Glendive's Peterson has shot at Senior Amateur three-peat

2014-07-23T21:30:00Z 2014-07-24T00:57:07Z Glendive's Peterson has shot at Senior Amateur three-peatBy BILL BIGHAUS bbighaus@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Sue Peterson has a shot to make history this weekend during the Montana State Women's Amateur and Senior Amateur golf tournaments at Yellowstone County Club.

The 52-year-old Glendive golfer is in position to become the first to claim three consecutive state crowns in the 50-and-over age division.

Peterson, an assistant librarian at Dawson Community College, said she would like to win three in a row, but isn't consumed by the prospect.

"I don't really focus on the winning," she said. "I just try to play the best golf I can play. If that means I finish in first place, great, or if that means fifth place, great.

"I just want to walk off the course content."

The 54-hole amateur and senior competition, staged by the Montana State Women's Golf Association, gets underway Thursday morning and runs through Saturday afternoon.

There are 53 amateurs and 84 seniors ready to converge on the 5,604-yard, par-72 course.

Peterson, who plays to a 9-handicap and has some length off the tee, won on the final hole last year at Meadow Lark Country Club in Great Falls.

She rallied to beat Karen Jacobson of Whitefish by one stroke, after prevailing by 12 shots in 2012 at Whitefish Lake Golf Club.

In looking to curb some of the three-peat talk and the pressure that mounts with it, Peterson went out of her way to say she gets her biggest enjoyment out of playing with different ladies on different venues.

"Don't get me wrong, I'd love to win three in a row," she quickly added. "It would be an honor, but there's a lot of good competition out there."

Headlining the list of challengers this year will be former champions Sue Matson of Laurel, Susan Court of Helena, Julia Jones of Hamilton and Joy Staker of Bozeman.

Peterson, Matson, Jones and Court will play together Thursday in a foursome that tees off on No. 1 at 10:20 a.m.

Since the formation of the Senior Amateur in 1990, four golfers have captured two titles in a row: Peterson, Matson (2007-08), Sheila Penaluna of Butte (1997-98) and Penny Sipes of Billings (1993-94).

* * *

Peterson, representing Cottonwood Country Club, could also be a part of one more piece of excitement this weekend.

Her 22-year-old daughter, Katy, who just wrapped up a stellar four-year playing career at Rocky Mountain College, will be competing in the amateur portion of the 54-hole event.

That gives the Peterson duo a shot at an unprecedented mother-daughter title sweep.

"I told her that was my dream," Sue Peterson said. "I'd love to see her and I take first."

"I think it would just be the coolest thing ever," said Katy, who played a practice round with her mom Wednesday.

Katy has competed in the last four State Amateurs, tying for second in 2011 -- one shot out of the lead -- and placing sixth in 2013.

Her caddy on Thursday will be her father, Walt.

"He knows so much about the game of golf," Katy said. "He taught me everything I know, other than whatever my mom taught me."

* * *

While Amber Lundskog of Bozeman is sidelined by an ailing back and will not be defending her amateur title, last year's runner-up, Dorsey Addicks of Big Sky, is returning.

The teen, who competes for Seattle University, lost by one stroke to Lundskog on the final hole last summer in Great Falls.

Addicks will tee off on No. 1 at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday in a foursome that includes former champions Cathie Williamson (2003) of Great Falls and Maggie Crippen (2011) of Missoula.

After the State Amateur, Addicks will be competing at the Women's U.S. Amateur Aug. 4-10 at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y.

* * *

Williamson won 11 years ago when the State Am last visited YCC. She triumphed by four strokes with a 54-hole total of 3-over 219.

Williamson briefly joined the professional golf ranks after that.

* * *

Jackie Mee of Libby, Hailey Hoagland of Butte, Kyla Clancy of Park City, Katie Michunovich of Laurel, Katy Peterson of Glendive and Haylee Folkvord of Three Forks are some of the other top contenders returning from last year.

Hoagland placed third a year ago, while Williamson and Crippen tied for fourth.

* * *

A pair of YCC veterans, Brook Haag and Kathie Dugger, will be looking to put their local knowledge to work at the State Am.

Dugger has won five club titles in a row and 12 overall. Haag reigned at Yellowstone in 2008.

* * *

Sidney's Carla Berg, 63, who has spent 16 years as the executive secretary/director of the MSWGA, will also be inducted into the association's Hall of Fame during Friday night's Special Recognition Banquet at YCC.

"I don't think it's necessary," Berg said of being enshrined. "You see a job and you do it."

She said she is most proud of the MSWGA's work with high school and junior girls, including the awarding of scholarships.

"We've promoted a good group of players for the future," Berg said.

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