COUNTRY CLUB, Mo. — The 45th Annual Highland Classic’s final round came down to the same two teams that placed first and second last season. However this time, a new winner was crowned.
After sinking their final putt and a round of handshakes, it was official. Traci Lechner and Tammy Harmon pulled off an upset, defeating six-time champions Trish Herzog and Erin Priddy on Wednesday at the St. Joseph Country Club.
The pair led by two strokes heading into Day 2 at the St. Joseph Country Club. After birdying their first hole, Lechner saw it as a sign of steady play to come.
“We just played very steady,” Lechner said. “We never struggled for a par. We just felt good.”
Lechner and Harmon finished the tournament with a score of 131. Five ahead of Priddy and Herzog, who won a close contest last year by one stroke.
Harmon admitted to having a little heartbreak while finishing second in 2017.
“That kind of hurt last year to be honest to lose by one stroke,” Harmon said. “We’ve had a good rivalry, kind of back and forth, over the years. We’re good friends.”
The two teams haven’t let their rivalry come between their friendship, according to Harmon.
“Like Trish (Herzog) said earlier, if she had to lose to someone she was glad it was us. We kind of feel the same way about them,” Harmon said.
Lechner and Harmon didn’t shoot over par until the 16th hole. Their steady play helped swell their lead another four strokes by the end of Day 2, where they shot 68.
Priddy and Herzog won the event three years in a row from 2010 to 2012. They also had won five championships from 2007 to 2014. Their first-place finish last year was their first since 2014.
Teresa Gumm and Alane Studley, who have won the event twice, took third place with 137 strokes. Mary Shaver and Andy Chapin rounded out the Championship Flight one stroke behind at 138.