Greg Kosin and Kosin Cup winner Allison Fouch.
Heavy Rains Can't Dampen a Dramatic Finish to the Illinois Women's Open
The 2010 Illinois Women’s Open featured a dramatic finish befitting the memory of the tournament’s late founder, Phil Kosin, for whom the tournament was renamed this year (Kosin passed away last August). Marked by challenging weather conditions beginning with calm skies that quickly turned into some of the heaviest rains the Chicago area has seen in decades, the final round was on the verge of being washed out. The skies cleared, however, leading to a memorable finale capped by a three-hole sudden-death playoff before Allison Fouch (Indianapolis) emerged as champion.
The first round saw low scores, but as the winds kicked up the next day, so did the number of strokes. The night before the tournament’s final day, Mother Nature decided to dump one of the area’s largest downpours in recent history, drenching the Mistwood Golf Course with more than four inches of rain before skies finally cleared late Saturday morning, allowing play to resume at 1 p.m.
“It was touch and go right up to our 11 a.m. deadline as to whether or not we could finish the tournament,” says Visanu Tongwarin, Mistwood’s head pro.
Fouch entered the final day holding a two-stroke lead over Nicole Jeray (Berwyn) and Michelle Ellis (Chicago Heights). After the first nine holes of the last round, Fouch and Jeray were tied at +1.
On the 15th hole, Fouch failed to clear the hazard and had to return to the tee. Her second attempt cleared, and she followed with a long shot just off the green. She missed a 10-foot putt for par, settling for a bogie as she watched Jeray par the hole to take a two-shot lead.
With both golfers in the fairway on the 16th hole, Jeray found her ball in a divot and proceeded to leave her approach shot in the water protecting the green. After a drop, she landed her next shot within a few feet of the hole and made bogie to see her lead over Fouch cut to one stroke.
On the 17th, Fouch hit her tee shot within six feet of the hole, while Jeray was looking at a 20-foot downhill putt. Fouch birdied to tie the score going into the final hole. Both players managed to par the 18th hole, forcing a sudden-death playoff.
Ultimately, Fouch would par the third playoff hole to edge Jeray and win the event. Scoring a -1 on the final day, 15-year-old Katherine Helper (Lincoln, Ill.) took third with a three-day total of +4. Top scores are shown below. For complete scores go to www.mistwoodgolf.net. CG