April Emerson said she wasn’t feeling any particular pressure to three-peat at the Tee Cup Invitational, but she was feeling a few nerves.
Emerson edged Charlotte Logsdon by a single stroke Thursday to become the first player to win three straight championships at the Danville Country Club women’s invitational. She said the fact that she had already won the Tee Cup twice made her think a little more about this attempt.
“It’s not that there was more pressure, but actually it made me a little bit more nervous,” Emerson said. “People are saying, ‘Go make it three in a row,’ and where you are now you’ve already done it before, and you want to go do it again.”
Emerson, an Eastern Kentucky University golfer who hails from Jamestown, put the pressure on Logsdon on the back nine after overcoming a slow start and won by shooting even-par 146 over 36 holes.
Four golfers had repeated a total of seven times at the Tee Cup before Emerson won a playoff last year for her second straight title — Anne Combs did it three times — but none had ever made the third time a charm.
Emerson did that by tapping in for par on the 18th hole, while Logsdon three-putted.
“She had putted phenomenally all day long, and I hated for that to be how it ended,” Emerson said. “But I had a good run on the back side, and I was glad to be able to end it with a par.
“I like to finish well. My goal every round is to have a good finishing hole.”
Logsdon didn’t finish as well as she might have liked, but she said she wasn’t disappointed after her best Tee Cup finish. The Somerset golfer had tied for second place in 2009, but she was six strokes off the lead.
“I have no complaints even though I three-putted on the last hole,” she said. “I’ve been struggling with my putting, and I putted it well this week. I’m absolutely thrilled.
“I’ve played this tournament many times, and being runner-up is not bad. And if I had made the putt and tied her, I probably would’ve lost the playoff.”
Emerson capped her junior year at EKU with an eighth-place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference championships in Dickson, Tenn., where she shot a first-round 75 that equaled her best score of the spring season and was at 80 or better in all three rounds.
She’ll be one of two seniors next year on a team that lost six players to graduation and has three incoming freshmen.
“It’ll be a completely different team ... but I’m excited because there’ll be a new atmosphere and new people. It’ll be fun.”
Emerson probably wasn’t having too much fun early in her round Thursday. She said she missed putts on two of the first three holes and made the turn two shots behind Logsdon, who had started the day in a three-way tie with Emerson and Allison Hancock, who lost last year’s playoff to Emerson.
But Emerson made a birdie and Logsdon made a bogey on No. 12, and that led to an exciting stretch run leading up to the deciding putts on 18.
“After that, I’d make birdie and she’d make birdie or I’d make par and she’d make par,” Emerson said.
Sloane Skinner, a Nicholasville native who plays for Lee University, finished four shots off the lead in third place at 150. Combs, an eight-time champion from Lexington, was fourth at 151; Hancock, a Centre College golfer from Paris, was fifth at 152; and two-time champion Jessica Cornelius of Stanford was sixth at 155.
Tee Cup Invitational
At Danville Country Club
Par: 73; Yardage: 5,224
April Emerson 74-72—146
Charlotte Logsdon 74-73—147
Sloane Skinner 76-74—150
Anne Combs 75-76—151
Allison Hancock 74-78—152
Jessica Cornelius 80-75—155
Chelsea Branscum 83-77—160
Cynthia Powell 78-82—160
Joan Waldrop 81-79—160
Kelsey Joslyn 78-84—162
Erika Price 78-84—162
Shelby Grant 81-83—164
Taylor Gillis 82-84—166
Judy Jackson 88-84—172
Penny Allen 90-85—175
Jennifer Osborne 90-85—175
Other Flight Leaders
Kyung Park 81-78—159
Mary Matthews 93-84—177
Bev Frazier 97-92—189
Alberta Rockwell 94-96—190