Day 1: Cole delivers at Hall of Fame Jun 12, 2005  (14 years ago)

By Randy King, The Roanoke Times
Jun 12, 2005, 10:15

MONETA - Sara Cole has worked for 18 years as a manager for United Parcel Service. That said, she is hardly mailing in her golf career.

Striking at least a one-day blow for the "older gals," Cole fired a 3-over-par 75 Saturday at Waterfront Country Club to take the first-round lead in the 27th Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women's championship.

Cole, 53, leads 14-year-old Meredith Swanson by one shot and recent James Madison graduate Meg Davies by two heading into today's final round at Ole Monterey.

"We expect these young gals to take over, but we old ladies aren't done yet," said Cole, laughing. "We have a lot of talent in women's golf around here. We have so many good young players now and a cast of veterans who can still play well. There's a lot of competition right now."

Cole recovered from a 4-over-par 40 on the front nine that included a pair of double bogeys. She played the back side in 1-under 35 to snare the lead.

"I played real solid," the longtime Countryside member said. "I kept the ball in play, hit the ball long and made some putts. Now, we'll see what happens [today]."

Cole won her first and only HOF title in 1992. She would love nothing more than to turn the trick again 13 years later.

"Oh, absolutely, winning this would be special to me," she said. "Ole Monterey is not as intimidating as Waterfront is, there's not as much trouble. I've just got to stay relaxed and go play."

Swanson became the youngest player to ever win the title last year, when he she knocked off five-time champion Dot Bolling in a three-hole playoff.

"I'm feeling good about the weekend," said Swanson, who will enter Hidden Valley High School this fall. "It would certainly be great to win it again."

Davies, 22, has been in contention to win this title on several occasions the past few years. She may never get a better chance than today to finally knock down the HOF door.

Bolling, whose game appears to be somewhat out of kilter these days, is tied for fourth with 2002 winner Valeta Pittman and Bonita Hodges, four shots back.

Paced by Swanson, Pittman and new member Bolling, Roanoke Country Club moved into solid position to capture its first women's team title since 1988. RCC takes an eight shot lead on 12-time champion Countryside into the final 18 holes.

Reprinted with permission from The Roanoke Times.

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