Jan. 5, 2010
New Orleans - Tulane Janine Fellows received a late Christmas present during her holiday break as the junior golfer edged Katerina Ruzickcova in one-hole playoff and captured the 2009 Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship at the Raven Golf Club at South Mountain in Phoenix, Ariz.
In a field of 112 golfers that included both collegiate and junior golfers, Fellows and Ruzickova battled for three rounds only to remain deadlocked at 7-under par following the third and final round. The two players were tossed into a playoff and Fellows wasted little time in capturing the championship. Following a bogey by Ruzickcova on the first hole, Fellows seized the moment with a par to wrap up the title.
In a strong showing, Fellows shot a seven-under 209 total that included 14 birdies and 33 pars with just seven bogeys during the three-day event. She posted a 3-over par 75 during the opening round, but rebounded in a big way on the second day with a 6-under par 66. Fellows continued her tear in the final round with a 4-under par 68 to push her way into first place.
"The event was a great experience for me and I finally won my first event as a collegian," Fellows said. "We (Fellows and Ruzickova) were each tied at seven-under at the end of the third round and were forced into a playoff. She had played very well so I was very surprised when she missed her putt for par. I kept telling myself the whole time to be patient and just to go out each round and have fun.
"This was a great representation for Tulane with me and Ashley among the field of participants and I feel like this win has given me more confidence and will help us begin the spring semester in a positive note. This was a great event with a tough field filled with lots of top-ranked juniors and college players."
Tulane sophomore Ashley McKenney also participated in the event and finished fourth in her age group following a scorecard playoff and tied for 39th place overall with a three round total of 7-over par 223. McKenney fired a 1-over par 73 during her first round and carded a second round 1-under par 71 in her second round to remain at even par entering the final day. However, she took a 7-over par 79 to the clubhouse during her final round.
Both players played integral roles in leading the Tulane women's golf team to the 2009 C-USA Championships, a fifth-place showing at the NCAA Regionals and a 20th place finish at the NCAA National Championships in the program's first year of competition since 2005.
Complete results for the 112-person field are available at the tourney's website, www.azsilverbelle.com. The tournament is open to qualified amateur girls from 13 to 23.
The Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship began 1971 and annually hosts the nation's leading golf championship; open to top young women amateurs.
1. Fellows 75-66-68=209 (-7)
T-39 McKenney 73-71-79=223 (+7)