SANDY Mandi Incorvaia is from Las Vegas but plays for the Southern Utah University golf team and is a member of the Utah Golf Association.
So she decided to make the drive from her home in Nevada to compete in this week's UGA Women's Match Play Championship at River Oaks Golf Course.
Incorvaia had to get past three former State Amateur champions as well a former Match Play champion, but by late Friday morning she was the 2008 Match Play champion.
The 19-year-old sophomore-to-be at SUU took less than three hours to defeat three-time State Am champion Lachell Poffenberger 3 and 2 in the finals.
"It was very fun I haven't won a tournament in awhile," said Incorvaia. "We were pretty even, but I made some good birdies."
After both players birdied the first hole, Poffenberger won her only hole of the day when Incorvaia bogeyed. However, Poffenberger got in trouble at holes 4 and 5 and Incorvaia took the lead for good. At the par-3 No. 8 hole, Incorvaia rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt to increase the lead to two and then birdied the par-3 12th with a 12-foot putt.
From there, both players halved the next four holes with Incorvaia closing out the match on No. 16.
This was Poffenberger's first appearance in the Match Play finals, which was quite an accomplishment for someone who hardly plays golf anymore.
The 39-year-old Poffenberger is a mother of three and works as a middle school teacher. She said before this week she had played just three rounds of golf since Labor Day.
"I guess I was going on past experience," she said.Before Friday's win, Incorvaia defeated former Match Play champion Lori (Motzkus) Wilkinson, 1990 State Am champ Patty (Price) Brimley, and two-time Match Play champion and 2000 State Am champion Tenille (Howe) Slack in the semifinals.
STATE AM QUALIFYING: Carl Jensen, a former runner-up for the Utah State Am title, shot a 5-under-par 66 to win medalist honors at the Southern qualifying for the Utah State Amateur Thursday at Hobble Creek Golf Course.
Twenty-eight golfers qualified for next month's State Amateur at Soldier Hollow.
Doug Baxter and Ryan Eddington both shot 69s while Derek Squire came in with a 70. Tadd Cox, Brady Machin, Ashton Casper, Jeremy Richmond all had 71 and Jeff Wilson shot 72.
Earlier in the week, 55 golfers qualified in two State Am qualifiers at Bonneville Golf Course.Dana Nelson and Jon Wright shot 3-under-par 69 to share medalist honors in the morning qualifying, while former BYU golfer Eric Rustand led all qualifiers at the Bonneville afternoon, qualifying with 66.
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