FORT WAYNE – Amber Sieber has been in the Women's City Golf Tournament eight times or so, finishing second a handful of times.
But she's never won.
Michelle Smith has won the tournament four times. Another victory today would put her in exclusive company. Pat Wright (nine), Jean Saint (eight), Pat McGary (six) and Helen Greiner (five) were the only players with more city titles than Smith entering this year's tournament.
There was plenty of drama in Sunday's second round, as the woman who always seems to win (Smith) went back and forth with the woman who could never quite get it done (Sieber) at Brookwood Golf Club.
Smith held a five-stroke lead at 8-under 138 after Sunday's round, but twice during the second round, she trailed Sieber.
"My coach at Ohio State always said she'd rather have one win and no runner-ups," Sieber said. "But it's OK if I don't win. I enjoy whatever place I get."
Smith had a three-stroke lead over the rest of the field after her 3-under 70 in Saturday's first round. Sieber pulled ahead of Smith with a birdie on the par-3 No. 8 and again with a birdie on the par-4 No. 10.
Smith answered both times she fell behind. They were even going on to the par-3 No. 14, when Sieber got a double-bogey and Smith went on a tear by going 4 under on the final five holes.
Smith shot a 68, including a 5-under 31 on the back nine. Sieber shot a 70.
"At the turn, my mom said, 'You are even with Amber,' " Smith said. "I said, 'No big deal, it's just the second day.' But I didn't want to lose it there either. It gave me a little bit more (motivation) to get going, to start sinking some putts there.
"On the first nine, things had been a little bit on the sketchy side. But on the back nine, things were working. The putter was working. So I was pretty happy with my day."
Sieber, 33, had no idea she held the lead twice in the 72-hole event, which has taken place since 1931 and is run by the Fort Wayne Women's Golf Association.
"I was so in the zone, I didn't even keep track of the scores. I didn't know what we shot until we got in, and it was probably better that way," said Sieber, the only player of Fort Wayne's golden era of 1990s power players (Smith, Michelle Gerbasich, Lori Stinson and Kasey Gant) not to have won the city title.
"(Not winning) doesn't bother me at this point in my life. This is such a treat for me to be out there playing golf. I'm a stay-at-home mom and doing all those other things. … It's fun playing. Sometimes, if you have a bad hole, you just try to make it better."
Lauren Biedak, a former IHSAA state champion, shot a second-round 70 and is six strokes back of Smith at 2 under. Hilary Bowman shot a 70 and is at 1 under.
Allison Curtis shot a 74 and is at 1 over. Former champion Lori Stinson's 74 put her at 3 over.
Smith's championships came in 1994, 2000, 2005 and 2006, the latter two at Brookwood, and the men's and women's golf coach at Saint Francis would love to add a fifth title.
"It would be nice," said Smith, 37, who is the manager at Dogwood Glen in Warren. "I haven't won in six years. It would be a nice little added addition there, especially going into the season with Saint Francis – maybe it will help motivate my players."
The champion of the new two-day senior division was crowned. J.J. Shim shot 81-85–166 to win.