Williams Lake golfer Lisa Kerley pulled off a major upset at the Prince George Integris Simon Fraser Open ladies golf tournament on the weekend.
Kerley dethroned three-time defending champ and eight-time winner Betty Ann Shiels of Prince George to win the event.
“I was very happy with my performance. “Betty had won the last three years so it was considered a big upset,” said Kerley. “It’s good for somebody new to come in and win it.”
The field included 65 players from Prince George, Mackenzie, Williams Lake and Quesnel.
After Saturday’s first round, Kerley shot an 85, leaving her two strokes behind the Prince George duo of Shiels and Kit Collins who both shot 83.
On Sunday Kerley was paired with Shiels and Collins in the final threesome and shot an 80 to run away from the field and take the title.
“I felt good, I only had one double (bogey) on the 18th hole and on the back nine I was basically at par until that final hole,” said Kerley. “I wanted to break 80 but I shot exactly 80.”
Kerley’s 36-hole total of 165 was four strokes better than Shiels in second with 169 and Collins 10 shots off the pace at 175.
Kerley has been golfing for 14 years now and this was the first individual tournament she’s competed in.
“I’ve won a couple two-lady tournaments at Quesnel and 108 Mile with Kelly Flaherty but this was the first time I’ve competed in an individual tournament,” said Kerley.
“I definitely plan to be back in Prince George next year to defend the title.”
The Simon Fraser Open is the only individual ladies tournament hosted by Zone 8 and the top two finishers, Kerley and Shiels, earned berths to the 2015 B.C. Amateur Golf Championships in Duncan next July.
Also competing from Williams Lake was Peggy Pukacz and Kelly Flaherty.
Pukacz finished in second place in the low net flight one with rounds of 86 and 87.
“I was satisfied with my performance — I could have done better — the three of us enjoyed ourselves and plan to be back next year,” said Pukacz.
Flaherty took third place in the low gross for flight one.
Pukacz also qualified for the B.C. Senior Golf Championship in Duncan the week prior to the Amateur next July.
The three lakecity golfers were rewarded for their efforts with selections from a prize table with Kerley picking up a new driver and Pukacz and Flaherty choosing golf bags.
A star fastball pitcher in her 20s, Kerley has now switched her athletic focus to golf.
She golfs on average three to four days a week and says only in the last year or so has her game really started to evolve.
“I’ve been told by people I definitely have a baseball swing,” said Kerley.
“I really enjoy golf and the challenge of the sport. It’s a competition with yourself and there’s always room to improve.”
Kerley, a registered nurse when she’s not on the golf course, plans to continue golfing for a very long time.
“It’s a lifetime sport,” she said.
“You can play it right up until your 80 and some cases even 90.”
Kerley’s favourite course is Grey Hawk in Scottsdale, Arizona and lists Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy as her favourite pro golfers.