Cathy Edelen looked at the sky as she walked past her ball clinging to the lip of the cup on the closing hole of the Women's Kentucky Open Wednesday.
“I thought, ‘Oh, that figures,' ” she said. “That's the way I felt all day.”
Suddenly someone cried out, “It went in”!
Thus, another “miracle at 18” excited the crowd in the final round of the Fifth Third Bank event at Spring Valley Golf Club.
The first miracle, one threesome earlier, made all the difference in the 12th annual Open.
Karisa Akin of Elizabethtown didn't follow the advice of father and caddie, Steve, who wanted a more cautious approach to the hole.
“I figured it's all or nothing,” Akin said. “I thought I had to go for the pin.”
Akin's approach shot was about 10 feet from the cup. “I had to make a clutch putt,” she said.
So she did. That gave Akin a 1-under-par 71 and a one-shot victory over two-time champion Edelen in the 12th annual event.
Nobody knew the winner until all the scorecards were in. Akin was at the putting green preparing for a playoff and trying to stay loose.
Edelen was hoping her 3-over 75 would send the tournament to extra holes. Past champions Mandy Goins and Laura Anderson were wondering if they were in, too.
“I knew the scoreboard would be higher (Wednesday),” said Akin, who will be a freshman at Middle Tennessee. “The wind was blowing more, and the pins were in tougher spots.”
Akin wanted to shoot a 68, one lower than Edelen's opening round, and take her chances. Edelen's goal was even-par 72, forcing someone to finish under par to defeat her.
Akin, a Central Hardin graduate, was that player.
She reduced her bogeys from five on Tuesday to three in the second round. She managed four birdies, edging Edelen and Mandy Goins by one shot. Anderson was fourth, two shots behind.
“I saw the whole course (Tuesday),” Akin said. “I had to take advantage of short iron shots (Wednesday). I hit them well. They didn't put me in bad places.”
Akin didn't concern herself with how other rivals were faring.
“One goal was to not get wrapped up into other people and how they were playing,” she said. “It was easier not to know who the leader was.”
Edelen and Anderson, the current Women's State Amateur champion, were two shots apart after the first round.
Anderson finally caught up when Edelen bogeyed the 14th hole.
A birdie on No. 17 put Edelen ahead of Anderson by one shot. Edelen's putt lipped the cup and went in.
“A couple of birdie putts didn't fall for me on 16 and 17,” said Anderson, the 2006 Open champion. “I never could get in that groove ... I couldn't get into the rhythm of making good shots. I was battling all day.”
Goins, the 2004 champ and a Frankfort native, had two birdies and two bogeys.
“I was steady, the same as (Tuesday),” Goins said. “I wish a couple of putts could've fallen. I missed a shot or two and had a few close shots.
“Karisa made putts when she needed them.”
Akin also survived hopping in the wrong cart (Goins') on No. 16. “I'd never done it before,” she said.
Akin considered her championship a good start to her college career.
“I wanted to see how I measured up when I was playing against veteran players,” she said. “This will give me confidence going into college.”
At par-72 Spring Valley G.C.
Karisa Akin, Elizabethtown 72-71—143 -1
p-Cathy Edelen, Fla. 69-75—144 E
p-Mandy Goins, Frankfort 72-72—144 E
Laura Anderson, Tompkinsville 71-74—145 +1
Lauren Scholl, Somerset 74-72—146 +2
Ashlee Rose, Nicholasville 74-73—147 +3
p-Taryn Durham, Glasgow 72-75—147 +3
Emily Wolff, Florence 74-77—151 +7
p-Brittainy Klein, Henderson 72-80—152 +8
p-Heather Kraus, Lexington 75-77—152 +8
p-Kim Shafer, Louisville 75-77—152 +8
Bethany Yates, Bardstown 77-76—153 +9
Amanda Henry, Russell Springs 77-77—154 +10
Krista Burton, Jamestown 80-74—154 +10
p-Christine Ridenour, Louisville 78-77—155 +11
Susan Loyd, Lexixngton 75-80—155 +11
Megan Wilshire, Georgetown 79-77—156 +12
Rachel Diuguid, Hopkinsville 79-77—156 +12
Kelsey Burrell, Franklin 80-77—157 +13
Lyndsey Bevill, Sanders 77-80—157 +13
Morgan Cross, Elizabethtown 79-78—157 +13
p-Martha Faulconer, Lexington 81-77—158 +14
Sloane Skinner, Nicholasville 82-77—159 +15
Jordan Magruder, Louisville 78-82—160 +16
Krissy Martin, Louisville 79-81—160 +16
Lindsay Gahm, Louisville 76-84—160 +16
Abby Smith, Frankfort 80-81—161 +17
p-Erin Back, Cynthiana 85-78—163 +19
Kate Larimore, Greensburg 81-82—163 +19
Victoria Sansom, Russellville 77-86—163 +19
Erin O’Connor, Ghent 81-83—164 +20
p-Tennyre Ohr, Irvine 78-86—164 +20
p-Amy Wilson, Louisville 85-81—166 +22
Jordan Layne, Nicholasville 84-82—166 +22
Katie Johnson, Lexington 84-82—166 +22
Marissa Cianchetti, Danville 85-81—166 +22
Danielle Kom, Crestwood 82-85—167 +23
Candice Wiley, Shelbyville 85-83—168 +24
Kathlee Wiedmar, Louisville 84-85—169 +25
Kristin Lottman, Villa Hills 86-83—169 +25
Laura McGehee, Lakeside Park 84-85—169 +25
Allison Hancock, Paris 86-84—170 +26
Laura Harris, Glasgow 83-87—170 +26
Whitney Miller, Lexington 88-82—170 +26
Kelsey Lewis, Frankfort 86-86—172 +28
Caitlyn Wilkerson, Elizabethtown 84-89—173 +29
p-Susan Smith, Louisville 84-89—173 +29
Jaclyn Zembrodt, Ft. Mitchell 83-93—176 +32
Betty Williamson, Frankfort 88-90—178 +34
Lauren Goodin, Columbia 88-92—180 +36
Sabrina Ferreri, Franklin 91-90—181 +37
Ashleigh Howerton, Madisonville 89-93—182 +38
Sunny Mitchell, Lexington 100-83—183 +39
Sarah Slattery, Frankfort 102-108—210 +46
Erin Faulkner, Bowling Green 84-NS-NS NS