Flash to the top

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Belen’s Taylar Jaramillo said she was so disappointed after her second round at the 71st annual Albuquerque Women’s Golf Championship that she left without checking the leaders board at all.

After a round of golf at her usual haunt, the Tierra del Sol Golf Course, the two-time high school state champ, who currently plays Division I collegiate golf at St. Franicis University in Pennsylvania, got home and found out she had gone from fourth place on day one of the tournament, up to second place with the final round still to be played.

Submitted photo: BELEN’S TAYLAR JARAMILLO shot a 1-over-par 73 on the final day of competition to win the Albuquerque Women’s City Gold Championship.

“I saw the news and said ‘Oh wow! I’m only three (strokes) back. I could still win this,’” she said. “When I knew I was only three back, I didn’t feel pressure.”

That lack of pressure gave Jaramillo the push to top her first two rounds of 79 and 78 to shoot a 1-over-par 73 (the best round of the tournament) on Thursday, July 10, the final day of the three-day tournament, to surge past two-time champion Glynnis Price and claim her first AWGC championship at age 20.

“I felt I had nothing to lose,” Jaramillo explained. “I thought ‘the other person (Price) has to hold on to a lead, they have to make shots and putts.’ So I pared the first hole. On the second hole, Glynnis took a double bogey and I took a par so she was only one shot.”

The two played evenly for three more holes, said Jaramillo, when Price had a horrible hole and Jaramillo was able to take a four-stroke lead that she never relinquished.

Jaramillo, who has had a great spring on the links, won her first collegiate tournament and helped her Red Flash women’s squad to a second place finish at the Northeastern Conference golf championship in May.

Jaramillo said she’d done well in past Albuquerque City championship tournaments but was not expecting much this time because of her studies, explaining that she is currently taking three online college courses during her summer “break”.

“I hadn’t been putting the time in practicing as much as I like, so I’d say I was a little rusty,” she said, “but I was able to pull it together on the final day.”

Jaramillo has also been organizing the second annual Mario Martinez Memorial Fund Scholarship Tournament, which takes place Saturday at Tierra del Sol Golf Club in Rio Communities. Jaramillo was recently honored by the New Mexico Activities Association for organizing the tournament last year.

As of Tuesday, 80 golfers had signed up for the tournament, which is four-person scramble format, which tees off at 9 a.m.

“I like it, it’s challenging,” she said of organizing. “It keeps me motivated. And it goes to a really good cause.”

Asked whether she’ll go into tournament organization after her playing days are over, Jaramillo laughed a bit.

“Maybe,” she demurred. “It takes a lot of work and time. I don’t know that I’d want to do it on a regular basis. But you never know.”