Robin Krapfl Prevails at Women’s Senior Stroke Play
By Brianna Gianiorio
GILBERT, Ariz.- Robin Krapfl edged out Judy Penman after a final round 2-over 73 to claim the Arizona Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship at Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch on Friday.
Shannon Mason and Kathy West rounded out the top four at 19-over, 12 shots behind the champion.
36-hole leader Krapfl carried the field by two shots in front of Penman after logging rounds of 75 and 72. Kathy West entered the final round five behind the lead, but it was a head-to-head battle between Penman and Krapfl the entire final 18.
Leveraging the more forgiving front nine, Penman jolted from two back into the co-lead after just four holes, recording two consecutive birdies on 3 and 4.
“I realize the front nine is definitely easier than the back nine so my idea was to get a couple birdies on the front nine,” said Penman. “My strategy whenever I play competition is to keep my blinders on and play my own game.”
Placing a birdie on the scorecard on the par-3 eighth had Krapfl regain the lead to finish the turn with her third consecutive front-nine 1-under 34; a solo shot ahead of Penman.
“It was between Judy and I, especially how well we played on the front nine. I really felt comfortable on the front,” the champion said. “She continued the battle-she never gave up.”
A back nine streak of five pars from the dual kept the lead to a slim one shot. A bogey on 15 from Penman extended Krapfl’s lead to three. After Judy hiccupped with a 3-putt double bogey on 16, the gap closed to one heading into the final hole.
“It went back and forth all day,” said the champion. “I kept telling myself ‘just one shot at a time’ and all the mantra of ‘just play your own game’. It was close the whole way. It was a battle.”
A pair of bogeys from the dual on the final hole determined Krapfl’s first Arizona Senior Stroke Play Victory rounding out at 7-over par for the three-day tournament.
“It is beyond thrilling to be able to win against the qualitative players there are in Arizona,” said Robin, who moved to the desert from Nebraska this past May. “Judy was a tremendous competitor it was really fun-we both played great golf”
She credits her improved iron play for her victory. “I got new irons and I hadn’t been hitting them well, but all of a sudden, this week, I hit great irons so it just all fell into place.”
This victory marks the champion’s first Arizona amateur title after just three starts in the Valley.
“I won the Nebraska Senior State Championship last summer and really wanted to defend but then moved down here,” said Krapfl, a Nebraska native. “The competition down here is so steep that I really didn’t know if I would have a chance.
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