Sedlar earns State Am title

>SHS coach Schmidt claims fourth place

RYE BEACH – Chelsea Sedlar entered the final round of the New Hampshire Women’s State Amateur golf tournament on Wednesday, Aug. 3, with a five-stroke lead over 16-time champion Dana Harrity.

That was the end result when the Merrimack native and Nashua Country Club member collected the championship trophy on the back porch at Abenaqui Country Club. Sedlar finished the three-day event at 3-over par, 219 (77-70-72), while Harrity, the New Hampshire Women’s Golf Association presi­dent and home-course favorite, closed out at 8-over 224 (74-78-72).

Defending champion Lisanne Schmidt, a Manchester resident who teaches at Amherst Middle School and is the Souhegan High School golf coach, finished fourth at 24-over 240 (78-81-81).

Schmidt was one stroke behind Newfields’ Tracey Marshall, who finished third at 23-over 239 (78-77- 84).

Sedlar stretched her lead to eight strokes at the turn before Harrity worked it back down to seven af­ter 12, six after 15 and five on 18 – following a surprise three-putt by Sedlar to close out the round that left both golfers at even-par 72 on the day.

It was Sedlar’s first State Am ti­tle, coming one year after finishing runner-up to Schmidt.

"I was coming in looking to, if not win it, definitely be near the top," said Sedlar, who won the Northeast Conference Tourna­ment individual title as a fresh­man at Sacred Heart University. "Coming out of college and play­ing well – my game improving the way it has – I was really looking forward to competing."

Compete she did.

Sedlar birdied three holes – the par-4 eighth, par-3 ninth and par-5 17th – while bogeying the par-4 12th and recording a double bogey on the par-4 18th.

"I came into (Wednesday) with the same attitude I came into (Tuesday) having, which was, just play my game and beat the course," Sedlar said of her turnaround from a Round One 77 on Monday to Tuesday’s 70 and Wednesday’s 72. "I know if I play my game that I can shoot under par as I did (Tuesday) and almost did (Wednesday). ­

"I played a little bit more conser­vative knowing that I had the five-stroke lead. I really didn’t have to make as many birdies as I did (Tues­day), so I wanted to be a little bit con­servative, save my pars – really make the pars count – and I think that’s re­ally what I went out there and did."

Her 13 pars did count, as she hung tough when Harrity tried to make a move late with birdies on the par-4 12th, par-4 14th and par-4 16th. Bo­geyes on the 13th and 15th put an end to Harrity’s late push.

"I got it up and down on every hole and made every putt and she didn’t crack at all," Harrity said. "I made a bogey on five, and she made a couple birdies on eight and nine and you know, it was over.

"She played amazing, so it’s all good."

Such high praise from a legend in New Hampshire and New England amateur golf. A top-notch golfer who Sedlar knew could strike at any moment if given an opening.

"Dana is a great golfer," Sedlar said. "I knew coming in today that five strokes, playing against her, is nothing if you’re off your game even a little bit. So on the front nine, I re­ally just focused on myself, my own game and what I was doing. I knew that if I could get through the front nine at even par or under par, that I’d have a strong chance of taking the tournament.

"I really didn’t look at the scores or the differentials until we hit about the 13th or 14th hole. That’s when I was really looking over at the board and paying attention to where I was. I think that helped a lot in the long run, just knowing that I was playing my own game and not focusing on someone else."

Now the focus is all on Sedlar, as she adds a State Am trophy to the mantel alongside her NEC Tourna­ment individual championship tro­phy.