Carolinas Golf Magazine

Winter 2018

golf, CGA, carolinas, junior, equipment, sport, PGA, LPGA, association, magazine

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Page 21 of 43

"He set these challenges for me early on. I had this little half set, where you only get the 4-iron, 6-iron, 8-iron and a wedge. Well, I wanted a full set. He said we'd get me a full set when I could break 110. So I did," she says. "Then I wanted a pair of golf shoes, because every- one was clickety clacketing around with their metal spikes back in those days. Here I was with my tennis shoes on. So he said we'd get me a pair of golf shoes when I broke 100. So I did," she laughs. "Here I am more than 30 years later, and I set these challenges for myself. Whether that's hitting a certain score, or not making a bogey or what have you. It keeps me wanting to be competitive." Now at 65, Sage's competitive reign has stretched across three decades. After her first club champi- onship in 1990, she went on to collect 20 more in a row. The streak came to an end in 2011 after a shift in the event dates conflicted with Sage's family vacation. In recent years, she's returned to her winning ways claiming the 2015, '17 and '18 titles. Her most recent win came after a three-hole play- off. "I don't particularly like to relive that last hole," Sage laughs. "My competitor made a bogey, but I was in there at 2 ½ feet for birdie. I said to myself, 'You know, you don't really need to make this.' And sure enough I missed it! That's not the right way to think when you're playing golf. Can you believe it? Two putt from two feet." Her competitive fire is obviously still burning bright. Maybe this is the start of a new streak. Oh To Be Young Jason Richeson, 36, is one of the younger members at Pinehurst. However, the historic footprint of the iconic property is not lost on his youth. "When you walk downstairs into the member's clubhouse, you see this plaque that lists all of the past club champions. I mean, it dates back more than 100 years," says Richeson (pictured). "You see some names that show up five, eight or even 10 times." For the first time, Richeson's name has been added to that plaque. He put on a dominant performance at the 2018 Pinehurst Club Championship, winning by a staggering 12-stroke margin. His second round 2- under-par 70 on No. 6 set him apart from the field. The round got off to the type of start golfers only dream of. He eagled from 25 feet at the par-5 opener and followed it up with a birdie on the second hole after leaving his approach 10 feet from the pin. "It was a pretty nice way to come out of the gates, 3-under through two inspires some confidence," says Richeson, who during the day oversees operational excellence for Fortune 500 company Ingersoll Rand. "I felt in control that entire round. I was striking it well off the tee, playing smart and working it around the golf course the way it was intended. "You would think that was the marquee moment, but in the first round I hit a ball out of bounds on a birdieable par 5 and went on to make bogey. Then made a triple bogey a few holes later," Richeson recalls. "It could have all gone sideways, but I settled things down and managed to finish the round with a 76. That kept me in it." Richeson has been a member at Pinehurst for just over three years, but he's been coming to the acclaimed golf destination since he was a teenager. When he was a student at UNC Chapel Hill, just an hour or so down the road, his parents were also mem- bers at Pinehurst. While most students were using their weekends to catch up on sleep, study or play beer pong, Richeson was at Pinehurst – often playing 72 holes over the two-day break. "I was very fortunate to have access to Pinehurst when I was in college and an even more fortunate to be a member now," he says. "Just thinking about what this place means to golf is humbling. I can remember watching the 1999 U.S. Open on TV when Payne Stewart won – living and breathing every shot along- side him. It's special to think about some of the great moments that have taken place here." The final round of the club championship was held on No. 2. His 70 the day before got him into the final pairing. "Now on the first tee at Pinehurst No. 2, Jason 20 | | W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

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