Pagana, new partner win 25th IM Ladies Classic

ORE HILL — Selinsgrove’s Barb Pagana has dominated the championship flight of the Iron Masters Country Club Ladies Classic for the last half decade, but it hasn’t always been with the same partner.

Pagana won the last two years with Patty Lang, but prior to that, Pagana won with another partner because Lang was dealing with an injury.

Pagana’s name was on top of the leaderboard again Tuesday, but Lang’s named was crossed out and replaced with Liz Haines.

Another injury? No, the reason was a much happier one this year.

“It wasn’t health issues,” Pagana said. “She got a new puppy and couldn’t leave home without it. Liz was nice enough to let me drag her along.”

Pagana and Haines topped runners-up Michelle Day and Chris Sisto by eight strokes with a two-day total of 3-under par 141.

As they turned in their scorecards, Day and Sisto marveled to other competitors about how well Pagana and Haines performed on the greens.

“We were a little crazy and made some 30-footers, although we both three-putted one green together,” Pagana said. “It’s so much fun when they’re going in like that. It’s like a shot in the dark.”

Haines, who is from just outside of Philadelphia, played in the tournament for the first time.

“I said sign me up right away when Barb called asking for a partner. I was excited,” Haines said. “Playing with Barb is so much fun. We team up well together and have a good time. I had never been up here, so it was a treat.”

Haines said that her and Pagana were inspiring each other throughout the round.

“We know each other’s games and seem to feed off each other,” Haines said. “It’s a lot of fun, and when it’s competitive, it’s even more fun.”

The tournament is in its 25th year and is as well-attended as ever.

“We had 100 players, but three teams had to cancel. Ninety-four is good. That’s enough people on the golf course,” said Gwen Paden, the tournament director. “We get people from all across the country. They like this, because it’s a gross tournament. There’s no handicaps involved, and it’s a two-day ladies tournament, which there aren’t a lot of anymore.”

Along with Pagana and Haines, three other champions were crowned. Ellen Frank and Debbie Novack won the first flight, Dana Kovash and Joelle Sweeney the second, Lana Phillippi and Ann Cox the third and Deb Showalter and Patti Dodson the fourth flight.

“Gwen has a great tournament, and I always love coming here,” Pagana said. “I just really like the course all together. It plays well for ladies. They put a couple new tees in, which I think is nice for some of the ladies that don’t quite have the distance.”

As Paden put together the prizes for the skins and place-winners, she reflected on the longevity of the tournament.

“I’m very proud that it has lasted this long,” Paden said. “All the tournaments we’re going to are down in numbers, and we’ve stayed up there, so it’s really nice.”


CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT: 1, Pagana-Haines, 70-71–141; 2, Day-Sisto, 75-74–149; 3, Craig-Mitchell, 79-77–156; 4, Nelis-Thompson, 78-79–157

FIRST FLIGHT: 1, Frank-Novack, 81-76–157; 2, Rohrer-Lohr, 81-77–158; 3, Lunger-Walter, 82-77–159; 4, Trimarco-Perino, 81-79–160

SECOND FLIGHT: 1, Kovash-Sweeney, 84-76–160; 2, Bloom-Lovisa, 85-82–167; 3, Salamon-Smith, 85-83–168; 4, Moot-Desautels, 85-83–168

THIRD FLIGHT: 1, Phillippi-Cox, 89-87–176; 2, Guerrieri-Vertacnik, 93-86–179; 3, Hassinger-Johnston, 93-91–184; 4, Murphy-Young, 90-95–185

FOURTH FLIGHT: 1, Showalter-Dodson, 95-90–185; 2, Bryant-Proctor, 95-92–187; 3, Koss-Cortright, 94-94–188; 4, Freeman-Welgus, 94-95–189