Old Lyme, Connecticut (June 8, 2021) – It could have been a day of what ifs for Melissa Siviter. Instead, it was a day of triumph as the 30-year-old battled her way to her first professional win at the 22nd Connecticut Women’s Open hosted by the Black Hall Club.
“This win means a lot to me. It has been a long time coming. I have been close a number of times and just haven’t gotten it done so to get it done today really means a lot,” Siviter said. “You never know if you can do it until you get over the edge so I am just super happy right now.”
Siviter (Golf Club of Georgia) opened with an even-par 72 on Monday and entered the final round tied for the lead with amateurs Angela Garvin and Kaitlyn Lee. In the final round Siviter missed some opportunities early but she was able to do just enough to sign for a 2-over 74 to finish 2-over and as the four shot winner over four-time champion Liz Caron, Yale’s Ami Gianchandani, and 2020 Connecticut Women’s Amateur winner Sophia Sarrazin.
The day got off to a quick start for Siviter as she birdied the first hole to move to 1-under and remained there until the 4th. On the par-4 4th a string of near misses began to plague Siviter. She missed the green to the left and hit a wonderful chip to four feet only to miss the par putt. The bogey was the first of three in four holes that dropped Siviter to 2-over.
On the par-5 8th Siviter looked as if she was set to turn her day around in a big way. After finding the middle of the fairway off the tee she knocked her second shot to 10-feet setting up an eagle try. Instead Siviter, who plays on the Women’s All Pro Tour, three-putted and walked off the green shaking her head with a par. Following a par on the 9th Siviter made the turn at 2-over and one off the pace set by first round co-leader Kaitlyn Lee.
Lee (Westchester CC) played a steady front nine to move into the lead alone. Lee, a junior at Yale, birdied the opening hole to jump into red figures at 1-under. Lee did stumble with three bogeys during the middle portion of the opening nine but she was able to two-putt for birdie on the 8th to reach 1-over and the top of the leaderboard with nine holes remaining.
“My putting and chipping saved me a lot again today but I think the biggest difference between yesterday and today were that my shots off the tee weren’t as consistent. I was able to scramble and get up and down on the front but I guess I kind of ran out of gas on the back,” Lee said. “But I am pretty happy with how I played besides the last five holes. I think I play well under pressure despite what the scorecard said today and I’m excited to see how I play in the next few events.”
By the time play reached the back nine the tournament had turned into a two player race between Siviter and Lee. However, it soon became clear that the veteran Siviter wasn’t going to melt under the pressure of a tight race. Siviter held serve with pars on Nos. 10-14 while Lee struggled dropping shots on 11 and 14 to fall one behind.
“I knew par was going to be my friend today so I didn’t try and pull off any crazy shots,” Siviter said. “I just kept hitting one shot at a time until I got to the 18th. I didn’t really know where I stood so I just kept telling myself par is my friend.”
Once she was in front Siviter was not going to let this opportunity slide by. Siviter did bogey the 15th hole but when Lee double-bogeyed the hole she extended her lead to two shots. One hole later she applied the knock out punch. Siviter split the fairway with her tee shot on the par-4 16th and with a wedge in hand she knocked her approach shot to 15-feet. Facing a downhill putt for birdie Siviter curled it in, gave a fist pump, and walked to the 17th tee 2-over and in command.
“When that putt went in I thought I really had a chance. But the par-3 17th isn’t an easy shot with the water on the left and I stuck it to 15-feet and that kind of settled the nerves.”
The top-five was rounded out by Furman’s Kyra Cox, Lee, and Jean Batholomew (Engineers CC) at 7-over in a tie for fifth. First round co-leader Angela Garvin, a junior at Maryland, finished in 11-over in 15th. Sarrazin and Gianchandani shared low amateur honors.
About the Connecticut State Golf Association
The Connecticut Women’s Open is one of 19 championships conducted by the Connecticut State Golf Association. The CSGA functions as an extension of the USGA and provides stewardship for amateur golf in Connecticut. Founded in 1899, it is the country’s oldest state golf association and conducts over 60 Championships, Qualifiers, and One Day Tournaments throughout the year. For more information, visit csgalinks.org.