O'Leary, Mayhew repeat champs at Nemadji Invitational

Norma O'Leary continued her dominance in the Nemadji Women's Invitational with a one-stroke sudden-death victory over Tricia Ronchi Wednesday at the Nemadji Golf Course. After O'Leary and Ronchi finished with rounds of 73 on the North/South cours...

Deb Mayhew


Norma O’Leary continued her dominance in the Nemadji Women’s Invitational with a one-stroke sudden-death victory over Tricia Ronchi Wednesday at the Nemadji Golf Course.

After O’Leary and Ronchi finished with rounds of 73 on the North/South course, sudden death lasted only one hole as O’Leary’s par bested Ronchi’s 5 on No. 1N, giving the Silver Bay native her 11th Nemadji title.

“For the most part I hit the ball pretty well,” said O’Leary, whose first Nemadji title came in 1995. “I missed a few greens here and there, but I made some good par saves. I also missed a few birdies that I should have made, but I also got a couple of breaks, so it all evened out.”

There was also a repeat champion in the Senior Division where Deb Mayhew won her second straight title with an 82, two strokes better than five-time championship Barb Olson.


Olson won five straight Nemadji titles from 2011 to 2015, but missed last year’s event, which was won by Mayhew.

“I kind of had to prove myself that I could beat her,” Mayhew said. “I played pretty good. I had a couple of birdies, pared a number of holes and was just trying to keep up with Barb.”

The second hole proved to be pivotal in the final outcome. After both golfers had 5s on No. 1N, Mayhew took a two-stroke lead on No. 2N with a birdie 4 and Olson’s bogey 6.

“Even though it was early in the round, that was a pretty big two-stroke swing,” Mayhew said.

Olson tied things up with a par and birdie on No. 4N and 5N, but Mayhew got a stroke back on No. 8N for a 43-44 lead after nine holes.

Mayhew opened up a four-stroke lead over the first four holes on the second nine, but Olson got two of those strokes back with a birdie 2 on No. 14N.

That would be as close Olson would get as the women played even golf over the final four holes.

Duluth’s Diana Camacha nearly joined O’Leary and Ronchi in the championship flight playoff, but a one-stroke penalty left her in third place with a score of 74.


Ronchi seemed to have an early advantage in the playoff when her drive went about 50 yards further than O’Leary’s and was in the middle of the fairway.

O’Leary’s second shot from the left fringe missed the green on the right, but Ronchi’s chip came up about 10 yards short of the green.

Ronchi’s second chip left her about 10 feet short of the cup and she two-putted for a bogey 5.

O’Leary nearly holed her next shot and was left with a tap-in for a par 4.

“Honestly, I was a little surprised at myself when I missed the green on my second shot, because I was hitting the ball well all day,” O’Leary said. “But I knew I could get up and down and my next shot almost went in. I thought I had it for a minute there.

“This is the first time I ever won a tournament in a playoff. I’ve been in a playoff and have not won, so that feels good.”

O’Leary’s title also came while she’s been battling a new driver.

“Earlier this year my driver broke and I was forced to change brands because Orlimar went bankrupt,” O’Leary said. “I got a Callaway Epic and went through this long period of mourning where I couldn’t hit the ball at all. Luckily I snapped out of it about a week ago.


“It happened just in time, so I’m happy about that.”

O’Leary hopes her driver stays hot next weekend when she attempts to qualify for the U.S. Senior Tournament.

Ronchi, who overcame two penalty shots and a bogey on the final hole to win the 2015 title as Tricia Glanville, had a round that included three straight birdies (No. 9-11),which at the time gave her a one-stroke lead over O’Leary.

After both golfers bogeyed No. 12N, O’Leary pulled into a tie with a birdie on No. 14N.

Ronchi took another one-stroke lead when O’Leary bogeyed No. 17N, but Ronchi followed with a bogey on No. 18N leaving both golfers with 73s.

DIVOTS: Regular division flight winners were Moe Miller, Barb Luke, Lynn Larson and Penny Graskey. … Senior division flight winners were Cheryl Mortensen, Delores Graden and Pat Turcotte. … Forty-two golfers competed this year, down slightly from 48 last year. … Proceeds from the Women’s Invitational support the Superior High School girls golf team. … The Nemadji Women’s Golf Club is once again sponsoring a food drive for the Salvation Army. The drive runs through Saturday. Non-perishable donations may be dropped off at the golf course.


2017 Nemadji Women’s Invitational


Wednesday, July 26

Championship Flight - 1. Norma O’Leary, 73 (one-hole playoff); 2. Tricia Ronchi, 73; 3. Diana Camacha, 74; 4. Sami Mattson, 78; 5. Karina Palokangas, 79; 6. Pat Kelly, 82; 7. Deb Showalter, 83.

First Flight - 1. Moe Miller, 85; 2. Pam Klatt, 92; 3. Brenda Milinkovich, 97; 4. Jeri Sylvester, 98.

Second Flight - 1. Barb Luke, 91; 2. Jeanette Nyquist, 95; 3. Trish Anecki, 100; 4. Nan Sauter, 103.

