Ceresko and Shorb win women's state amateur golf titles

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After missing her chance to clinch the Pennsylvania State Women's Amateur Championship with a putt on the 18th hole, Ellen Ceresko smiled.

As she practiced her swing on the first playoff hole, she smiled.

After she won the championship on the second playoff hole, she cried.

It was that kind of day.

A downpour accompanied much of the action at the 76th Pennsylvania State Women's Amateur Championship at Allegheny Country Club, but it ended at the right time.

The skies cleared at the 16th hole, as if the clouds, too, knew they had to watch as the championship match neared its conclusion.

Kate Scarpetta, 3 down to Ceresko earlier in the match, marched back to force an 18th hole.

There, Ceresko had the chance to win before missing.

"It was just all nerves," she said.

Ceresko, 20, said she started to smile because she knew it would calm her down.

"I said, 'Ellen, how many people would love to be in this position right now?' "

Scarpetta also had a chance to win with a putt on the first playoff hole, but like Ceresko's shot on 18, it lipped out.

"I was bummed. It seemed like I had a lot of putts that were like that. I kept ... I don't know," Scarpetta, 23, said.

"I was so grateful to be in that position and I've [played in similar situations] before."

With another chance, Ceresko made a putt on the second playoff hole to win.

"It could have been any person's win, and I came out on top at the end. I got it done, and it's a great feeling for me," she said.

In the senior division, the Bonnie-Connie championship match was won by Connie Shorb, who defeated Bonnie George, longtime opponent and friend.

"I knew it was going to come down to the wire, and it really just depends on who manages to step up at the last minute," Shorb said.

"Through the years, you end up playing your friends a lot. Fortunately, you're able to let your golf clubs settle it on the course.

"You don't have to get the personalities involved."

The win made it 10 senior championships for Shorb. George teased her after the match about her 10th championship.

"Oh, good, can we quit now?" George asked, jokingly.

"You got the nice even number."

Shorb and George kept the banter light, trading barbs while also making sure to compliment each other.

"My drives were a little iffy, but I sort of scrambled pretty well," George said.

"I thought you played well," Shorb said.

"Did it look good to you?" George said, laughing.

They said they would have a hard shell crab dinner together later to celebrate, but they stuck around long enough to congratulate Ceresko and console Scarpetta.

"Words can't describe," she said.

Scarpetta took the loss in stride, but was upset that she missed her chance.

"I feel like I had a really good opportunity on 19. It just didn't fall. I hit it a little too hard. I got lucky ... . I really played bad and had some breaks," she said.

"There's got to be a less stressful way to play a match. I really do feel confident in my game still. I don't want this to ... I'm going to try to not let this wreck my confidence.

"I had the experience I thought I needed to do it. What I ended up with was just more experience."


Brandon Boyd: bboyd@post-gazette.com. Twitter: @brandonmboyd.


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