SURREY — At age 60, Karen Pultz won the biggest golf tournament of her career.
The Newton resident, a longtime member of Peace Portal Golf Club in South Surrey, took the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship title in a playoff with the tournament’s defending champ, Holly Horwood of Vancouver.
The hilly course at Sunshine Coast Golf &Country Club proved very difficult for everyone, including the co-leaders, who finished tied with scores of 25-over-par after three rounds of play from June 20 to 22.
Pultz won it on the first playoff hole when she got the ball up and down for par and Horwood three-putted for bogey.
“It’s very gratifying because I’ve never won a provincial event before,” Pultz told the Now-Leader.
“You know that saying that someone is the best player to never have won a Major?” she added. “I would have been high on the list for this event, because at the banquet dinner the night before the final round, they ask all the previous winners to stand up. So my friend Phyllis (Laschuk), who’s out of Point Grey, she told me it’s about time I got my name on that list, so I’m absolutely thrilled I managed to do that. I did it, got my name on the list.”
Not only did Pultz win the senior women’s championship, she also captured the “Super Senior” title for golfers aged 60 and over.
“That’s a separate trophy, so I double-dipped – won both of them,” said Pultz, who topped 52 other golfers.
The scores can be viewed on britishcolumbiagolf.org.
Pultz said Sunshine Coast course presented as stiff a test as she’s encountered in her competitive career.
“It was demanding off the tee,” she said. “On top of that, it is a second-shot golf course, and when you do get to the green you have to negotiate the slopes and where the ocean is and the influences that has.”
Patience, it seems, was a virtue.
“I have never experienced the challenges of tees and into the greens and onto the greens,” Pultz added. “Usually you will get one of those three, but every single hole was demanding in every aspect of it. So when I took a couple of bogeys I was like, you know what, other people are going to get them, too. Keep your head down and golf your ball.”
Pultz credited a new book called Be A Player, written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, with helping her earn the biggest win of her career.
“I got it as soon as I could, and I have been practising some of the mental suggestions in that and it really helped me a lot this week,” she said.
Pultz, a retired sales rep for a musical instrument maker, has been golfing since the mid-1990s.
“So that’s about 20-plus years,” she said. “Linda Jervis is my coach at Northview (in Surrey), and I’ve often said that I’ve golfed for 20 years but I’ve practiced for another 20,” Pultz added with a laugh.
“I was a retired ball player and thought it’d be best to get out of a sport that your brain says you can do but your body can’t,” Pultz explained. “I was introduced to golf through some friends and I just took to it quite quickly, actually, and I’ve been playing ever since. It’s been a big part of my life, and I’ve played internationally in Ireland, at the seniors there, and at the British seniors amateur.”
With the tourney win at Sunshine Coast, Pultz, along with Horwood and third-place finisher Jackie Little, will represent B.C. at the Canadian Senior Women’s Championship, to be played from Aug. 22 to 24 at Humber Valley Resort in Little Rapids, Newfoundland.
“That’s quite an honour, and I’m looking forward to that,” Pultz said.