Jean Roise figured she had two putts to win. Her partner, Carole Fuller, told her to make it anyway.
So she did.
Roise sank a five-foot birdie putt on the final hole to give her team a two-stroke victory in the Tennessee Women’s Four-Ball tournament Wednesday at Johnson City Country Club.
“Jean said two putts to win,” Fuller said, “but I wasn’t so sure. We didn’t know how the other teams were doing.”
Roise and Fuller began the day with a three-stroke lead, yet had to clinch the title on the final hole after Madison Alexander and Lacie York pulled even through 17 holes.
Things got interesting when the final group crossed the road to play the final three holes.
First, York holed out from a bunker for birdie at the short par-4 16th. But Fuller drained a 20-foot birdie putt to keep her team in the lead.
York then stuck her approach at the par-3 17th close to the hole, giving her a birdie that got the teams all square.
That left one hole for all the marbles.
Alexander and York both bogeyed the 18th, while Fuller and Roise both hit sweet approach shots close to the hole. Fuller’s putt, downhill and fast, barely missed and she figured a par would probably still be good enough to win. But just in case, she told Roise to make her birdie putt.
So Roise drained the winner to cap a round of two-under-par 70 for an eight-under total of 136.
“That felt good,” Roise said.
Alexander, who will be a sophomore at Lee University, and York, a Middle Tennessee State signee, finished second at six under par (138) after a second consecutive 69.
Diane Edmondson and Kay Ward finished third at 141 after a 69. Linda Mullins and Lisa Daubner shot 67 to tie for fourth at 142 with Beth Ann Burns and Katie Legge.
“We just didn’t make any great putts on the back nine,” Alexander said. “We played the same but they played great. We started making some but just not enough.”
Roise’s winning putt came after she stuffed a 6-iron approach.
“I just got up there and said ‘Hit one good iron shot,’ ” said Roise, a North Dakota native who has lived in Crossville for four years. “It is an iron I like. I wasn’t hitting my short irons very well so I was glad to have a middle iron in there.”
After Roise’s fine approach, Fuller asked her partner to walk up and see where the ball stopped. The hole was tucked near a bunker and just over a ridge and was impossible to see from the fairway.
When Roise told her it close and below the hole, Fuller took dead aim as well.
“That was the most nervous I’ve been in a long time,” said Fuller, a Ridgefields Country Club member from Mt. Carmel.
Those nerves subsided moments later when the victory was secured.
“I know how to pick my partners,” Roise said.
Linda Romero-Mezza posted the tournament’s only hole-in-one, acing No. 17.