From The Vault: Ladies’ Amateur

From the Vault: Ladies’ Amateur
by Jeffrey Reed, SCORE Golf August/September 2000

Laura Henderson wins 2000 Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship at Highland CC. Photo: Jeffrey Reed/LondonOntarioGolf.com.

With a smile from ear to ear, Laura Henderson finally got the monkey off her back, winning the 85th Ontario Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Highland Country Club in London.

Henderson, 20, from Essex, finished second at the 1999 and ’98 Ontario and Canadian amateurs. The University of Georgia senior shot a final-round 70 at the 5,865-yard, par-73 Highland course, for a three-day total of five-under-par 214.

“I knew five-under was out there,” said Henderson. “I knew I could do it. I was tired of the second-place thing.”

Playing alongside Henderson during the final round, 17-year-old Jessica Shepley of Oakville gave the champion a run for her money. The heavily-recruited Oakville student birdied seven of the last 10 holes at Highland for a final-day round of 71. In fact, she was a centimetre away from shooting a course-record 29 on the back nine when her 30-foot putt on the last died on the lip.

She finished 72-75-71, one-under 218, four strokes behind Henderson. Terrill Samuel of Toronto, the 1991 champion, finished third at one-over 220, while Ontario Junior champion Lindsay Knowlton of Toronto finished fourth at two-over 221.

For Henderson, who finished seventh at the NCAA Championships earlier this year, the win was shared with her entire family. Her mother, Mary Lou, 54, also competed in the tournament, finishing in a tie for 38th. Robert Henderson caddied for his daughter.

“We’re very happy for her,” said Mary Lou. “She’s worked so hard, then finished second all those times. She deserves this, and Bob and I can’t be anything but proud.”

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