Brandon native Kaitlin Troop tees off on the 18th hole during women’s medal play at the 80th annual Tamarack golf tournament at the Clear Lake Golf Course on Monday. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
WASAGAMING — It didn’t take Kaitlin Troop long to find success at the Tamarack, winning three women’s titles in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
However, she hit a drought after that, going four years without claiming the top prize. That slump came to an end on Saturday as she beat Winnipeg’s Sarah Stebeleski 3 and 2 in the women’s final at the 80th annual golf tournament played at the Clear Lake Golf Course, and it came as a bit of a relief.
"I didn’t know if it was going to happen again," she said. "It’s been a long dry spell at the Tamarack. It was good to win it again."
Troop, who claims match play is her weakness in golf, dominated the final, going 5 up after 11 holes. The match looked like it might turn when Stebeleski aced the 12th and won the 13th, but Troop gained momentum back and prevailed.
Even though Saturday’s contest was a rematch of last year’s final, which Stebeleski won, Troop said gaining a bit of revenge wasn’t on her mind.
"I really enjoy Sarah," said Troop, a 25-year-old Brandon native who now lives in Calgary. "She’s lots of fun to play with. We joked around that we’re going to have maybe a best of three if we’re in it next year."
Troop loves the Tamarack and says her annual pilgrimage to the lake is like a reunion with friends and family.
With the title, Troop moves into a tie for sixth place all-time with four Tamarack women’s championships. She’s one behind L.P. Mason, Muriel Clark, Shelley Muir and her good friend Pam Burneski, who are tied for second with five apiece.
Troop and Burneski always dreamed of playing each other in a final, although it never happened, and now Troop is hoping to join her at five titles.
"I’ll be gunning for her next year," Troop said.
Marg Patrick holds the record with seven career Tamarack women’s championships.
Meanwhile, Bobbi-Rae Uhl of Erickson won her second straight junior women’s title with a 4 and 3 victory over Brandon’s Sydney Stritz.
After being all square through three holes, Uhl won the next four and cruised to the victory.
"I was playing really good," Uhl said. "I had five straight pars on the front nine. That helped me. On the back nine, I got something working."
Now that she has experience and a pair of junior girls’ titles under her belt, the 13-year-old is eyeing up Cassie Ferguson’s record of four consecutive titles.
"I just want to know if I can get all of them or if someone is going to come and beat me," she said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 26, 2013