HARRISON – Times have changed for Becky McDaid.
After capturing the Lincoln Women’s Met Open on the first hole of sudden death on Tuesday at Willow Ridge Country Club, the Friar’s Head teaching professional was looking forward to filling the crystal trophy with ice cream.
“I promised my daughter,” McDaid said of her 5-year-old at home on Long Island.
Earlier in her career, the former collegiate All-American at USC who played on the LPGA Tour for a time would’ve filled the prize with a carbonated beverage, but comfort food works.
“On the front nine, I played really well, everything was kind of clicking and the putts were going in,” said McDaid, who started the final round one shot off the lead. “And then I made the turn and made a couple of loose swings. I held it together somewhat, enough to stay in it.”
In the end, there was just enough wiggle room.
McDaid laid up and took a bogey on the 15th, a longish par 4 with a menacing creek fronting the green. She pulled her tee shot on the 16th into a greenside bunker and was left with a difficult stance on the par 3.
That miscue led to a double-bogey.
Golf Club of Purchase assistant Renee Skidmore managed to par the 15th and took a bogey on the 16th from the same bunker. McDaid came up with a timely par on the next hole when a par attempt from 10 feet had just enough momentum to roll over the front end.
The former Big Break participants were separated by a shot heading to the 18th, an uphill par 5.
“I feel like I played pretty solid coming down the stretch,” said Skidmore, a 30-year-old who lives in Tarrytown. “I’m happy with the way I hung in there, proud of the way I played. It’s been a little while since I’ve played a competitive event so it was nice to come back out and feel the nerves.”
There was reason to chew on fingernails.
Skidmore was short of the green in two, but dropped a wedge inside of seven feet and confidently made a slippery birdie. McDaid was on the front edge in two, but three-putted.
The critical miss came from inside four feet.
“I thought she was going to make it, so you have to put your riding boots on and get ready to go again,” added Skidmore, who shot a final-round 73 and finished the championship with an even-par total of 144. “It’s unfortunate that she missed it, but it gave me another opportunity to get it done.”
McDaid had to shake off the miss in a hurry.
“I couldn’t have played the 18th hole better in regulation, but that last putt was ticklish,” she said. “It was too close, probably three and a half feet above the hole. I probably over-hit the putt and kept the ball out there on the left edge.”
McDaid came up on the Futures Tour with Meaghan Francella and was introduced to husband Adam, a former Westchester Country Club assistant who is now the head pro at Friar’s Head, by the former LPGA winner from Port Chester.
She went back to the 18th tee and hit two more perfect shots, making a birdie from two feet below the hole.
“I pumped a drive out there,” said McDaid, who closed with a 72 and won this event for a third time. “In regulation, I had a little 5-wood in and was on the very front. I had the same shot in during the playoff, so I gripped down on a 3-wood and the ball went probably 15 yards farther. It was a great shot for a blind shot. I cozied the putt up there and got this one to drop. It’s much easier having the uphill slider.”
Skidmore had a chance.
After laying up again on top of the hill, she backed a wedge up to within five feet, but the birdie putt to extend the playoff stayed on the left edge.
“I gave it a chance,” Skidmore said. “It just didn’t drop.”
Jen Carafiello, an assistant at Innis Arden who came into the final round tied with Skidmore for the lead, shot a final-round 74 and finished in third place at 2-over.
Alexis Hios, a resident of Rye who is a rising junior at Towson, was the low amateur. The Westchester Country Club member closed with a 74, finishing in a fourth-place tie with Winged Foot director of instruction Alicia Dibos at 5-over.
Lincoln Women’s Met Open Championship
At Willow Ridge C.C.
1. Becky McDaid (Friar’s Head) 72-72-144*
2. Renée Skidmore (Golf Club of Purchase) 71-73-144
3. Jessica Carafiello (Innis Arden) 71-74-145
4. Alexis Hios (a) (Westchester) 75-74-149
4. Alicia Dibos (Winged Foot) 75-74-149
6. Dani Mullin (Southward Ho) 77-73-150
7. Harin Lee (Chelsea Piers) 76-75-151
7. Catherine McEvoy (a) (Innis Arden) 75-76-151
7. Michelle Dobek (Fairview) 74-77-151
10. Christine Greatrex (Brae Burn) 77-76-153
10. Michelle Winkler (Stanwich) 80-73-153
10. Linda Wang (a) (Clearview Park) 76-77-153