Lewis cruises in control to Md. women's amateur

21-year-old beats Williams for state title, 4 and 3

Golf

July 19, 2002|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHEVY CHASE - When Jessica Lewis completed her one-woman demolition of the field in winning the 81st Maryland State Women's Amateur over her home course of Columbia Country Club yesterday, it set up an interesting number of firsts.

It marked the first title in this event for Lewis, 21, a rising senior at James Madison University, and it marked the first time her opponent, Deborah Williams, from Congressional Country Club, had been in the tournament's final round.

Additionally, it was the first time the MSGA's men's and women's championships were won on home courses in the same year, and the first time a husband and wife reached their respective finals in the same season. Here, it was Lewis with a 4-and-3 decision. A month ago, at Chartwell CC, it was David Nocar of the host club, with a 3-and-2 triumph over Andy Williams, Deborah's husband.

Although Lewis cut an impressive swath through her qualifying round, she acknowledged some pressure in playing before her home fans.

"I felt it because everybody expected me to do well," Lewis said of the four-match span where she did not go beyond the 15th green.

If there was pressure, it was well-harnessed, because all the diminutive slugger did was win the medal by four shots with a 5-under-women's-par 74. She overwhelmed three opponents to reach the final - dipping 5-under par against each of the last two, including past two-time champion Andrea Kraus - never trailed in beating Williams with a 3-under performance for the 5,800-yard, par-74 test.

Lewis birdied the first two holes, lost the fourth to a par, then restored her two-hole lead with a birdie at the 440-yard, par-5 sixth where she reached the green in two. After the fourth, Williams did not win another hole.

"I just wanted to be consistent," Lewis said, "and play my game. I knew if I could get back to the final [she lost to Kraus three years ago], give myself an opportunity, I felt I had an edge. I felt if I could get an early lead and just go for pars, it would force her to make birdies."

Williams' only birdie was offset by a Lewis birdie at one of six par 5s, the 400-yard ninth.

"I just didn't hit my irons well, and my putting was not as strong as earlier," said Williams, who hit only six greens to 12 for Lewis in the 15 holes. "I thought I hit good ones, but maybe I was tentative. Jessica dominated from the start, but, really, I didn't feel any pressure until the holes started to run out."

MSGA Women's Amateur

Championship: Jessica Lewis, Columbia CC, d. Deborah Williams, Congressional CC, 4 and 3. First: Ashley Grier, Black Rock TGC, d. Laura Terebey, Hog Neck GC, 4 and 3. Second: Natalie McNicholas, Baltimore CC, d. Lisa Schlesinger, Norbeck CC, 21 holes. Third: Connie Isler, Ft. Meade GC, d. Terry Jacobson, Woodmont CC, 2 and 1. Fourth: Deb Pearson, Indian Spring CC, d. Mary Beth Weaver, Beaver Creek, 4 and 3. Fifth: Emily Pavesich, Hunt Valley GC, d. Sandy Scitti, Sparrows Point CC, 6 and 5. Sixth: Perry Drevo, Norbeck CC, d. Mary Hall, Hunt Valley GC, 3 and 2.

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