Goodno and Hurley Hang on, Go Wire-to-Wire at MGA Women's Senior Four-Ball

June 4, 2024 | 4 min.
By Nick Hunter

  MINNETRISTA, Minn. – An early birdie to start their back nine and a critical par save late in the round Tuesday at Burl Oaks Golf Club guided Linda Goodno and Alison Hurley to a two-stroke victory at the 2024 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Senior Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

Goodno and Hurley overcame a bumpy start to the final round to earn a wire-to-wire victory by shooting 1-over 145 to edge the twosome of four-time senior four-ball champions Claudia Pilot and partner Brenda Williams.

“A win means I’ve finally gotten healthy—there’s been some ups and downs,” said Hurley, who wins for the first time since she claimed the 2009 MGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. “It’s been a bit, but it’s finally coming together.”

“[Hurley’s] a good partner for me and that helped out a lot. It feels good to win,” Goodno said following her first state victory Tuesday. “We played really well yesterday—weren’t nearly as sharp today, but we stuck with it and saved ourselves a few times when we really needed to.”

Goodno and Hurley distanced themselves from the field during Monday’s opening round by firing a 4-under 68 to take a four-stroke advantage to Tuesday’s final 18 holes.

After carding two bogeys during the entire opening round, Goodno and Hurley tallied four bogeys over their first seven holes to begin the final round, watching their lead shrink to one.

Hurley rolled in her birdie chance from 12 feet at the par-4 10th to put her and Goodno back into red figures for the championship before a pair of bogeys at the 14th and 16th moved them back to 1-over.

Once again, Hurley sank a crucial putt—a 10-foot bender at the 17th—to preserve a one-shot advantage.

With Hurley out of the hole at the last, Goodno’s approach found the middle of the green and she two-putted for par to secure the victory with a final-round 77.

“I think what turned the corner for us was her birdie [on No. 10],” Goodno said, “We settled down a bit.”

“If I was in trouble, she was good. And if she was in trouble, I somehow managed,” Hurley said. “We didn’t play our best, but we didn’t give up. Yesterday, we got the bounces and putts were going in. They weren’t today, but he kept our heads down and it worked out.”

Pilot and Williams, winners in 2021 and three more (2010, 2012, 2014) when the event was called the Minnesota Women’s Golf Association Senior Four-Ball Championship, opened the championship with a round of 1-over 73 Monday.

Unable to make up ground during most of the final round Tuesday, Pilot and Williams rallied late with a pair of birdies over their final three holes to post a round of 2-over 74 to finish in a tie for second with 2022 champions Christine Dean and Adele Peterson, but won a scorecard playoff to finish second at 3-over 147.

Dean and Peterson posted a steady even par 72 during Monday’s opening round by carding one birdie against one bogey.

Left with a birdie to force a playoff on the final hole late Tuesday, Peterson’s putt rolled past the cup, and she would take a three-putt bogey at the last to give her and Dean a final-round 75 to finish tied with Pilot and Williams at 3-over 147.

Lynn Anderson and Leigh Klasse, winners of four straight women’s senior four-ball titles from 2015 to 2018, bounced back from an opening-round 76 Monday by carding a 1-over 73 during the final round to finish four shots back at 5-over 149.

Mary Flynn and Lili McMillan followed up their opening-round 76 with a 5-over 77 during Tuesday’s final round to run away with a six-stroke victory in the First Flight, while a final-round 79 helped Ann Leahy and Sue Sajevic to medalist honors in the Second Flight by the same margin.

Back-to-back rounds of 84 put the team of Janice Barstad and Jeri Meola on top of the Third Flight to claim a three-shot win, and twosome Kathy Fisher and Ann Harris bettered their opening-round score by seven strokes to claim a four-stroke victory in the Fourth Flight.

Posting a final-round 87 helped Jacqui Jarnes and Dale Ann Smith to a one-stroke victory in the Fifth Flight, edging the pairing of Brenda Breckheimer and Kay Rasmussen.


Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 12th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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