Botelho, Matarrese win Pen Am titles

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004

A pair of Kenai golfers stole the show in Soldotna.

Rita Botelho and Matt Matarrese who both work in the clubhouse at the Kenai Golf Course took home top honors in the 31st Annual Peninsula Amateur golf tournament at Soldotna's Birch Ridge Golf Course by playing just well enough to outlast their closest challengers.

Matarrese, a 2-handicapper who will play college golf for College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif. next season, was able to just hold onto his five-stroke first round lead despite a late run by Gordon Griffin.

"It was fun," Matarrese said of his duel with Griffin, who also spends time behind the counter at Kenai.

"Gordon got to within two to put some pressure on," he said.

With Griffin right on his heels, Matarrese was able to make a crucial up-and-down for par on hole 16 to hold onto his slim advantage. After he and Griffin each made par on 17, Matarrese said he was fairly confident he could pull out the victory.

"Getting up and down at 16 was what kept it going," he said.

On hole 18, Griffin found the woods, eventually making a 9 to give Matarrese a 6-stroke victory.

Botelho had a little more difficult route to her win, making up a 3-stroke first round deficit to win by four shots over Ardie Crawford.

"We were jockeying for position until the very end," Botelho said of Sunday's final round showdown with playing partners Crawford and Paula Crowley.

Each of the three led the tournament at some point during the final nine holes.

"It made it really fun," she said.

All three women had a chance to win the tournament Sunday, but Botelho won by being the only golfer not to make a big number on the second nine holes. After the first nine, all three women were within three strokes of each other, with Crawford holding a two-stroke lead over Crowley, who was one up on Botelho.

Crawford was the first to stumble on the back, carding a 9 on the 12th hole to drop into a tie with Crowley, one ahead of Botelho. Crowley promptly made a 10 on the next hole, handing the lead back to Crawford.

Crawford took advantage of a Botelho triple-bogey on hole 15 to improve on her position, and led by two strokes as the threesome went to the 17th. That's where things went really bad for Crawford, as she found some unfriendly rough on the par-3 17th en route to an 8. Botelho made a 3 on the hole, Crowley struggled for triple bogey, and the tournament was suddenly Botelho's.

All three made 5's on the par-4 18th, and Botelho had herself a hard-earned new trophy.

"They both played so well," Botelho said after the tournament. "It was close all the way and it could have gone any direction."

Although Botelho and Matarrese came out on top for the tournament, it was another golfer who really had a good day.

Nobody could challenge Curtis Nelson for closest to the pin honors on hole 6. Not unless they wanted to share the cup with Nelson's ball.

Nelson, a 15-handicap golfer who tied for second place in the men's first flight, had the shot of the day when he sank his tee shot on the par-3, 150 yard hole his first career ace, and the first ever in the 31 years of the Peninsula Amateur.

"We couldn't tell if it was in or rolled over the back of the green," Nelson said of his perfect shot. "It was in."

2003 Peninsula Amateur

At Birch Ridge Golf Course

Soldotna, Alaska

(Trophies awarded to top gross and net in each flight, as well as low gross junior)

Two-Day totals

Championship Flight

Hdp. Gross Net

1. Matt Matarrese (2) 153 149

2. Gordon Griffin (7) 159 71

3. Bob Sizemore (9) 161 143

4. Mike Hollingsworth (11) 163 141

5. *Josh Lansing (3) 165 159

6. *Zac Cowan (12) 168 144

7. Rob Smithwick (10) 171 151

8. Steve Dexheimer (12) 174 150

9. Jay Kriner (12) 176 152

10. John Bunnell (12) 190 166

1st Flight

1. Mo Redford (13) 160 134

2. Darell Jelsma (14) 167 139

2. Curtis Nelson (15) 167 137

4. Norton Dabelmont (17) 168 134

4. George Stein (13) 168 142

6. Ray Hamby (15) 174 144

6. Jim McWilliams (13) 174 148

8. John Davis (15) 179 149

9. *Aaron Andrus (16) 182 150

10. *Keaton Andrus (16) 188 156

2nd Flight

1. Mic Reeve (24) 188 140

2. Dave Stein (23) 191 145

3. Chuck Rider (22) 194 150

4. Dave Keating (21) 195 153

5. Don McGee (20) 200 160

6. Gary Dawkins (28) 201 145

7. Steve Horn (19) 204 166

8. Cliff Baker (21) 207 153

8. Charles Benson (27) 207 153

10. Marvin St. Clair (29) 217 159

11. John Lansing (27) 229 175

12. Phil Turkington (21) Scratched


1. Rita Botelho (16) 176 144

2. Ardie Crawford (21) 180 138

3. Paula Crowley (14) 181 151

4. Lisa Parker (25) 192 142

5. Pat Bird (26) 195 143

6. Sharon Keating (36) 229 157

7. Dee Richards (35) 240 170

* Denotes Juniors

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