Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT WINNERS and runners-up at the first annual Sullivan County Democrat “Lady Democrat” golf tourney pose with Democrat publisher Fred Stabbert III, far left, and Villa Roma professional Matt Kleiner. From the left, Cindy Perlmutter, Susan Altbach (second place), and Jill Kleiner and Judie DuPlessis (champs).

Weather Doesn't Stop
First 'Lady Democrat'

By Frank Rizzo
CALLICOON — October 10, 2000 – The inaugural “Lady Democrat” pitted its competitors against Mother Nature as well as each other, but at the end everyone agreed it was a success.
Everyone also agreed that the second edition should be held in the warmer months.
The two-day tourney was played on the par-72 Villa Roma course and featured stroke play, with a two-person, better-ball format.
Jill Kleiner of Callicoon teamed up with Judie DuPlessis of Hurleyville to win the championship flight with a two-day total of 168, one stroke better than Liberty’s Sue Altbach and South Fallsburg’s Cindy Perlmutter.
Stacey Benton and Jackie Harris won the first flight with an 187 to beat out Bridget Semenetz and Anna Niemann by two strokes.
Gloves, ear muffs, hats, and heavy clothes were the order of the day when 20 golfers in the two flights set out shortly after 8:30 on Sunday morning in the second and final round.
Temperatures were in the low 40s and a brisk wind made things even more uncomfortable.
Towards the end, a passing shower of hail afflicted the few groups still on the course.
“The conditions were difficult and the golf course played difficult,” noted Altbach. “The good shots were rewarded, and the bad shots were punished. The ball doesn’t travel as far under these conditions, and it was hard to choose an iron.”
The gloves and heavy clothes also made things cumbersome in a game which demands subtlety and finesse.
“You were very brave to play in the weather you did,” the host, Villa Roma PGA professional Matt Kleiner, told the golfers at the awards luncheon. “This had been a long time coming.”
The championship flight winners are both married to professional golfers: Jill to Matt, and Judie to Tom, formerly of The Pines Hotel and now in charge of the Catskill Junior Tour (CJT).
After the first day of competition, Kleiner-DuPlessis were nine strokes in back of Altbach-Perlmutter (79-86) and knew they had made up two strokes before the start of the final nine holes.
The twosomes were finishing up less than fifty yards from each other — Kleiner-DuPlessis on the par-5 18th while Altbach-Perlmutter were on the par-3 ninth green.
Both Altbach and Perlmutter failed to reach the green, and the best they could manage was a bogey.
DuPlessis, meanwhile, placed her third shot 12 inches from the hole, then sank the birdie putt to clinch the one-stroke win.
In Friday’s paper: more photos, and complete scoring, plus reflections on the tourney.

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