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Friday, June 6, 2014

Madison's Hawkes wins first CWGA Championship crown







BLOOMFIELD >> The pressure was squarely on the young shoulders of golfer Mackenzie Hawkes to win the 18th hole and force a playoff for the Connecticut Women’s Golf Association championship crown.
Not only did the 17-year-old Hawkes, above left, have a birdie putt conceded to her on the final hole of regulation to force sudden death, she then holed a 25-foot par putt on the first playoff hole to win the title over Jill Tryon at Tumble Brook Country Club.
“It’s extremely gratifying,” said Hawkes, a member at Madison CC. “To have a win like this under your belt so early in the season is amazing. It gives me positive vibes for the rest of the season.”
It was a grueling 37-hole match to decide the 95th CWGA title, a first time in the final for both golfers. Hawkes is a rising senior at the Westminster School in Simsbury and the daughter of the former longtime Madison CC head pro Mickey Hawkes. Tryon is a 53-year-old mother of three, a former women’s club champion at Hartford GC and she prevented an all-Madison CC final by beating Lynda Foster in the semifinals Thursday.
Neither could muster a big lead throughout the 37-hole match Friday. Hawkes’ biggest lead was 2-up and Tyron’s was 1-up.
“It was a fantastic match. We both played well,” Tryon said. “(Hawkes) is a great player and she will have a great career.”
Tryon won holes 33 and 34 to go 1-up. Both players halved the par-3 35th hole with bogeys. On the uphill, par-5 finishing hole, Hawkes hit two long shots to be just off the green. She chipped up close and Tryon conceded her the short birdie putt once she ran her chip shot for birdie well past the pin.
“I’m thinking I have to do whatever I have to do to win this hole and I needed to hit solid shots,” Hawkes said.
Said Tryon: “She smoked her drive and smoked her second shot. … I did not think she would chip it that close to the pin. It was beautiful, she had three great shots in a row. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Tryon reached the playoff hole in regulation, but a long way from the back pin. Hawkes left her approach shot out to the right. Her delicate chip shot over a bunker left her with a long par putt (see the video below).
“I’m thinking, ‘I will win it or lose it here, so get it there and give yourself a chance’ and I got a really good read on it. I was standing over the putt and I had a pretty good feeling about it.
“I had certain putts over the last few days that have just clicked with me and it’s been consistent with the right-to-left ones, so I was pretty comfortable with that. The tougher ones are always downhill on this course.”
Tryon had left her birdie attempt well short. After Hawkes’ putt dropped in, Tryon failed to get the tying par.





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