Taconic Golf Club member Cheryl Krueger didn't know where she stood on the leaderboard when she stepped on the tee at the par-4 18th hole at Egremont Country Club in Great Barrington on Monday.
She didn't know that she needed to make a par to win her first Allied Women's Championship. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and it turned out that way when Kruger made her par to win by one shot over defending champion Jen Race.
"I was happy not knowing," said Krueger, who two-putted from 15 feet to complete a round of 6-over 77.
When Krueger stepped to the final tee her focus was on stopping a run of three bogeys in four holes after a solid 3-over start over the first 13 holes.
"I wanted to get out of that rut," Krueger said.
Mission accomplished. Two solid shots put her pin high and led to the two-putt she needed to turn the tables on Race. Krueger tied for second behind the Wyantenuck Country Club member in last year's Allied.
"It's a great win for me," Krueger said. "I've played in the Allied three times and it's nice to win it. There were some very good players like Jen and Kathy [Duguay], so I'm proud to get the victory."
Steady was the word Krueger used most often in describing a win accomplished without the help of any birdies.
"It was a nice, relaxed round," said Krueger, who was paired with Taconic teammates Duguay and Lynn Burke. "I hit the ball well. I had a few errant shots but I didn't make anything worse than a bogey. It was nothing exciting, but it was a very steady round."
Krueger shot a 36 on the shorter, easier front nine and remained on the par train until being derailed for the four-hole stretch prior to getting back on the track just in time on No. 18.
"The back nine is a little trickier to navigate," she said. "You have to avoid water on the closing holes, but it's not that big of an adjustment. Playing at Taconic teaches you how to keep the ball in play."
It was a good day all around for Taconic. The Williamstown club came away with its third team title thanks to the play of Krueger, Teresa Collins (third overall with an 83), Lynn Burke (84), Duguay (87) and Kris Herman (87).
"We're really happy," Krueger said. "It's the third time that Taconic has won."
Part of Krueger's comfort level came with being paired with Duguay for the third day in the row. They played together in the Taconic women's club championship over the weekend.
Duguay won that matchup after Krueger won the club title in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
"Kathy was nice to me today," joked Kruger. "She spread it around."
In the Monday's net competition, Berkshire Hills member Fran Locke shot a 68 to win by one shot over Egremont's Carolyn Bersaw. Taconic's Jane Patton was third with a 70.
To contact Richard Lord