Neck And Neck

Anne Zahn had won every major state championship but one. The Hazeltine legend had earned her steady game—and all those wins—with training, practice, and focus. Jo-Ann Lindsay, the former Canadian National champion from Interlachen, with a swing she describes as “a gift from God,” had won the ’94 championship, and even with a few years seniority, played as well as ever.

The entire field jumped into carts, or hoofed it, beverages in hand, to follow the two for the playoff of the 2005 Minnesota Senior Women’s Championship at Minnewaska Golf Club. They played the first hole: tie. Hole 2: tie. Hole 3: tie. Hole 4: tie. This was late afternoon, in summer heat on a hilly course that both had played already for 36 holes of stroke play to reach the finals. 

Five. Six. Seven. Birdies matched. Shot by shot and putt by putt, they answered with calm, deliberate, and flawless golf until the last shot on the eighth and the match was over. 

I looked up the records for the date and location. Until then, I couldn’t even remember who won. It doesn’t matter. Those holes still remain the best golf I have ever seen played in Minnesota.


—Cherie Doyle Riesenberg, St. Paul artist