Senior women’s golf title plays hard to get for area competitors

Burlington’s Jackie Rosart finished in a two-way tie for 38th in the Royale National Women’s Senior Golf Championships. Rosart shot a final round 85 on Thursday to give her a 246 total after shooting 84 and 77 on the Hylands Golf Club in Ottawa.

Rosart’s score was the second best posted by Golden Horseshoe golfers competing in the three-day tournament. St. Catharines’ Mary Kraus carded rounds of 79-77-75 to finish at 231 and a two-way tie for ninth.

Marg Lockhart of Dundas went 81-84-83 and her 248 total was good enough to finish tied for 41st.

A trio of Georgetown competitors didn’t stray far from each other on the scoreboard. Gloria Sinclair had rounds of 87-86-87 and was 72nd. Joan Shapcott’s 87-95-90 gave her a share of 90th and Patty Hall came home in 92 with a score card of 88-94-92.

Ginny Burkey of Fircrest, Washington, shot a final-round 72 to claim the championship, after overtaking Mississauga’s Gayle Borthwick.

Burkey started the day in second place, three-strokes back of Borthwick. “I played really well today. My goal was to keep the ball in the middle of the fairway and that’s exactly what I did,” said Burkey. “Gayle’s such a great competitor. Today she just didn’t putt like she’s capable of.”

Burkey, a 51-year-old flight attendant was lost for words when asked to describe how it felt to win a national title. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” added Burkey. “Call me at home tomorrow and I’ll let you know.”

Borthwick had trouble with the putter yesterday, but started today’s round strong. Her troubles started on the day’s 10th hole, a par-4 which she double bogeyed. “The 10th hole was definitely the breaker for me,” said Borthwick. “On my approach I ended up in the greenside bunker. I hadn’t been in the sand all week and took too much sand and it cost me.”

Borthwick’s final-round 79 was good enough for a runner-up finish, a feat she has already accomplished three times. The 2003 champion, Lynda Palahniuk of Kelowna, B.C., shot a final-round 74 to finish third.

Burkey and Borthwick will meet again soon as they both earn a coveted berth into the 2006 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, October 7-12, at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Georgia. Both Borthwick and Burkey have played in the event in previous years.

Last year Burkey had to settle for a round-of-16 finish after losing in a playoff while Borthwick has been successful south of the boarder twice, bringing home the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur title to Canada in 1996 and 1998.