ER woman defends state amateur golf title

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 11:41
McAngus seeks national amateur championship bid
Eagle River’s Terri McAngus watches her tee shot on No. 15 in the final day of the Alaska State Amateur Championship at Settlers Bay Golf Course on Sunday, July 22.

As an avid golfer, Terri McAngus was less than thrilled about moving to Alaska from the St. Louis area.

But after just two years, the Eagle River woman’s opinion has drastically changed.

“I came kicking and screaming,” McAngus said. “Now, I have to say I prefer golfing in these temperatures.”

Despite Alaska’s relatively cool temperatures, McAngus has been setting the state’s courses on fire as of late.

On Sunday, July 22, the 50-year-old won her second straight women’s Alaska State Amateur Championship at Knik’s Settlers Bay Golf Course.

“It feels pretty special,” McAngus said.

She shot a four-day total 301, and beat second-place Rose Pelletier by 13 strokes. At half McAngus’ age, Pelletier will soon be the state’s top amateur, McAngus said.

“Her time is coming,” she said. “She’s improved so much.”

McAngus held a 10-stroke lead over Pelletier after three rounds. But, she said, it took seeing her ball on the 18th green to feel comfortable that she had defended her title.

“I had a cushion coming into the last day, but no lead is big enough for a sense of relief,” McAngus said.

As soon as she teed off, McAngus said her huge lead never entered her mind.

“You really don’t think about your score,” she said. “You just keep grinding regardless.

McAngus said her ability to save par led to firing a tournament-best 74 on the final day.

“I was managing to make pars with up and downs from 50, 60 yards out,” she said.

Moving to Alaska is partially responsible for those results.

Playing on unforgiving greens the past two summers has enhanced McAngus’ short game, she said.

“Being up here has made me a better putter,” she said. “You’re not gonna get a good roll if you don’t put a good stroke on it.”

Despite the downpour Saturday and showers Sunday, the conditions were decent at Settlers Bay, McAngus said.

“This course drains well,” she said.

Moose Run Creek Course — site of the first two rounds — and Settlers Bay are in optimal condition, McAngus said.

“Settlers and Moose are very comparable to the Lower 48,” she said. “These are some of the best conditions in the two years I’ve been here.”

Not knowing the area when she moved to Eagle River with her husband — who flies for UPS — McAngus said she couldn’t have chosen a better place to live.

Just 30 minutes from courses in both Anchorage and Mat-Su, Eagle River is centrally located to the area’s golf courses, she said. It also neighbors the links on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson where McAngus works as a night marshal at Moose Run.

“Eagle River is a great location for golfers,” she said. “We’ll enjoy his tenure here.”

Now that she’s successfully defended her state title, McAngus is hoping to earn a spot in the United States Golf Association 2012 Senior Women’s Amateur Championships in Hershey, Penn., on Sept. 8-13.

To qualify, McAngus will compete in Alaska’s USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at Anchorage Golf Course on Aug. 20.

Having played for the past two decades, McAngus said she wants nothing more than to book a ticket to Pennsylvania.

“I would love to go to my first national,” she said.

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