and finished with a 72, one off the lead.
They took the lead early in Thursday's round, as Nyhus birdied No. 3 and Lawrence birdied No. 9. On the back nine, Nyhus rolled in a "snake" from 45 feet at No. 15 and bogeys at Nos. 14 and 18 didn't hurt.Flight winners included Val Green and Nan Mendenhall in the second flight, Joanne Kim-Linda Jun in the third flight, Maryjo Aydoner-Marilyn Vilani in the fourth flight and Barrie Frankland-Barbara Neuffer in the fifth flight.