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Harrity Wins NEWGA Championship
Author: Wayne Mills
July 3rd 2014 -
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE - With very little question Dana Harrity is the single most accomplished female golfer in New Hampshire history. 

The North Hampton resident and Abenaqui Country Club member has won the New Hampshire Amateur Championship an unprecedented 15 times and won the club championship at Abenaqui countless times but had never won the New England Golf Association Women's Championship despite entering the championship 25 times.  

On Wednesday at Keene Country Club, Harrity, entered as a senior at age 55, finally got the one she wanted by winning the NEWGA Championship by one stroke over the legendary Tara Joy-Connelly.

"For me I never dreamed I would win the New England's after all those years of playing in it and getting close so many times. I could never hold on and put it together," said Harrity after her final round.

Harrity played remarkably steady golf with rounds of 71, 73 and 72 to finish at even par 216 which included an amazing 40 pars in 54 holes balanced by seven birdies and seven bogeys.

She didn't go into the championship trying to shoot even par. "My intention was to play as well as I possibly could and it wasn't what score I was going to shoot. It was more about staying focused and trying to play every shot the best I possibly could because I was playing against some amazingly talented people."

"Tara Connelly is an incredible player and Pam Kuong is amazing. They've both won state amateurs and played in multiple USGA championships," said Harrity. "I would say the best player in New England played. Tara is the best. There is no one even close to her."

Playing with Connelly on the first and final days gave Harrity her measuring stick on who she had to beat. "I was aware of where I stood from start to finish. I kept everybody's score on every hole."

Starting with a two shot lead over Connelly on the final day things went south pretty early for Harrity. "On the final day it was looking very bleak for me. I was hitting the ball very well but just couldn't make a putt. Tara and Pam both made birdies in the first four holes so Tara had caught me and Pam was one behind and then I bogeyed six to go even with both."

The back nine saw the lead change hands three times with all three players holding lead at one time or another.

After a bogey at 12 Harrity was now two behind Connelly who then bogeyed 15 to narrow her lead to one. Harrity knew she had to bear down if she was going to win. "I knew I just had to stiff my approaches."  This is exactly what she did on the par 4-16th after hitting it to a foot to make birdie and get even.

Playing first on the uphill par 3- 17th Harrity hit it to four feet and Connelly to six. "She misses, I make. I'm now one up with one to go," Harrity recalled. "It was an incredible turn of fortune in a short time."

Being a little too pumped up with the taste of victory in her mouth Harrity pulled her 4 wood tee shot on the downhill par 4-18th hole on to a road. After taking a drop she punched a nine iron onto the green 30 feet from the hole.

Connelly playing from 60 yards in the fairway thinned her approach to the back of the green leaving a 40 foot putt. Knowing she had to make Connelly rolled it four feet by leaving Harrity two putts to win.

"I'm standing over my putt thinking oh my God you've got to get this close. I thought I hit it a bit too hard but I didn't. I left it three inches and tapped in. I practically started crying," said Harrity recalling the moment. 

To finally get the victory she wanted and to do it in her home state meant a lot to Harrity, "Winning the New England Amateur was incredible for me and to win it in New Hampshire was very cool."  

 

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