Deerfield Beach’s Karen Ondo has only played in the Broward Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament a handful of times; however, she is happy she did this year as she and 65 other women braved the miserable weather at the recent tournament at Jacaranda Golf Club in Plantation.
Ondo, 66, won First Flight of the tournament with a twoday total of 158. She was also the top low net player in her Flight with a 5-under par, 138. The First Flight played shorter distances than the Championship Flight. Plantation’s Ann Fulginiti, 61, captured the Champ i o n s h i p Flight when she carded a two-day total of 162.
“I never keep track of my score,” Ondo said. “I know if I am doing okay or not doing okay. To me, it is the course and me. I think it is a challenge. I love it.”
Ondo, who was previously VP of Communications for Broward Health and now consults in health industry, didn’t play last year. She wasn’t sure if she was going to play this year, as she was a last minute entrant as she drove two straight days from her North Carolina summer home to make the tournament.
“I had no expectations,” Ondo said. “I was surprised when I saw the scoreboard (after the first day). I was shocked. My strength is my putting, my driver and my irons so it really set up nice for me.”
Ondo has been playing golf for 19 years. She said there was too much business being done on the golf course and wanted to be good enough to play in the charity tournaments so she took lessons and told her boss at the time (Richard Schirey) that she was going to hit the links.
“I said I am playing in this tournament and he said, ‘you don’t play golf’ and I said, ‘yes I do.’ So he made me go out and play with him and I beat him on the front nine of Inverrary and he said, ‘I think you can play golf.’ He bought me a windbreaker that day,” she said. “I’m happy about winning this,” Ondo said. “I’m great. It’s great the way the tournament turned out. It was iffy for me to even sign up because I knew we were just getting back from North Carolina. When I saw the weather today, I thought maybe they’d call it and just tell us to go eat lunch. The weather actually was better today than it was the first day.”
Despite the loss, it was the farthest the Tornadoes had ever gone in a season following previous losses in the regional semifinals, including last season to Cardinal Gibbons (25-17, 25-18, 25-22, 25- 15). Pompano Beach defeated rival Cardinal Gibbons three times this season en route to a 23-7 mark.
“I told them to be proud of what we accomplished,” said Pompano Beach coach William Strachan. “It was a good year. They (Merritt Island) just outhustled us.”
Pompano Beach junior Cassidy Bonito led the Tornadoes with 24 digs, 23 assists and 13 kills, while Casey Calhoun added 27 digs and 23 assists.