MIDDLEBURY — The drought of women’s state championships at Rutland Country Club isn’t something you often hear discussed.
Take the subject off the table, anyway. Chloe Levins wears the Vermont State Women’s Golf Association crown.
Levins became the first Rutland member to win the women’s state amateur since Mae Murray in 1952, triumphing at rain-soaked Ralph Myhre by eight shots on Thursday.
“I did not know that. That’s amazing,” said Levins of Murray and her own achievement. “Cool.
“At Rutland we have a great community of golfers. We all push each other. We push each other to be better. We push each other to be fair, to grow the game. It’s a fun community to be a part of it and fortunately it’s successful too.”
Rutland is now the home of the women’s state champion, the men’s state champion (Drake Hull), the men’s Mid-Am champion (Garren Poirier) and the L.D. Pierce champions (Hull and Jared Nelson).
Levins posted 6-over 77 on Thursday to the 78 of runner-up Tiffany Maurycy, of Killington, over whom she started the day with a seven-shot lead. But a very slow start for the Middlebury College senior (6-over par 41 on the front) turned a potential runaway into a horse race; through seven holes, Levins’ lead over Maurycy — a member of her threesome — had shriveled to two.
“It’s satisfying because usually I have a team with me and today I was all alone,” Levins said. “I hadn’t had that big of a lead in my entire life and it was unsettling in the beginning to be sure because I like to feel pressure. Once I felt the pressure again I started to play better golf.”
That turning point in the tournament and Levins’ game came on the ninth hole, where she left her booming tee ball out to the right and under pine trees. She attempted a low runner toward the elevated green but it clipped a limb and her ball caromed into the fairway.
Levins pitched to the green and made her 12-foot par saver and, with Maurycy making back-to-back bogeys, the lead back was back to four.
“That was the hole,” Levins said.
“That punch was a little too aggressive — I wouldn’t do it again — but the wedge into that green and the recovery. ... That putt, I took a look at it and I’d already made it in my mind. I’ve had that putt before.”
Then, with Levins’ ball in the 10th fairway, the skies opened up and a driving rain appeared; moments later a brief thundershower delay was called.
But first, with the wind in her face and the ball above her feet, Levins hit a laser 7-iron from 152 yards to within tap-in range and made her only birdie.
“That was the best golf shot I’ve ever hit in my life ... it was a crazy golf shot,” she said.
Levins’ lead jumped to six shots and she was on her way.
“My partner that I play with in the Colorado Four Ball — same age — that’s exactly what she does,” Maurycy said. “She gets really aggressive and goes right for the pin for tap-in birdies or eagles. It was fantastic. You want to be part of that.”
Levins finished at 12-over 225 and Maurycy, the 2018 champion, at 233. Alburg’s Andrea Brown shot 80 for a 237 total, followed by nine-time winner Holly Reynolds, of Copley, who took fourth after shooting the tournament’s low round, a 71. She was at 239, the same number as Burlington Country Club’s Carson Laderoute, who posted 74.
Levins made her only two double-bogeys of the tournament on the front nine, losing her ball in a sea of tall grass on par-5 No. 1 after hitting her second shot off an awkward lie. She found a hazard on the par-3 seventh and took relief, then made double there as well.
Maurycy, who had birdied the sixth hole, climbed within two on the seventh and turned at 3-over 38 but tailed off in a string of five holes played at 6-over par. It could not have come at a worse time. “My longer clubs are not my strength but I’d have to say it was my chipping and my putting,” she said. “I had five three-putts (Wednesday) and a few today. It was just the feel of the greens and getting more aggressive with the putting. I just wasn’t getting the ball close enough to the hole.”
Conditions were tougher and the course played longer Thursday than any day, slowed by an overnight rain that left much of the course under water. Thursday’s play began after a two-hour delay, with the lift, clean and place rule in effect and every bunker deemed unplayable.
Levins, 21, was playing in only her second Am and it was clear the tournament is better off for having young, strong players join the fray. This year’s Am just fell at a time when she did not have to be involved in training for biathlon, where she is clearly on the way up the ladder.
She was asked if she would defend her crown in 2020.
“I don’t know my training schedule,” she said. “It all depends on biathlon training. Hopefully, I hope to, because these ladies are great.”
1 Levins, Chloe, Rutland Country Club 74-74-77-225 2 Maurycy, Tiffany, Killington Golf Course 76-79-78-233 3 Brown, Andrea, Lakeside Golf Club 81-76-80-237 4 Reynolds, Holly, Copley Country Club 87-81-71-239 5 Laderoute, Carson, Burlington Country Club 84-81-74-239 6 Dapron, Julia, Dorset Field Club 80-85-77-242 7 Morrissey, Jeanne, Williston Golf Club 83-83-80-246 8 Parker, Reggie, Ekwanok Country Club 78-82-87-247 9 Brush, Mary, Burlington Country Club 81-86-82-249 10 White, Gretchen, Williston Golf Club 86-82-87-255 11 Haas, Patricia, Killington Golf Course 87-85-90-262 12 Shiffler, Barbara, Williston Golf Club 89-87-90-266 13 Wood, Jena, Stowe Golf Club 92-84-90-266 14 Politano, Mia, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 91-94-82-267 15 Bremner, Susie, Rocky Ridge Golf Club 84-94-90-268 16 Goodrich, Vicki, The Quechee Club 95-91-83-269 17 Politano, Erika, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 91-92-86-269 18 Ayer, Marie, Cedar Knoll Country Club 89-90-90-269 19 Barkyoumb, Kimberley, Champlain Country Club 91-87-91-269 20 Campbell, Cheri, Burlington Country Club 89-96-85-270 21 Laberge, Nicole, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 90-90-93-273 22 Quinn, Maureen, Lake St Catherine Country Club 90-91-92-273 23 Wade, Trish, Green Mt National Golf Course 94-92-89-275 24 Drolette, Wendy, Williston Golf Club 92-96-87-275 25 Cassidy, Dana, Vermont National Country Club 94-87-94-275 26 Shaeffer, Kristen, Proctor-Pittsford Country Club 92-91-93-276 27 Allbright, Kathy, Green Mt National Golf Course 92-89-97-278 28 Myers, Madison, Burlington Country Club 93-89-100-282 29 Rand, Susan, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 91-94-98-283 30 Colvard, Rhonda, Burlington Country Club 91-96-97-284 31 Mastalos, Eva, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 93-96-95-284 32 McGrath, Patty, Green Mt National Golf Course 92-94-101-287 33 Herrera, Josie, Vermont National Country Club 99-99-91-289 34 Miles, Jillian, Rutland Country Club 106-97-89-292 35 Steck, Jen, Lake Morey Country Club 97-99-99-295 36 Hoar, Cheryl, Burlington Country Club 94-101-100-295 37 Bond, Ashley, Kwiniaska Golf Club 95-104-100-299 38 Barnes, Alyssa, Stowe Golf Club 102-97-103-302 39 Grier, Heather, Proctor-Pittsford Country Club 104-96-103-303 40 Sims, Eileen, Ralph Myhre Golf Course 108-99-100-307 41 Capeless, Sis, Vermont National Country Club 100-107-109-316 42 Paquette, Lucille, Rutland Country Club 108-102-108-318 43 Myers, Laurel, Burlington Country Club 109-109-103-321 44 Sikora, Kathy, West Bolton Golf Club 121-103-110-334 WD Kline, Sarah, Woodstock Country Club 100-94-WD WD Webster, Tracy, Lakeside Golf Club 95-100-WD