Golf | Orlando's Emily Rymer strolls to first FSGA Women's Amateur Championship title

jdill@bradenton.comJune 12, 2014 

Orlando's Emily Rymer claimed the 85th FSGA Women's Amateur Championship trophy Wednesday on hole No. 13 at Sara Bay Country Club after winning 6-and-5 over Charlotte Daughan in the final match. JASON DILL/Bradenton Herald

MANATEE -- Like she did all week, Orlando's Emily Rymer finished the championship match of the 85th Florida State Golf Association's Women's Amateur before the 18th hole even came into play.

Consequently, the rising senior at Florida Southern capped her impressive week by locking up a 6-and-5 victory over Orlando's Charlotte Daughan to win her first state amateur title Wednesday at Sara Bay Country Club.

"I've been working really hard for the past year and a half to really pursue golf and see how far I can go," Rymer said, "because my dream would be to play on the LPGA someday. ... I came up short in a lot of college tournaments, so this definitely gives me a lot of confidence going into next year, my senior year, and really going after things."

The turning point in the match came after an hourlong weather delay. The two players returned to the green on the seventh hole, which was the spot they left off when inclement weather stopped the action.

Rymer won the hole to stretch her lead to 2-up. She then canned a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 eighth hole, with Daughan converting a birdie just to halve the hole.

Then the pivotal ninth hole arrived.

Rymer smacked her tee shot way right, nearly going out of bounds. Daughan was in the middle of the fairway.

That's when Daughan's chance to crack into Rymer's lead vanished.

Rymer's ball was in play, and Daughan's second shot into the green found the bunker short left.

Rymer, who chipped out to the fairway, found the green on her subsequent shot and two-putted for par. Daughan air-mailed the green and failed to get up and down to lose the hole.

"I almost caught it how I wanted to, but just a hair thin," Daughan said. "At that point, you've got to be aggressive. ... She was just on. She just played so great, and I didn't have my best game. And there you go. It's not how you want to play the final, but at the same time, she won it. It wasn't like we were both out there struggling."

Rymer's victory on the ninth hole meant a 3-up lead on the turn, and she won holes 10, 11 and 12 -- the highlight coming with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 11th - to get herself dormie.

The two parred the 13th hole to seal Rymer's 6-and-5 victory.

"My mind kept on wanting to go to the future, because I've been working so hard for this," Rymer said. "I was able to stay calm, taking deep breaths, and really focus on what's going on right now. Even when I was 3-up making the turn, I just told myself, 'OK, you're all-square,' because that helps keep my mind in check and not get too far ahead of myself."

Rymer said she normally struggles after a weather delay, but it came at the perfect time for her because she was feeling a bit sleepy.

Her game awoke with the stretch that won her the state amateur championship.

Daughan, who played at Rollins College, said she was happy for Rymer and said it gives collegiate players at the Division II level credibility.

"I love that a Division II player won," Daughan said. "I just think so many people are hung up on D-I and going to this school and that school. Its like, 'Hey, you've got schools right down that road that are awesome.'"

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