NORTH EAST – Urgency engulfed each golfer late in Saturday’s first round of the EDWGA Stroke Play Tournament.
Not because there was a cut after it, but a cut in play during it.
An ominous thunderstorm began to approach Lake View Country Club around 4 p.m. The players, caddies and their galleries not only were warned the club’s weather siren go off sometime before 4:40, but also that all action would cease for the day.
The threat became reality at 4:25. Only the first of the tournament’s seven groups, consisting of Anna and Lydia Swan and Zoey McClain, completed their 18 holes before then.
The trio avoided returning to Lake View for Sunday’s 9:30 round resumption by playing speed golf over their last three holes.
Anna Swan shot a 6-over par 78. Lydia Swan, the tournament’s three-time defending champion, followed with a 79 and McClain an 83.
“I feel like I’ve played speed golf more times than I’d like to admit,” Lydia Swan said. “Not for rain, but for the sun. (Speed golf) is almost like a separate mission. It makes me not focus on the golf so much.”
“Sometimes, it’s worked in my favor. Sometimes, it hasn’t.”
Swan’s reference of the sun was based on last season’s experience as a freshman for the women’s golf team at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The North East graduate and former PIAA gold medalist joked how she wasn’t accustomed to competing in tournaments held at sauna-like locales throughout the Midwest and the south.
“This year, I’m going to try not to be too focused on the fact I’m going to be dying out there,” Swan said. “I’m going to be more positive about that than I normally would.”
Seeking same success in new decade
No golfer enjoyed more success over the tournament’s first 10 years than Lydia Swan. The former Grapepicker will be the tournament’s first five-time winner, and first four-time outright victor, should she be atop the Stroke Play’s leaderboard come Sunday night.
The Swan sisters, by agreement with EDWGA officials, were declared co-champions for its 2021 tournament at Downing Golf Course.
Steph Urban, another North East resident, also won three Stroke Plays outright. The Lawrence Park Country Club member was the tournament’s inaugural champ in 2013, repeated in 2014 and finished first again in 2019.
Urban competed with Sarah White and Katie Caryl on Saturday. They were through 16 holes when Lake View’s siren wailed.
‘Putting my name out there’
Saturday’s weather paused what’s already Caryl’s most successful stretch on the links. It began Aug. 4, when she won the girls age 19-under division of the Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour Championship.
Caryl defeated McDowell returnee Alexis Marsh in a one-hole playoff at Riverside Golf Course in Cambridge Springs.
It was a prelude to the start of Caryl’s last season with the Lakers.
Mercyhurst’s 2023 team debuted during last Thursday’s Happy Valley Invitational. That tournament took place at Penn State University’s Blue and White Courses, which also will host October’s PIAA individual and team events.
Caryl, at 5-under 67, was the Class 2A girls champ. Also notable was she beat Hickory senior Sasha Petrochko by one stroke.
Petrochko is the star golfer for the Hornets, who seek an unprecedented third straight 2A girls state team title.
“I’m really happy I’m starting this season off so strong and putting my name out there,” Caryl said. “It wasn’t so much that I beat Sasha, but that (tournament) showed I can compete with some of these really great girls.”
Completed first rounds for Saturday’s EDWGA Stroke Play Tournament at North East’s Lake View Country Club. Play was suspended because of inclement weather. The round will resume Sunday at 9:30 a.m:
Anna Swan +6 78
Lydia Swan +7 79
Zoey McClain +11 83
Tee times for Sunday’s final round of the EDGWA Stroke Play Tournament:
12:03 p.m: Anna Swan, Lydia Swan, Zoey McClain
12:12: Sarah White, Steph Urban, Katie Caryl
12:21: Emily Donahue, Kathy Lynch, Gail Heubel
12:30: Lia Macek, Jillian Gambino, Samantha Turk
12:39: Moria Erhartic, Kathy Hobson, Chris Willey
12:48: Terry DeSanto, Taylor Urban, Marlene Smith
12:57: Beth Sesler, Mary Ann Brabender, Jen Shorts
Contact Mike Copper at mcopp[email protected]. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @ETNcopper.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Thunderstorm suspends action in EDWGA Stroke Play Tournament