Twenty years ago, Kathy Smith could have given Taylor Gohn a game on the golf course.
Smith, a 45-year-old former Indiana University golfer, discovered as much as she wrapped up the opening day of the two-day Columbus Women’s City Golf Championship on Saturday.
“My 20-year-old self and Taylor’s 20-year-old safe are very similar,” Smith said. “We would have had a lot of fun together.”
Gohn, a University of Missouri golfer, shot an even-par 70 Saturday at Greenbelt to take a seven-shot lead into today’s final round at Otter Creek. Gohn, a Columbus North grad, will be gunning for her second straight city title after recording three straight runner-up finishes.
“I played pretty well,” Gohn said. “I didn’t get many putts to fall today, but I was hitting the ball good.”
Gohn was 2-over at the turn before birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. Playing in a group with Smith and Columbus North’s Sydney Anderson, Gohn shot par the rest of the way.
“She’s very driven, and she’s very focused and concentrates out there,” Smith said. “And she hits a good, straight ball. Nothing fancy out there. Just par, par, par.”
Smith only played because her husband, Otter Creek teaching pro Jeff Smith, signed up his wife and two daughters — Caroline Smith and Rebecca Smith — for the 15-person tourney.
Caroline Smith, a Columbus East golfer, carded a 77 Saturday and is tied with Anderson for second place heading into today.
“I’m happy with it,” said the 15-year-old Anderson, who is approaching her sophomore year at North. “I had a couple bad shots, but I did my best today.”
Smith’s round of 78 puts her in sole possession of fourth place, five shots ahead of Jodi Engelstad and Nicole Bodi, who are tied for fifth with 83s. Two-time city champ Susan St. John-Walters finished with an 85, good for seventh, while East golfer Amanda Hashimoto and Freddie Wagner are tied for eighth with 89 apiece.
“I had a lot of fun today with Kathy Smith and Sydney Anderson,” Gohn said. “Sydney and I have been playing a lot of golf this summer, and she impressed me today.”
Anderson has been equally impressed by Gohn’s play. She watched Gohn tie for ninth earlier this week in the Indiana Amateur at Otter Creek. She’s learned a thing or two.
“If you have a bad round, go play again tomorrow, and you’ll do better,” Anderson said. “Just keep your head up during your round.”
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