Maurycy outlasts Franklin for senior title in CGA Women’s Match Play
by Gary Baines
It was the longest final in the senior championship flight of the CGA Women’s Match Play in over a decade, and it ended in fitting fashion.
Tiffany Maurycy of Cherry Creek Country Club sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 20th hole to defeat Kristine Franklin of Colorado National Golf Club and earn her first individual title in a CGA women’s championship.
“I’m over the moon,” Maurycy said. “I’ve now won state championships in New York, Vermont and Colorado. It’s a real feather in my cap. My dad is a golf pro and I come from a golfing family.
“This is a big deal, there’s no doubt. The high quality of the players here … This is it. I can’t believe that I won.”
In a match in which neither player was ever more than 1 up and in which both led on the front nine and the back nine at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont, Maurycy (left and below) played her final six holes in 2 under par to prevail.
Franklin, a former pro who gave up the game for 23 years until being talked into dusting off the clubs in 2017, was trying to win her first CGA/CWGA title in 32 years. She competed in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and made match play, but her performance in that match convinced her she didn’t want to end her competitive career on a down note.
“For not playing for 23 years, it’s fun to be back playing,” said the 52-year-old Franklin, who won the 1986 CWGA Stroke Play (as Kris Hoos) . “But oh my gosh, I’d forgotten how nerve-wracking it is. But it was a treat.
“To be coming back, it feels good. It really does. It makes me almost want to continue to play. … Now I feel like I’m going to play for maybe a year or so until I can feel good enough to quit again. I just want to quit on a high.”
Maurycy was 1 down in the final after bogeys on the 12th and 13 holes. But she squared the match with a 12-foot birdie on No. 15.
Franklin extended Friday’s match with a couple of nifty recoveries on the 18th and 19th holes. On No. 18, she made a 10-foot putt to save par after thinning her bunker shot over the green. And on the first extra hole, Franklin’s second shot went through a tree and bounced over a bunker to eventually set up another one-putt par. Maurycy got up and down from that same bunker for a par of her own.
On the decisive 20th hole, Franklin (below) missed the green short and left as she wasn’t happy with her iron play on Friday. She subsequently left her pitch on the fringe and missed her long par putt. Just needing to two-putt for the victory, Maurycy drained her 15-foot birdie putt to decide the matter.
“I realized I just needed to get it close,” she said. “I just relaxed and had the pace right. I didn’t remember that it went in. I guess it did. But I really didn’t want to go more holes. After all these days (of matches), I was pretty tired.
“It was all about being present and staying with each shot and not getting ahead of myself and definitely not thinking about an outcome,” added Maurycy, who won her opening match of the week after being 4 down through eight holes to Jennifer Hocking. “… That was the trick through all the matches.”
Indeed, in some respects Maurycy (below) willed herself to win.
“It’s the perseverance and that commitment to believing,” she said. “I’d say ‘believe’ before I hit a lot of shots.”
To get to the final, Maurycy had avenged a 2017 match play loss to now-four-time champion and Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton by beating her in Thursday’s semifinals.
“She’s amazing. I so admire her game,” Maurycy said of Eaton. “That was a big win, a really big win. She just didn’t have the magic she normally has. And I made the putts at the right time that really put the pressure on.”
Friday marked Maurycy’s second victory in a CGA/CWGA championship, having teamed with Kristin Feil to win the 2003 CWGA Brassie title. The 51-year-old from Denver, who has lived in Colorado for two decades, has also won the 1989 New York Women’s State Amateur and the Vermont Women’s Mid-Amateur four times.
For a story on the open-division Women’s Match Play final, CLICK HERE.