Before claiming her 34th Ladies City Championship title, Scott had to once again hold off the pair, edging Mullins by just two shots and Daubner by three.
“You can’t win in great competition unless you play great competition,” the 11-time Tennessee Golf Association’s Senior Player of the Year remarked. “It’s great to be able to play with Linda and Lisa. It makes my game better.”
Mullins, who has five City titles to her credit, was actually ahead going into the final three holes before Scott made a final charge.
“Linda had me down two strokes going off the 16th tee, but I finally got some putts to fall and birdied 17 and 18,” Scott related. “I went to see Jo Day (the matriarch of local women’s golf) a couple of days before the tournament. I told her I was having trouble putting and she said, ‘Just aim it at the hole and hit it in the hole’ so I did.”
Scott’s 4-over-par 76 on her home Cleveland Country Club course Thursday gave her a 151 total for the event, while Mullins (75-78 — 153) and Daubner (77-77 — 154) were right on her heels.
The Junior Division battle was just as tight with Kelsey Cassada sinking an eagle on the 14th hole Thursday and then holding on tight as Rheagan Hall made a late charge that came up short by just a single stroke (158-159), as Cassada claimed her first Connie Day Cup.
Beth Harper won the event’s First Flight with an 87-90 — 177, which put her five strokes ahead of Robin Russell (90-92 — 182). Delores Haynie (90-94 — 184) claimed third place, with Kay Shelton (94-96 — 190) in fourth.
Wanda Evans and Sue Inman were just a stroke apart at the top of the Second Flight, with Judy Ozawa and Mary Lou Miller following in third and fourth respectively.
In the Third Flight, Jola Burch claimed a seven-stroke victory, while Phyllis Tyner and Madelaine Cofer were just a stroke apart in second and third place.
Scott and Mullins both opened the 36-hole event with 3-over-par 75s Tuesday at the Chatata Valley Golf Club, with Scott sinking a birdie on the next-to-last hole, while Mullins did the same on No. 18. Daubner was right on their heels with a 77 in the opening round.
Mullins fired a 2-over 38 on the CCC front nine Thursday, that included a birdie on No. 5, while Scott carded a 40 and Daubner a 41 on the same holes.
On the first half dozen holes of the after the turn, Mullins and Scott had matching scores on each hole, while Daubner had closed the gap by a stroke with a birdie on No. 15.
“It was about that time when I looked at Lisa’s scorecard and realized she was right there with us,” Scott remarked.
Scott picked up a stroke with a par on No. 16 and then she and Daubner both birdied the final two holes while Mullins had a bogey and a par.
“I got lucky on the last two holes,” Scott commented. “Linda had a birdie chip shot on 17 that hit the edge of the hole, but lipped out. I told her I hate to beat you like that, but I can’t let you win. Lisa birdie three of the last four holes. Everybody played well. It was a lot of fun.”
Rita Hannah (77-84 — 161) and Kay McDaniel (82-85 — 167) finished fourth and fifth respectively in the Championship Flight.
The Junior action was just as exciting after both Cassada and Hall fired 5-over-par 77s at Chatata Valley in Tuesday’s opening round, Cassada and Hall were still knotted at the turn Thursday after posting 41s. Cassada had a pair of birdies on holes Nos. 3 and 5, as well as four pars on the front nine, while Hall notched a trio of pars and birdied No. 9.
Cassada opened the back nine with a birdie on No. 10 and then went par-double bogey-par on the next three holes, while Hall posted back-to-back pars, before slipping with a double bogey and a bogey.
Having picked up a three-stroke lead in just four holes, Cassada was able to reach the 14th green in just two shots before rolling her eagle putt on the par-5 hole. Hall parred the hole but suddenly found herself down by five strokes with just four holes remaining.
Not willing to give up, the recent Cleveland Middle School graduate was able to post four straight 4s with a trio of pars and a bogey, while Cassada, who just completed her freshman year at Walker Valley, slipped with three straight bogeys and a double bogey, but had built enough of a lead to hold on for the narrow victory.
The pair had a similar battle in last year’s City Tournament with Hall claiming a two-stroke edge for third place in the junior division standings.
Polk County sophomore-to-be Danielle Bates finished third in the junior race with a 79-88 — 167, while Whitney Kincaid shaved seven strokes off her opening round score in a fourth-place finish.
“It’s good to see out juniors do so well,” praised Scott. “We had six of them go play in the TGA State Junior recently. Lamar (Mills, the CCC pro and general manager) is doing a good job of getting them involved on the state level.”
“I’ve played with Cassada a few times and she can really hit the ball and she putts well. Rheagan is a strong player as well. They’re only 14 years old and playing like this is tremendous,” commented the retired Bradley County school teacher.
The Ladies City Championship dates began in 1958 with Malinda Rymer becoming the first champion. Rymer also won in 1960.
The late Connie Day captured seven City championships, getting the majority of those in succession from 1961 through 1964. She also won in 1959 and 1966. Day didn’t compete in the City championship from 1967 through 1994, before playing once again in 1995 and winning her final title in 1996.
Virginia Taylor won her only title in 1965. Jo Day, Connie’s mother won in 1969, 1970, and 1974. Her close friend, Berta Gibson won titles in 1967, 1968, 1971 and 1972. Pat Safriet won a sudden-death playoff over Scott in 1987, and Mullins won in 1992, 1993, 2000, 2008 and 2009.
In 1995, Connie Day started the junior division for girls 14 to 18 years of age. She wanted to encourage these junior golfers to compete with other girls in the Ladies City Tournament.
The girls compete for the Connie Day Cup in this junior competition. Cindy Copeland was the first winner, while other winners include Amy Mullins, Sam Briatico, former Ole Miss golfer Sara Grantham, Chelsea (Rakestraw) Nipper, who was a standout at Lee University, and current Tennessee Tech golfer Lydia Triplett, who had won the last four junior crowns.