Reynolds, Morrissey bring experience to Women's Am

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff File Photo Holly Reynolds from Copley Country Club chips onto the 4th green during the final round of the Vermont Women's Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Barre in 2017.

WATERBURY CENTER — Murphy’s Law plagued Holly Reynolds throughout the 2017 Vermont Women’s Amateur Golf championships, but she still won. The 46-year-old Morrisville native is already the record holder with nine Am titles and she’s hoping that her quest for No. 10 will be smoother than last year. Players will tee off at 8 a.m. Monday to start the three-day tournament at the Country Club of Vermont, where Reynolds will be an obvious favorite. Last year, her Jeep refused to start during the second day and the Copley Country Club member barely made her tee time after borrowing a neighbor’s car. She started the final day with an eight-shot lead but gave it all back, recording a quadruple-bogey after accidentally hitting another player’s ball and carding a pair of triple-bogeys on the back nine. She saved par on the final hole for a 23-over 236 following rounds of 72, 80 and 84. It was enough to hold off runner-up Jeanne Morrissey by two shots, and they were followed closely by Andrea Brown (239), Tiffany Maurycy (241) and Nancy Devaux (244). Reynolds graduated from Peoples Academy High School and rattled off five straight Am titles from 1989-1993 before turning pro and playing on the Futures Tour. She competed in the U.S. Open twice before teaching golf at courses including West Bolton, Alburg, Arrowhead and the Stowe Golf School. Following an extended hiatus from the Am, she returned for victorious runs in 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2017. A field of 61 players will tee off this year. Morrissey, who plays out of Williston Golf Club, is seeking her first Amateur victory. Another contender will be 2005 Amateur champ Reggie Parker, who plays at Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester. Parker won her 10th Senior Am title last month at Ralph Myhre Golf Course in Middlebury. Last year she finished 12th at the Am and was the Legend winner for players 70 and older. Alburg Golf Links competitor Andrea Brown triumphed in the 2004 Am and will be a threat to win it all again. The Vermont State Women’s Golf Association was established in 1930 and has held an amateur championship every year since, with the exception of four years during World War II. Miss Mae Murray triumphed in 1941, rattled off four straight victories from 1946-1948 and won again in 1952. Cindy Paquet is also a six-time champ following victories in 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1985. Essex golfer Susan Horton was fresh out of high school when she won in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Former UVM basketball-golf captain Libby Smith claimed five consecutive titles from 1999-2003. Burlington’s Molly Aronsson was also a recent high school graduate when she won in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Another Essex phenom, Madison Corley, won her first Am at 17 and accomplished a three-peat from 2013-2015. There will be a trio of junior golfers competing in this year’s field. The 2017 junior champion was Julia Dapron, who is based out of Dorset Field Club. She will be joined this year by fellow juniors Lauryn Goulet, of Newport Country Club, and Sarah Angelillo, of Montague Golf Club. Angelillo fired an 84 during last year’s high school state championships and helped Northfield capture the Division II crown along with fellow Marauder Kayla Audette. Young guns have certainly made their presence felt at each Vermont Am, but veterans have been a force to be reckoned with recently. According to the 59-year-old Morrissey, golf has experienced a demographic shift that’s resulted in fewer young competitors. “In the Tiger (Woods) era, you had a lot of interest nationally,” she said. “And I think it’s a combination of things: It’s the economy and it’s time. And it’s hard for a young person to be terribly passionate. But I do think that for women’s golf, because of the opportunity for collegiate scholarships, every once in awhile you’ll have someone emerge. And I’ve had the great fortune of playing with all of them at some point in my career. "I’ve played with Libby, I’ve played with Molly, I’ve played with Kim Wong. I always joke with those guys. I say, ‘On your way to stardom, at one point in your life you found yourself with me on your way by me.’ But that’s OK. For me, it’s just a great opportunity to play in this timelessness and this agelessness.”

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