Jackie Little felt nice and comfortable walking down the 18th fairway to a glowing crowd. It also helped that it was the course she thrived on.
“It’s a lot easier walking down the 18th with a nice cushion,” said Little.
The 4-foot-10 Little captured the B.C. Senior Women’s Golf title with a two-putt on 18 at the Vernon Golf and Country Club Thursday afternoon, where she was once a fixture as a member. It was her fourth title since moving to the senior’s division.
“It feels really good to be back home and on your home course,” said Little. “The problem is that sometimes the memories from your home course aren’t quite as good on some of the holes.”
Her final round 78 on the 5,919-yard par-74 course was more than enough as she won by six strokes over Holly Horwood of Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. She shot a 73 on Thursday and a 78 on Wednesday.
Little, a righty, managed to steer clear of adversity during the back nine. She bogeyed the 13th, 14th and 15th.
“I couldn’t seem to get off the bogey train for a little bit,” said Little.
Little was able to right the ship with a birdie on the 16th and on No. 8.
“The course was tough today. The greens are subtle here; you need to be on top of them,” said Little.
Six years ago, Little picked up her first win on the senior circuit with a win at Spallumcheen.
“That was also a special win for me. It was my first time returning to Vernon as a senior. To win is always special, but on your home course, it is extra special.”
She moved to Port Alberni 10 years ago with her husband after they bought a little nine-hole executive golf course on the island.
The keys to Little’s success were consistent driving and staying out of the beach all week long.
Horwood picked up the Super Senior (60+) title.
“It feels really nice. It was one of my goals to win a Super Senior tournament this year and I am glad I was able to accomplish it,” said Horwood.
Horwood started the tournament off hot with a 75 on Wednesday followed by a 78 on Thursday.
“The conditions were tough today. My front nine was good but the back nine was difficult for me all week,” said Horwood, who shot 82 in the final round.
“My driving was good, but my wedges and putting were tough. The greens played real fast today.”
There was a field of 61.
“I was just pleased that they honour the over 60s with a tournament. It is hard to compete with the up and comers,” added Horwood.
Defending champion Lynda Palahniuk of Kelowna slipped down the ranks to finish tied for fifth. She shot 79 and a 84 to close out the tourney.
Vernon’s Maureen Turner of Predator Ridge and Brenda Samis of VGCC tied for 26th.
Turner shot a 89-89-83, while Samis carded 86-85-90.
The Zone Six Team consisting of Little and Karen Kloske won in the zone team competition. Each zone selected two-person teams to represent the region. Scoring is based on players combined two-day scores. Little and Kloske shot a combined +18 over the two days of competition breaking out of Tuesday’s tie with Zone 4.
Horwood and Phyllis Laschuk of Zone 4 finished four shots behind the leaders with a 22-over-par 318 that was highlighted on the second day of play by three birdies and an eagle.
Rounding out the top-three in was the Zone 5 Team of Penny Baziuk and Alison Murdoch, who improved on their first round score by five strokes to finish one shot behind Zone 4 with a +23.