Good coaching lasts a long time. Lori Stinson can provide some evidence for that.
While channeling lessons she’d learned more than 30 years ago from local instructor Rick Hemsoth and her high-school coach, Dave Lindquist, she posted an even-par 72 on Saturday at Autumn Ridge Golf Club.
That put her at 2 over after two rounds of the Women’s City Tournament and in a commanding lead heading into today’s final 18 holes on the 5,900-yard course.
“Tomorrow, I need to do really the same things as today,” Stinson, 49, said. “As my high-school golf coach (at Snider), Dave Lindquist, used to say: ‘Just fairways and greens.’ I’m trying to do that. So, it’s just about staying patient and staying committed to it.”
Stinson, a Realtor, has a seven-stroke cushion over sisters Madison and Morgan Dabagia. Madison carded a second-round 76 and Morgan fired a 77 in temperatures that eclipsed 90 degrees, putting them both at 9 over.
“I don’t think the heat was the biggest factor,” said Morgan Dabagia, a 17-year-old Homestead senior, who started the day in third place, two strokes back of Stinson and one behind Danica Swaggerty, who plays for the University of Saint Francis.
“I think the course was really dry, so you had to anticipate the bounces, and the greens firmed up a little bit. Also, the wind was difficult to judge; it kept on swirling out there today.”
Stinson agreed that the wind was a factor in the 89th running of the Fort Wayne Women’s Golf Association event.
“The course is in great shape,” she said. “It’s dry because we haven’t had any rain for so long, so … there are certain spots. And the wind was kind of swirling on the back (nine). On 13, we were hitting our drives with the wind and I hit an approach shot, a 9-iron, and I thought it was perfect but it came up short of the green because the wind shifted back into us.”
One way to solve the wind is to make masterful putts. Stinson had a beauty on the par-5 15th, draining a 40-footer for one of her two birdies.
Stinson has won this tournament four times – in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 2018 – and is trying to become the first player to repeat as champion since Kristi O’Brien in 2010 and 2011. O’Brien had unseated back-to-back winner Sarah Prascsak.
Stinson could also become the first five-time champion since Michelle Smith, who won in 1994, 2000, 2005, 2006 and 2014. Pat Wright holds the most titles, nine, captured between 1955 and 1969.
Madison Dabagia’s back-and-forth round included five birdies and seven holes above par, though she got within seven strokes of Stinson with a 1-over 37 on the back nine. Morgan Dabagia, who had one birdie, also improved on the back with a 37.
“I didn’t play great, but I held my head up throughout the whole round,” Morgan Dabagia said. “I didn’t start out very well but I think I came back pretty well on the back. … Going into tomorrow, I would say I need to just hit every shot, have a shot-by-shot mentality, and just see what that can get for me.”
Sarah Frazier, who plays for the University of Dayton, is in fourth place at 10 over, following a second-round 76. Swaggerty, who shot an 81, is tied for fifth at 12 over with Simone Senk, who plays for Homestead and had a 77.