Jessica Cornelius is giving her son much of the credit for her latest state tournament win. But she’s keeping the trophy.
Cornelius’ son Chris accompanied her to Falls Of Rough for the practice round at the Kentucky Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, helping her refine her swing and prepare for a challenging course.
That work paid off over the next two days, as Cornelius won the tournament for the second consecutive year.
The Stanford golfer shot 76-78—154 at Rough River Dam State Resort Park to defeat Sandra Hartman of Louisville by six strokes.
Cornelius said she hadn’t played much competitive golf during the summer, and she hadn’t played particularly well when she had played, which is why the help her son gave her during the practice round was so valuable.
“Chris literally did get my swing back on track and my head back on track,” she said. “He really helped me in getting the course management part down and also simply with my swing thoughts and getting back to my swing. I told him when I got him, ‘This trophy belongs to you as much as it does me.’”
The trophy remains on her dining room table today, though she said Chris can come visit it any time he likes.
Cornelius said she didn’t think her scores would be good enough to win, but she also didn’t expect the course to be so difficult.
“It played very difficult for some reason, around the greens were very difficult,” she said. “The greens were real small, and if you didn’t hit the green you were in real trouble getting up and down.
“I still hit the ball pretty far, and I was able to hit a shorter club for my approach shot. I think that was to my advantage, because I was able to hit a lot of greens. But I still didn’t think that score would win.”
There were only four rounds in the 70s in the 36-hole tournament for women age 55 and over. Cornelius had two of them and Hartman had one, a 77 in the final round.
“I’ve never seen scores as high as I did at this tournament,” she said.
Cornelius said a lower score would have been nice, but being able to win under arduous conditions was also satisfying. “I hit my irons probably as good as I’ve hit them all year,” she said.
Cornelius, who won the first flight at the Women’s State Amateur earlier this summer, has won the Women’s Senior Amateur tournament both years she has entered. She has been eligible for three years but did not enter in 2010.