Lesa Hodge spent the summer coaching golf instead of playing it. And it may have made all the difference.
She’s split her time between coaching girls at Western Hills and Franklin County high schools, while also being a mother of two young boys.
“This was the least I’ve played since I was seven years old,” Hodge said. “I stepped off the green yesterday in the lead and thought, ‘How did that just happen?’
“I had to think about certain tips and advice I tell my players every day. I also had several players playing today and although I was frustrated out there at times, I had to tell myself to remember who is watching. Practice what you preach.”
Those lessons helped give Hodge a 1-over-par 75 in Saturday’s first round of the Ladies Golf Club Championship at Juniper Hill and a 79 to win on Sunday.
Hodge, who has won the event seven of the last nine years, is a nine-time winner of the championship.
“This was probably my seventh or eighth round of 18 holes this summer and I’ve hit only four other rounds of nine holes,” she said. “I feel thankful I finished.”
Hodge ran into trouble on hole seven when her ball went into the sand and it took her three shots to get out.
Meanwhile, fellow previous champion, Tara Taylor, pulled away.
“Tara was actually two up on hole 14,” Hodge said. “I finished strong at the 16 and 17 holes.”
Taylor, who won in 2007, finished second after shooting 79 the first round and 78 Sunday.
Hodge described the day as “frustrating” for her when she double bogeyed on hole 18.
“It was the end to a long, tiring day,” she said.
Here are results for the Ladies Golf Club Championship at Juniper Hill:
Low gross, Lesa Hodge, 154; second low gross, Tara Taylor, 157; low net, Brenda Shipp, 138; second low net, Linda Dailey, 140.
Low gross, Pam Rhodes, 182; second low gross, Natalie Britton, 187; low net, Shirley Wilhoite, 142; second low net, Robin Moore, 143.
Low gross, Susan Goins, 187; second low gross, Teresa Coleman, 196; low net, Charlotte Pyles, 141; second low net, Karen Liebman, 143.
Low gross, Ashley Stevens, 206; second low gross (SCP), Barbara Terrell, 213; low net, Anne Hilen, 147; second low net, Esther Wilhoyte, 148.
Low gross, Cami Montgomery, 218; second low gross (SCP), Melinda Holbert, 223; low net, Emily Stevens, 132; second low net, Donna Grimes, 134.
Fifth flight (9 holes)
Low gross, Libby Courtney, 111, second low gross, Allison Harrod, 121; low net, Sharon Edwards, 61; second low net, Betty Shipp, 67.