Lyle/Young rally to win CGA Women’s Dunham Chapman, marking their first state title
by Gary Baines
Neither Louise Lyle nor Sandra Young had won a state golf title before, but teaming up proved a victorious formula this weekend.
The players from Eisenhower Golf Club at the Air Force Academy, who had never competed together as a two-person team, rallied from a four-stroke deficit going into Sunday’s final round to win the 12th annual CGA Women’s Dunham Chapman Championship at the River Course at Keystone.
“It’s amazing,” Young said. “I’ve won a few smaller things, but not a state event. … I’m ready to pass out.”
Added Lyle: “It’s surprising really, but it feels great. I think we were both very surprised to win.
“I haven’t played in tournaments with Sandra before, but we’re on the same golf team for our club. This was the first one that I said, ‘Hey, do you want to play?’ We weren’t even sure we could play together. It worked out pretty well.”
In fact, Lyle and Young had overtaken first-round leaders Denise Cohen of Kissing Camels and Ron Irons of Eisenhower after just nine holes on Sunday, though the title hung in the balance until the end.
Lyle and Young finished with a 4-over-par 75 in round 2 in the Chapman stroke play format in which each golfer hits a tee shot, then plays her partner’s ball for the second shot. After that, a scoring ball is chosen, and that ball is played alternately into the hole. (The champions are pictured, with Young at left and Lyle at right, flanking Marty Hall, partner of tournament namesake Jo Ann Dunham.)
They finished with a two-day total of 11-over-par 153, one stroke better than Cohen and Irons, whose downfall was a triple bogey on the 16th hole en route to an 80 on Sunday.
Ending up third was Colorado Golf Hall of Famer and two-time Dunham Chapman champion Christie Austin of Cherry Hills and partner Kathy West of Castle Pines, who checked in at 157.
Cohen and Irons had regained the lead on the back nine Sunday, but a 40-foot birdie by Lyle on the par-3 15th evened things up. “That made a big difference. It was pivotal,” Young said of Lyle’s long birdie. And the two went up for good on No. 16 when they made bogey and Cohen and Irons their triple.
“I had never played this event before, but we thought we might be a good fit,” said Young, 58. “(Lyle) hits a very long ball and the short game is my area. It’s great when your partner can put you 100 yards out so maybe I can score. It was a good combination.”
Lyle, a 52-year-old who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years in the Air Force, credits Young for draining not-so-simple par putts throughout the round that kept their rally going.
“I’ve played in a few (CGA/CWGA championships), but normally I don’t do very well,” Lyle said. “I play much better with a partner who can keep my head in the game. Sandy did a great job of doing that because I’m a little bit crazy.
“This is my first state-level (title) in my life. This was basically my last golfing of the season and so it’s a pretty good way to go out.”
Lyle has been competing seriously in golf for just the last few years, and Young didn’t take up the game at all until she was 38.
“I had thought golf was a stupid sport,” Young said. “One of my husband’s friends wanted his wife to take lessons, so just to get her to quit bugging me, I said, ‘OK, I’ll take lessons with you.’ I fell in love immediately.”
She’s gone on to win a worldwide tournament for military spouses and dependents in 2010, and she’s qualified for at least four USGA championships — a Women’s Publinks, Mid-Am and a couple of Senior Ams.
The championship flight was one of eight flights of competition at the Dunham Chapman. Among the other winners on Sunday was CGA co-president Juliet Miner of Bear Dance, who teamed with Peggy Puckett of Wellshire to prevail in the second flight.
The Dunham Chapman was renamed prior to the 2017 championship as a tribute to Jo Ann Dunham, a longtime CWGA volunteer whose brainchild was the Chapman, which was first contested in 2007. Dunham passed away on Sept. 28, 2016, just shy of her 77th birthday.
For the gross and net scores for all eight flights competing in the 64-team Dunham Chapman Championship, CLICK HERE.
Here are the gross and net champions in the various flights:
Gross: Louise Lyle/Sandra Young, Eisenhower GC 78-75–153
Net: Denise Cohen, Kissing Camels/Ron Irons, Eisenhower GC 66-72–138
Gross: Debi Kline/Margaret Breakey, Kissing Camels 77-76–153
Net: Betty Bullington, CC of Colorado/Valerie Hunter, Eisenhower GC 73-70–143
Gross: Juliet Miner, Bear Dance/Peggy Puckett, Wellshire 82-83–165
Net: Juliet Miner, Bear Dance/Peggy Puckett, Wellshire 67-68–135
Gross: Karen Leuschel, Riverdale/Connie Brodt, Fox Hill 80-86–166
Net: Karen Leuschel, Riverdale/Connie Brodt, Fox Hill 63-69–132
Gross: Val Talus, Colorado Springs CC/Mary Watt, Club at Flying Horse 78-88–166
Net: Val Talus, Colorado Springs CC/Mary Watt, Club at Flying Horse 60-70–130
Gross: Barbara Ingledue/Connie Garcia, Fox Hill 84-88–172
Net: Barbara Ingledue/Connie Garcia, Fox Hill 64-68–132
Gross: (tie) Jill Nickerson/Lynn Larson 91-87–178; Tammy Tinsley/Sandra Miller, Blackstone/Black Bear 93-85–178
Net: Linda Masters/Bonnie Brewer, Blackstone/Black Bear 68-65–133
Gross: Laura Fischer, Willis Case/Cher Tufly 99-89–188
Net: Margie Doss, Aurora Hills/Rose Rismanchi, Meadow Hills 69-66–135