Playoff thriller

By on June 15, 2016

Goodling takes LLCCGA crown

In her first appearance in the LLCCGA Individual Championships, Manheim Central grad Haley Goodling claimed the title after beating five-time champ Suzette Crandall in a sudden-death playoff.

In her first appearance in the LLCCGA Individual Championships, Manheim Central grad Haley Goodling claimed the title after beating five-time champ Suzette Crandall in a sudden-death playoff.

During her Manheim Central career, Haley Goodling was pretty familiar with Meadia Heights Golf Club.

But it had been awhile.

“I haven’t played it since probably my senior year of high school, so it’s been like a year or two,” said Goodling, a 2015 MC graduate.

Obviously, her game hadn’t suffered.

Thanks to her two-foot putt for par on the 18th green in a playoff with Suzette Crandall, Goodling emerged victorious in the Lancaster Ladies City-County Golf Association Individual Championships.

Crandall, a five-time LLCCGA champ, carded a double-bogey to finish runner-up. Goodling (84-81), a tournament rookie, and Crandall (87-78) each shot 165 to force a sudden-death playoff.

“It was really exciting,” said Goodling, who just finished her freshman year at Monmouth University, “because I hadn’t won anything recently or really played well in many tournaments just because of the adjustments in college and the stress I was putting on myself. So it’s just kinda nice to come back home and win a tournament around home.”

She needed a little magic on the 159-yard 18th and final hole of regulation to make it happen.

Her playing partner Dana Droz, the second-round leader (80-86), was one stroke ahead and looking to clinch the title. Goodling, for her part, was just trying to keep things simple.

“Honestly, all I wanted to do was make par and then see what (Dana) did because it’s a tough hole for me personally, so I knew birdieing it would be a little bit of a stretch,” Goodling said. “I figured I’d try to make par and then see how everything else fell.”

Turns out, things fell perfectly for Goodling.

She did indeed card par on the 18th, and when Droz double-bogeyed, Goodling and Crandall found themselves deadlocked.

“After I did the scores, I heard there might be a playoff, but it wasn’t official,” Goodling said. “Then someone told me, ‘Grab my bag and go to the 18th tee.’ I was nervous, but it wasn’t too bad.”

Learning from her swing with a 4-hybrid on the 18th moments earlier, Goodling opted for a 5-iron, and she placed the ball on the front of the green.

“I didn’t hit it well at all (with the 4-hybrid),” she said. “It landed like pin-high on the left side of the green. So I figured if I’d hit it well, then it would go way over the back and I didn’t want to do that. So I figured I’d try my 5-iron, and I knew I would get it on the green … I just didn’t know if it would be pin high or if it would be really short of the pin and still on green. So I just figured I’d try it.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Asked if she liked her chances going into the tournament, Goodling said, “Yeah, if I played well, I thought I would have a chance, but after the first day, I was feeling a little less optimistic. But I figured everything out on the range the next morning and then the first few holes were OK, so I was like, ‘OK, maybe I can catch up and try to pull ahead.’”

Goodling was five strokes behind first-round leader Allison Appleton, who had a 7-over 79 after the opening day. But double-bogeys on three straight holes &tstr; the 11th through 13th &tstr; hurt Appleton, while Goodling chipped away.

“If you don’t hit anything straight on that course, it makes it really difficult,” she said. “So my tee shots weren’t going in the middle like they should have been, which made it difficult to even make par on some holes. But I found my way through somehow.”

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *