Striking win for Shears

PARKERSBURG – It’s not quite Disneyland, but 16-year-old golfer Adeena Shears celebrated her first West Virginia Women’s Amateur title eating a cookies and cream milkshake, and watching a few movies to pass the time on the journey home Wednesday evening from Shepherdstown.

Shears, who begins her junior season at Parkersburg South next week, made up a four-stroke deficit in the final round and won by five strokes over runner-up Caroline Ramsey of Bridgeport. Shears shot rounds of 74, 78 and 73 for a three-round total of 12-over par 225. She played her final seven holes at even par.

“I wasn’t quitting,” Shears explained as she began the day in third place behind co-leaders Sydney Snodgrass of Harrisville and Ramsey. “On the second hole, Sydney hit a ball out of bounds and that made me feel I could come back. My caddy told me, “let them make mistakes and you don’t make any.”

Even though her putter let her down on occasion, Shears’ short game was her greatest ally.

“I was hitting approach shots very close,” Shears said. “They were getting within 10 feet the whole day.”

During her final 18 holes, Shears produced three birdies. She played both sets of nines at 1-over par. Playing in the same threesome with Ramsey and Snodgrass, Shears could sense by the 14th hole the championship was her’s for the taking.

“When I would win a hole, I noticed a change in emotions in (Caroline and Sydney), and how they carried themselves,” Shears said. “I told my caddy I just needed par and I would be good. I didn’t want to try anything crazy. I felt like the title was mine unless I completely blew up.”

Once her putt fell in the cup on the 18th hole, there to greet her with hugs and tears were her mother, Daneen, her grandmother and an assortment of friends. Daneen Shears also competed at this week’s tournament and placed seventh.

“This is definitely one of my biggest wins,” Shears said. “I felt like it would be later in my life when I would win a West Virginia Women’s Amateur tournament.”

Ramsey, who won her first of four West Virginia Women’s Amateur titles in 1969, closed out her round with an 82, while Shepherdstown’s Kimberly Eaton shot a 75 for a three-day total of 231, which left her sitting in third place.

“Caroline Ramsey is so good for a senior player,” Shears said. “I was very impressed how long she hit off the tee and how accurate she was. She said her short game was not that great today. She said she left her short game back at the hotel.”

Snodgrass, who finished with an 87, ended the tournament in a three-way tie for fourth place at 235 with Parkersburg High’s Lauryn Davidson (80) and Shepherdstown’s Karen Kinnett (75).