Third Flight - 1. Lynn Larson, 91; 2. Michele Rieder, 95; 3. Judy Davern, 104; 4. Phyllis Dalgleish, 108.

Fourth Flight - 1. Penny Graskey, 95; 2. Barb Hoag, 98; 3. Sandi Fogo, 102; 4. Judy Walker, 103.

Senior Division

Championship Flight - 1. Deb Mayhew, 82; 2. Barb Olson, 84; 3. Mary Meierotto, 93.


First Flight - 1. Cheryl Mortensen, 89; 2. Kathy Nelson, 96; 3. Barb Buhr, 97; 4. Vicky Haley, 99; 5. Cathy Meysman, 101; 6. Jane Hauser, 103.

Second Flight - 1. Delores Graden, 102; 2. Gail Erdman, 108; 3. Colleen Hasforth, 109; 4. Judy Holden, 111; 5. Sheila Lysak, 111; 6. Linda Craig, 112; 7. Linda Gallatin, 113.

Third Flight - 1. Pat Turcotte, 114; 2. Sandra Kalik, 116; 3. Judy Johnson, 131.


Nemadji Women’s Invitational

Tournament Champions

1947-Mrs. Julius Juel, Nemadji, 86

1948-Mrs. Glen St. Julien, Hibbing, 90


1949-Miss Ione Ogren, Ridgeview, 96

1950 - Unavailable

1951-Mrs. R.W. Johnson, Northland, 88

1952-Carol Ink, Lester Park, 90

1953-Miriamm Anderson, Nemadji, 90

1954-Jean Seaquist, Nemadji, 89

1955-Hazel Leland, Nemadji, 85

1956-Mrs. R.W. Johnson, Northland, 90

1957-Hazel Leland, Nemadji, 86

(Minnesota Public Links Tournament)

1958-Carol Marshall, Lester Park, 89

1960-Mrs. Kenneth Berklin, Hibbing, 95

1961-Mrs. Kenneth Berklin, Hibbing, 89

1962-Mrs. Phalin Johnson, Two Harbors

1963-Miss Carol Wilson, Bemidji, 92

1964-Mrs. P.H. Stromquist, Ridgeview, 22

(Score for three holes of rain-shortened tournament)

1965-60 - Unavailable

1970-Pamela Berry, Mpls., 76

(Minnesota Public Links Tournament)

1971-Lynn Ferr Reiff, St. Louis, Mo., 92

1972-Marilyn Magie, Duluth, 80

1973-Katie Bell, Northland, 88

1974-Mrs. James Stuard, Northland, 88

1975-Linda Hanson, Hurley, 95

1976-Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 84

1977-Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 80

1978-Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 79

1979-Peggy Kirsch, Ridgeview, 79

1980-Sara Asta, Northland, 75

1981-Kim Kaiser, Hayward, 86

1982-Kim Kaiser, Hayward, 77

1983-Carol Marshall, Lester Park, 87

1984-Jean Hall, Grand Rapids, 90

1985-Margo Waletzko, Nemadji, 94

1986-Dana Scheff, Cloquet, 83

1987-Jean Gaske, Cook, 85

1988-Sarah Elton, Burnsville, Minn., 79

1989-Debbie Stocke, Enger Park, 82

1990-Deanna Brown, Danbury, 80

1991-Kelly Steen, Luck, 77

1992-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 79

1993-Tricia Wollack, Hermantown, 77

1994-Evelyn Newton, Trout Lake, 78

1995-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73

1996-Sue Moline-Liberty, 77

1997-Monica Haag, 79

1998-Debbie Stocke

1999-Kelly Steen, 75 (Five-hole playoff with Debbie Stocke)

2000-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 72

2001-Kelly Steen

2002-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73

2003-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73

2004-Deb Showalter, 70

2005-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 75

2006-Deb Showalter, 77

2007-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 73

2008-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 76

2009-Deb Showalter, Hermantown, 73

2010-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 74

2011-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 71

2012-Deb Showalter, Hermantown, 78

2013-Maggie Lattery, Poplar, 78 (one-hole playoff with Deb Showalter)

2014-Maggie Lattery, Poplar, 72

2015-Tricia Glanville, 76

2016-Norma O’Leary, Silver Bay, 75

2017-Norma O’Leary, 73 (one-hole playoff win over Trish Ronchi)



Renna Rychlak Memorial Senior Invitational

1996-Pi Peterson, 82

1997-Barb Fetzek

1998-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids

1999-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids

2000-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids

2001-Pi Peterson

2002-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 77

2003-Cindy Raab, 76

2004-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 74

2005-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 78

2006-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 77

2007-Mary Meierotto, Nemadji, 88

2008-Cheryl, Mortensen, Turtle Back, 85

2009-Joan Richardson, Grand Rapids, 79

2010-Carol Carlson, Lakeland, Fla., 81

2011-Barb Olson, Duluth, 86

2012-Barb Olson, Duluth, 82

2013-Barb Olson, Duluth, 82

2014-Barb Olson, Duluth, 84

2015-Barb Olson, Duluth, 76

2016-Deb Mayhew, Superior, 87

2017-Deb Mayhew, Superior, 84


Norma O'Leary

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