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Mississippi team in lead after day one of Tri-State matches

NATCHEZ — The first day of the 2010 Senior Women’s Tri-State Cup Matches held at Beau Pré Country Club for the very first time had quite its share of exciting moments Saturday afternoon.

It ended with Mississippi taking the lead with 4 1/2 points. Louisiana’s team, which is captained by Sandra Smith and has former multi-time Ladies City champion Mary Edwards of Jonesville, is right behind in second place with 3 1/2 points. Arkansas will have some catching up to do after having just two matches to finish with 1 point.

It all started with Sheila Haynes of Madison, the captain of the Mississippi team. Haynes made a hole-in-one on the par-3 4th hole from 115 yards away with an 8-iron — into the wind. Witnesses were teammate Pam Posey of Meridian and Arkansas team members Tanna Rechart of Fort Smith and Martha McAllister of Maumelle.

“It hit, took one bounce and disappeared. It disappeared so quickly, I said, ‘I think it went in,’” Haynes said. “It put us 2-up.”

Haynes and Posey were 3-up after 14 holes and appeared on their way to a convincing win over Rechart and McAllister until they unexpectedly bogeyed No. 15 and were only 2-up going into the par-3 16th hole. That hole ended up in a tie, so it was on to No. 17.

After all four players reached the green with their approach shots, Posey closed out the match by making her birdie putt.

“It was a good match. As a team, we had five birdies and one bogey,” Haynes said.

Teresa Dottley and Carrie Jones gave Mississippi its second point of the day by defeating Paula Karam and Becky Meaux of Louisiana 2&1. Jane Gatlin and Karen Arceneaux defeated Carol Driscoll and Pam Evans of Arkansas 2&1. Elaine Griffin and Stevey Gaddis easily defeated Marilyn Lenggenhager and Norma Hartney of Arkansas 4&2.

The final match of the day saw Charlene Hughes and Pat Ray of Mississippi win the 18th hole to finish all square with Smith and Mari Pastor. And that turned out to be big for Mississippi as it would have ended up in a tie going into today’s singles matches with Louisiana with each team having 4 points. Instead, Mississippi will have a one-point lead.

However, Smith didn’t seem too disappointed in the position Louisiana is in.

“I think that’s good. We’re off to a good start. We only lost one match, won two and halved three. We’re looking forward to singles tomorrow,” Smith said. “I thought Mississippi had the strongest team one to 12.”

Julie Harrison and Ann Manning defeated Sissy Kern and Debbie Wolf of Mississippi 2&1. Marge Ritcher and Coree Stegall defeated Doris Herren and Brenda Alexander of Arkansas 1-up. Edwards and Julia McKey ended up all square with Pam Spikes and Jean Mowry after both teams birdied No. 18. Gracie Purvis and Chris Stoute’s match against Mimi Evans and Linda Black of Arkansas also finished all square.

“We played good. We had five birdies. Each team had five birdies,” said Spikes, captain of the Arkansas team, about her and Mowry’s match against Edwards and McKey. “We were 1-down going into 17. We birdied that hole to tie the match. We birdied 18, but they birdied 18 as well.

“Nobody was more than 1-up or 1-down the entire match. It was really close. (Friday) we played it and it was wet. It was a whole different golf course today.”

“Julia and I have been playing a long time, about 15 years. It was just an honor to go to 18 tied,” Edwards said. “On 16, I shanked my tee shot in the water. Julie put her tee shot about three feet from the hole. We birdied the hole to go 1-up.”

But Spikes and Mowry put the pressure on Edwards and McKey with their birdie on 17. Both teams made clutch birdie putts, including one by McKey from 20 feet away.

Today’s singles matches will have an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

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