The third annual JDP Invitational was over before it started.
A scheduling quirk allowed Deb “The Diva” Peters to play her round four days prior to the other four competitors in the 18-hole event in Mesquite, Nevada.
Her net 76 at the Palms proved too tough to beat for the others at Casablanca on Friday. Deb, who was taking care of her eight-month old grandson Quin, was left with the luxury of a leader in the clubhouse, getting score updates via text message.
“I realized after nine, I was in pretty good shape for the win,” Deb said. “I thought everyone else would come through, but they didn’t.”
Through nine holes, Sean Walsh was in the best position to overtake The Diva. He made birdies at 10 and 12, but stumbled to a third-place finish with a net 80.
Finishing second was defending champion Jeremy Peters, who was playing on no sleep after flying in that morning. His net 78 included too many early double-bogeys to ever give him a chance to contend.
Laura Walsh was fourth, a net 82 not quite living up to her standards. She did have the excuse of having to play with the Diva’s clubs. Walsh didn’t hit the driver once, failed to master the Diva’s sand wedge, but rolled the ball well with the Diva’s putter.
Inaugural champion John Peters played one of the worst rounds of his life to come in fifth. His net 85 included many poor shots of all variety, some of which he attributed to fatigue on a hot afternoon.
The reward for winning the JDP is the right to carve your initials in the green candle, which the Diva did while all competitors sipped Baileys on the rocks.
“I felt like my score intimidated from the very beginning,” Deb said.
Her score at the Palms came in horrid conditions from the red tees, a 115 with a 39 handicap. Deb attributed her putting for the win, and a few nice drives. Her favorite shot was the drive she hit on the ninth hole, a dogleg left over water. She cut the corner on the par-4, a gutsy move she attempted for the first time, and left herself 40 yards from the green. The only competitor with the pleasure of witnessing the feat was John, who agreed with the Diva’s final assessment of the week.
“If you could have seen me play that day, you would know I earned the win,” she said.