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Sara Cole wins a third Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame title -21 years after her second.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Don’t stick a fork in Sara Cole yet. Obviously, the 61-year-old Roanoker is far from done.
Twenty-one years removed from her last Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women’s title, Cole found more gold Sunday at Ole Monterey.
Holding steady playing against a trio of the valley’s teenaged hotshots, Cole fired a 3-over-par 74 to win her third H all of Fame crown.
“Of the three, this absolutely was the biggest surprise,’’ said Cole, whose 36-hole total of 4-over 147 gave her a four-shot victory over 15-year-old Kristin Hearp.
“This is even better. Because I’m older and you never know how many more you’re going to compete in and be a contender. And that’s all I’ve always wanted to do is be a contender.
“You so appreciate it more at this age. I think that really makes a difference when you’re out there playing, you don’t get as excited about things, I think, because you’re just fortunate to be there. So no one is more surprised than me.”
Cole, whose first-round 73 Saturday at Blacksburg Country Club gave her a three-shot lead over rising Blacksburg High senior Katie Turk, never let the youngsters in the door. Her second straight solid round included a card with nothing higher than a bogey.
Hearp and Hunnell, 17, each matched the day’s best score of 73 to take the next two positions.
“I hit some bad shots, but I was able to recover,’’ said Cole, whose first Hall of Fame title came in 1989. “I didn’t have any blowups. It’s a stress-free day when you have no double bogeys because it’s so difficult to recover from a double and you have to depend on making birdies.
“I love to play and I love to play competitive. I think playing with the future makes you focus and play better, so I’m thrilled. I was trying my hardest, I wasn’t going to go out there and lay down. I just kept grinding away.”
By virtue of her age, Cole also won the senior title in addition to the regular division crown.
“I didn’t even know they had one, I think that’s new,” said Cole, leafing through four gift certificates. “You get another one of these … so I might even be able to get a new pair of golf shoes, hopefully.”
Hearp, who led Roanoke Country Club to its fifth straight team title and its eighth in nine years, and Ashley Plantation’s Lyndsey Hunnell took second and third. Turk, who had never seen the course before, struggled to a 79 to take fourth, eight shots back.
“I wasn’t even born the last time [Cole] won,” Hearp said. “She was so steady. I was five back going in and she kept making pars. I could have played better, but she also played great, so what can you do?
“I played my game, I shot 73 the second time I’ve seen the course so I’m pretty happy.”
The only bummer for Cole was her Hanging Rock squad didn’t win its first ever team title. The Salem club took a five-shot lead on RCC into Sunday.
“We were very aware of that,” Cole said. “We all could have been a few strokes better. Roanoke is tough, they’ve got the young guns and they’ve got the anchor in Valeta [Pittman] and they came through.”
Pittman tied for sixth with teenage teammate Meagan Board. Eight-time champion Dot Bolling of Hanging Rock took fifth at 158.
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