Convincing victory

Abby Smith shoots career-best 65 to win Capital Classic

By Linda Younkin Published:

When the summer golf season started, Abby Smith’s career-best score was a 70.

That record is long gone.

Smith fired a seven-under par 65 Thursday to win the 48th annual Capital Classic Women’s Invitational at Frankfort Country Club by six shots over defending champion Whitney Miller.

“That’s my best score ever,” said Smith, who shot a 69 earlier this summer. “I’ve broken two personal records this summer.”

And she did it in convincing fashion.

Smith started the tournament with a par on No. 1 and she birdied the second hole, hitting the ball within three feet of the cup.

She finished the front side with five birdies, four pars and no bogeys, and she opened the back nine with three straight pars.

Smith didn’t bogey a hole until No. 13, but she came right back with an eagle on the 14th hole and went birdie, birdie, bogey and par to close out the round.

For Smith, a 2011 graduate of Franklin County, putting was the key to her game Thursday.

“I was rolling putts from everywhere,” she said. “I’d hit it close and make the putt – hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt.

“I felt really comfortable the whole round. This is my home course, and I know expectations can be higher when it’s your home course and it can make people nervous, but I started off great and I felt really comfortable the whole round.”

Miller’s round of 71 was the only other under-par round of the tournament. Beth Curlin shot an even-par 72 and was awarded first low net in the championship flight.

Thursday’s tournament was Smith’s first competitive golf since the Lexmark Kentucky Women’s Open July 17-18 where she shot 151 (72-79) and finished 12th.

On Thursday Smith played in a foursome with former FCHS teammate Abbi Stamper, who will be a freshman on Murray State’s women’s golf team this fall. Stamper shot a 79 and took third low gross.

“I got to play with Abbi today, and that brought back Franklin County memories,” Smith said. “It was fun to play with her.”

Smith will return to Xavier in Cincinnati, where she’ll be a sophomore on the women’s golf team, on Aug. 18. Her first tournament of the college season will be Sept. 10-11 in Lincoln, Neb.

“I didn’t feel any different this morning warming up,” Smith said. “I was hitting good at the range and putting good, but I didn’t feel any different. I just got off to a really good start.

“I’m ready to get back to college and start playing there.”

Smith was closest to the pin on No. 2, and Debbie Long had the longest putt on No. 17.

Donna Lancaster, playing in the championship flight, had a hole-in-one on No. 17.

The top three gross and net finishers in each flight are listed below.

Championship Flight

Gross – 1. Abby Smith 65, 2. Whitney Miller 71, 3. Abbi Stamper 79.

Net – 1. Beth Curlin 65, 2. Lisa Letton 66, 3. Donna Lancaster 68.

First Flight

Gross – 1. Mary Mathews 81, 2. Debbie Cummings 87, 3. Marcia Gauding 87.

Net – 1. Charlotte Nelson 70, 2. Teresa Ellis 71, 3. Cammile Heyser 72.

Second Flight

Gross – 1. Corky Herbert 88, 2. Betty Williamson 90, 3. Lisa Grim 94.

Net – 1. Marlana Mitchell 67, 2. Brenda Wilson 71, 3. Trish Gregory 72.

Third Flight

Gross – 1. Marie Grasch 94, 2. Patti Sebastian 98, 3. Bobbye Brown 100.

Net – 1. Lori Woodside 67, 2. Karen Radjunas 70, 3. Julie Dawson 74.

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