Sarah Frazier, 20, had dreamed for years of winning the City Tournament. Some of those dreams had morphed to nightmares, though, as she twice was the runner-up and had two other fifth-place finishes.
But Sunday she finally got her trophy, even as some of the city's best young golfers, and even Mother Nature, tried to detour her from the championship.
“Oh gosh, it still hasn't hit me yet,” Frazier said moments after cementing a final-round even-par 73 at Brookwood Golf Club. “I've been working for this since I first started playing in this. I don't know how old I was – 15 or 14 – and after two runner-up finishes, it's so exciting to finally get it done today.”
Frazier finished the 54-hole event at 3-under 216, five strokes ahead of runner-up Madison Dabagia, 16.
The dream catcher that rid Frazier of any final-round terrors came on the par-3 14th hole. She'd had four bogeys on the day and her lead was a tenuous three strokes as she watched Dabagia smack her tee shot to within 12 feet, setting up a birdie. Frazier popped an 8-iron 136 yards to the elevated green and it ricocheted off the pin, falling 5 feet from the hole for her to drain a downhill birdie putt.
“On 14, I kind of got my momentum back after having a bogey the hole before. Finally getting a birdie, I felt like I had my momentum back and I knew that if I could just finish out, I'd come out on top,” said Frazier, a junior on the University of Dayton team, who shot 3 under on the final five holes.
Dabagia, shot a 75 that included birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to edge her best friend and Homestead teammate, Simone Senk, by one stroke. Senk, the first-round leader, posted a 77.
Frazier's final 5-foot putt was followed by raucous applause from a gallery of about 80 people and hugs from friends and family, including her parents, Sycamore Hills Golf Club professional Tim Frazier and mother Susie.
“It was really fun to have my mom and dad on the bag this weekend,” Sarah Frazier said. “This is my favorite tournament, and I always look forward to it. It's always such a great environment and it makes it that much more fun to have my mom and dad caddying for me.”
The senior portion of the tournament, which was 36 holes, was won by Beth Bergeron. She had a final-round 3-under 70 to finish at 2-over 148 and best runner-up Jackie Raftree by 17 strokes on a day thunderstorms forced players off the course for about 30 minutes.
Frazier, a Bishop Dwenger graduate, hadn't won a tournament since 2017, when she took the Masters Tour Championship at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. Last season at Dayton, her stroke average of 77.5 was second best on the team.
“This summer, I really started focusing on not getting too far ahead of myself and on just hitting fairways and greens and adding it up at the end,” said Frazier, whose second-round 68 was the best score of the Fort Wayne Women's Golf Association event. “This tournament, I really focused on that and it really helped today not getting too far ahead of myself and just focusing on the next shot.”
Karley Jump, the 2013 champion, placed fourth at 5 over after a final-round 76. Emma Schroeder, who had Sunday's best score, a 72, placed fifth at 6 over. Brooke Moser was sixth at 7 over with a 75.
Lori Stinson, who won in 2018 and 2019, came in seventh at 9 over with a 78. No one has won the City Tournament three straight years since Pat Wright in the early 1960s.
Frazier's younger sister, Amy, carded a 76 to place eighth at 10 over.
“It just feels so great,” Sarah Frazier said. “Last year, I was obviously bummed losing by only a shot. You can go back and think of so many things you could have fixed. This year, I was so excited to finally get it done and come out with the win.”
Women's City Tournament
At Brookwood Golf Club
Par: 73; Yardage: 5,800
1. Sarah Frazier 75-68-73–216 (-3)
2. Madison Dabagia 74-72-75–221 (+2)
3. Simone Senk 71-74-77–222 (+3)
4. Karley Jump 74-74-76–224 (+5)
5. Emma Schroeder 80-73-72–225 (+6)