Cocca & Beatty Come From Behind to Win NYS Women's Am & Mid-Am Titles
Elmira, NY - It was a final round battle for the title of the 2016 NYS Women’s Amateur Champion, but it was Bailey Coccoa of Latham who came out victorious.
Heading into the final round, Cocca was three shots off the second round leader Marianna Monaco. Cocca was also tied with the defending champion Kyra Cox, of South Salem. With a birdie on her first hole, Cocca quickly picked up a stroke. The trio then battled back and forth on the hilly front nine with Cox coming out on top with a 1-under 34 leaving Cocca 2-shots behind and Monaco 1-shot behind.
The scores remained tight through the back nine and the trio was tied after the 13th hole. Cocca nearly drove the par-4 14th and made the only par for the group with Monaco and Cox making bogey. Cocca then maintained her lead until Monaco’s birdie on the 16th leaving the two tied, and Cox just 1-shot back.
On the 17th, a 310 yard par-4, Monaco played a great shot from the tee to just off the front of the green and Cocca was right of the fairway. After a drop from the cart path, Cocca flubbed her delicate pitch into the bunker defending the front-right portion of the green, leaving an even harder shot to get up-and-down for her par. Monaco nearly holed out her chip for eagle, but ran it by 15 feet for birdie. Cocca stepped up and played a beautiful pitch to just a few feet and made par, as did Monaco and Cox.
All three players were in good position on the 18th, with Cox in the best shape with around 10 feet for birdie. Both Cocca and Monaco made routine pars, and it was up to Cox to make her birdie to tie for the lead and force a three-way playoff. Her putt just missed, and was left out of a chance at this year's title.
The sudden death playoff began and ended on the 1st hole. Monaco and Cocca both hit tee-shots that left them with a short wedge into the 1st green. Cocca was was first to play, and put a nicely played wedge to about 12 feet. The long-driving Monaco was 30 yards short of the hole but short-sided herself on the right side to a hole location tucked on the right side of the green. She played a great shot, running past the hole onto the back fringe, and had about 15 feet downhill for birdie.
Monaco played first and didn’t play enough break with her putt sweeping past the hole on the low-side, leaving three feet for par. Cocca left her birdie putt short in the center of the hole, and she showed her frustration. Monaco missed her short putt for par and Cocca celebrated her first NYS Women’s Amateur title.
During the awards ceremony, Cocca thanked her competitors for a fierce final round. She then mentioned that this year’s Women’s Amateur wasn’t quite the same without longtime friend and NYSGA chairwoman Betty Deeley, who passed away this winter at 92.
In the 8th NYS Women's Amateur Championship, Joanna Beatty of Newburg posted the low round of the tournament, 3-over par 76. In doing so she overtook second round leader Lauren Cupp of Rome. Cupp, who lead by five heading into the final round, struggled on day three with a 10-over par round of 83 which included a triple-bogey 8 on the par-3 16th.
Beatty, who won her first Mid-Amateur title in 2014 at Dutchess Golf Club in Poughkeepsie, improved each round with an 83-80-76. Her final round included four bogeys and a birdie, good enough for a two-shot win.
We would like to thank the membership of Elmira CC for sharing your golf course with us for this year's championship, as well as GM Joe Norman and golf course superintendent Tom Newkirk for their hard work. The golf course was in terrific shape, providing contestants a difficult but fair test. Thank you!
USGA P.J. Boatwright, Jr. Intern