Merrimack’s Sedlar storms to State Amateur lead

By MIKE ZHE

For The Telegraph

GREENLAND – Chelsea Sedlar handled her driver – and disappointment – like a champion.

The middle round of the State Women’s Am at Portsmouth Country Club was stretched out by a nearly two-hour weather delay near the end. When the rain lifted and the scores were posted, it was Sedlar’s 3-under 69 that was the brightest ray of light.

“I don’t want to say I was extremely disappointed after (a first-round 78), but I was definitely looking to post a lower score than that,” said Sedlar, a Merrimack resident and Nashua CC member, who has won this tournament the last two years. “I went home and calmed down a little bit, and I told myself that, historically, I don’t play that well in the first round in this.”

First-round co-leaders Tara Watt of Derryfield CC, the 2011 champion, and Tracy Martin of Nashua CC didn’t play poorly – just nowhere near as well as Sedlar.

Martin’s 75 was lowlighted by one truly bad hole on the back nine that took two hours to complete, but is just two shots off the lead heading into Wednesday’s final round. The long-hitting Watt is another shot back after a 76.

“I’m OK with my position,” said Martin, the 2013 champion. “Obviously, it’s always nice to be leading, but two shots out of the lead is not too bad. I played well except for one hole out there.”

A storm cell that passed over Great Bay in the late afternoon sent the remaining five threesomes on the course back to the clubhouse for a delay that lasted for nearly two hours.

Maybe no player felt it more than Martin, who was working on an under-par round when she hit a shot on the par-5 14th into some bad rough, right before thunder sounded and players were ordered to come in.

Her next shot, almost two hours later, found the hazard and she ended up carding a 9 on the hole.

“When you’re thinking about it the whole time – ‘Should I play it? Should I not?’ – it’s tough,” said Martin. “Then when I went back I was probably a little too stiff to be hitting a wood.”

Sedlar, playing in the group in front of the leaders, made four birdies – all on putts inside of 10 feet – and said she missed just one fairway.

She’d followed up her opening 78 with an hour on the practice green, working on lag putts and makeable ones.

The rising Sacred Heart University senior emphasized she hopes to keep up the pressure on Wednesday.

“I want to make the field have to make birdies,” said Sedlar.

“I kind of liked the fact that I wasn’t playing against Tara and Tracy. I didn’t have any distractions. I could do my own thing.”

And now, we’ll see who does their thing the best on Wednesday. The final threesome of Sedlar, Martin and Watt is scheduled to tee off at 10 a.m.

“Birdies are out there,” said Martin. “You’ve just got to go get them.”

Among the other area competitors in the field, Green Meadow’s Beth Gutteridge is ninth at 78-84 – 162; Margaret Brenner is tied for 10th at 85-79 – 164; Lauren Erikson of Skymeadow is tied for 14th at 82-84 – 166; Green Meadow’s Cortney Tilley is tied for 17th at 84-83 – 167; Laurie Ethier of Nashua CC is tied for 23rd at 87-82 – 169; Cindy Perkins of Souhegan Woods is tied for 29th at 87-85 – 172; Deirdre Rogusky of Souhegan Woods is 43rd at 94-87 – 181; and Barbara Dion of Nashua CC is 48th at 104-103 – 207.