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The local golfer won the VSGA Senior Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Dot Bolling bought her first set of golf clubs — a rickety $10 sack of used, antiquated sticks —some three and a half decades ago at a local flea market so she could learn how to play golf.
The rest is history. Major history, that is.
Continuing to pile up major title wins like none before in these parts, the apparently ageless Salem resident added yet another chapter to her voluminous golf resume Thursday when she captured the 16th VSGA Senior Women’s Stroke Play Championship at Lexington Country Club.
“It’s unbelievable!” Bolling said. “All I wanted to do was to learn how to play a little golf. And, boy, it’s been really fun.”
Showing no signs of backing off at 67, Bolling captured her second straight and record fifth title in the event for women 50 and over. It marked her eighth VSGA title, including the regular Women’s Stroke Play Championship (1998), Women’s Amateur Championship (2000) and Senior Amateur in 2001. Tack on her 16 Roanoke Valley Women’s Golf Association City-County titles and eight Roanoke Valley Hall of Fame crowns — both records — and the petite Bolling owns a whopping 32 career major wins.
Bolling just did just enough to get it done Thursday. Tied with Alexandria’s Shelley Savage, a four-time winner of the event, with three holes left, Bolling knocked a wedge approach to 7 feet and drained the birdie putt on the 34th hole to take the lead. Savage’s birdie putt on the final hole to tie hit the cup and spun out.
“The golf course was playing tough and long due to all the rain,” said Bolling, whose closing 7-over-par 78 gave her a winning total of 10-over 152 in the 36-hole event.
“You just have to keep on playing, don’t get down on yourself, don’t start blaming everything. You just have to hang in there and play one shot at a time and don’t worry about the next shot. … That’s how I’ve always played,” she said.
Bolling’s competitive fire was stoked 12 days ago when she shot 80-78 in the Hall of Fame and finished 11 shots behind winner Sara Cole of Salem. Bolling said her play cost Hanging Rock its first women’s team title in the event.
“I put too much pressure on myself because I wanted Hanging Rock to win it,” Bolling said. “And that’s the reason we lost. I should have just gone out there and played and not worried about it. I took the blame for it, I did. I should have played a lot better.”
Bolling said her game is fueled by the fact she works out, watches her diet, plus her young attitude about life.
“I feel like I’m 20 and I act like it sometime,” she said. “I’m going to go down swinging. I’m not going to grow old. … It’s not my nature to get old and grumpy. I just keep cranking along.”
Cole settled for a final-round 82 and took fifth at 158. Fran Hensley of Ridgeway was seventh at 159.
Salem’s Kit Davis (177) was third in the second flight. Salem’s Marilyn Bussey (179) tied for fourth in the second flight. Cloverdale’s Janet Cochran (188) and Roanoke’s Wanda Flora (193) finished 10th and 11th, respectively, in the second flight.
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