WESTPORT, Conn. – The hardest thing for Jo Rasmussen about winning her third Longshore Women’s Golf Association championship was beating her friend Jean Murdoch.
Rasmussen defeated Murdoch, 7-and-6, in Saturday’s final at Longshore Golf Course. In the second flight, Joanna Swartley won 5-and-3 over Jean Klinge, while Delores Mockler beat Wendy Montanaro, 2-and-1, to win the third flight.
Rasmussen, who has the unusual distinction of winning in even numbered years (2008, 2010, 2012), said playing with her friend Murdoch posed its own challenges. “I had a goal in my head to stay focused,’’ Rasmussen said. “Sometimes when you play with a friend you can become very complacent.”
Rasmussen’s most serious challenge came in the semifinals, when she needed 19 holes to beat Jane Dally. Rasmussen shot 36 on the front nine and led 4-up, but Dally rallied on the back nine and the match was all square after 17. Rasmussen won with a double bogey on the first extra playoff hole. “I think the heat got to us a little bit,’’ Rasmussen said. “The way I won was very anti-climactic. I thought that one might be the key match, that if I got by her I could win the tournament.”
Rasmussen lost in last year’s final to Leela Narang, who tried to play this year but had to withdraw. She is nine months pregnant and withdrew in the quarterfinals.
Rasmussen is the owner and trainer at Fitness Works in Westport. The native of Singapore has been a fitness specialist since 1987 and also caddies for Norwalk native Jerry Courville, one of the top senior golfers in the area. She has also won multiple golf titles at H. Smith Richardson in Fairfield, including this year’s club crown.
“Since I live and work in town, I particularly enjoy playing with the women at Longshore,’’ Rasmussen said. “I’ve been very fortunate.”