Japan's Khaiat leads USGA Women's Sr.
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Akemi Khaiat, 50, of
Japan, carded an even-par 72 Saturday to
hold a one-stroke lead after the first day of
play qualifying at the 52nd USGA Senior
Women’s Amateur Championship at
Khaiat, who lives in Los Angeles and holds
Japanese citizenship, just returned from an
amateur competition in her native land, too
a practice round for the Senior Women’s
“This week I had to go to Japan for the State
Senior Am so I had no expectations,” said
Khaiat, who is a seven-time club champion at
Riviera Country Club. “I just listened to my
caddie and I did what he said. But, one month
ago, I came here to practice with my son.”
Khaiat, who is playing in her first USGA Senior
Women’s Amateur and is married to a
volunteer Rules of Golf official, posted five
three bogeys and one double bogey. She was
the runner-up at the Japan Senior Women’s
Golf Championship in June.
“My putting was excellent,” said Khaiat, a
property investor in her business life. “I will
do the same thing tomorrow and go target to
target, which is very important here. I have
had a long golf career but this is like anything
you can ask for.”
Past champion Sherry Herman, 55, of
Holmdel, N.J., and Liz Waynick, 53, of
Scottsdale, Ariz., trailed Khaiat by one stroke
None of the 132 players broke par at the
5,996-yard, par-72 Robert Trent Jones Jr.
layout, the first time since 2010 at Fiddlesticks
Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla., that no
player bettered par in the first round of stroke
play. A heavy morning mist turned to rain in
early afternoon, but subsided as the afternoon
wave of play began. Wind and thick rough
contributed to the difficult scoring conditions.
Herman, the 2009 USGA Senior Women’s
Amateur champion, birdied her final two
holes, the par-4 eighth and ninth. Oddly, it
during her round on those two holes.
“I just play with a different attitude now,”
Herman said of her confidence since winning a
national title. “I wouldn’t say I was desperate
win but I wanted to win a USGA championship.
It was one of my lifetime goals. Now I have
that behind me and I can freewheel it a little.
I don’t feel nervous. I’m out there playing and
just enjoying it.”
Herman, a senior sales director with a
husband and two grown daughters, has played
in nearly 30 USGA competitions.
“I didn’t even know what I shot when I got
done,” said Herman, who was a semifinalist at
the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Women’s Mid-
“On my first putts, I did not have the speed
down well, but my second putts – no matter
how far away I was – I was making them.”
She credited her consistency to hitting
fairways and greens in regulation, albeit none
“I was never near the hole today,” she said.
“The pins did not know I was in town. I hit a
lot of fairways and a lot of greens in
I might have missed two or three greens.”
Waynick, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur
runner-up who started on No. 10, was 4-over
par after her first three holes. However, she
steadied herself and played the final 15 holes
in 3-under with birdies on the 14th, 17th and
“I hit my irons really well and had a lot of
birdie opportunities but I had hiccups early in
the round,” Waynick said.
Two strokes behind Khaiat at 74 were 2010
champion Mina Hardin, 53, of Fort Worth,
Texas; Helene Maxe, 52, of Sweden; Caryn
52, of Rancho Mirage, Calif.; and Kim Eaton,
54, of Tempe, Ariz.
Lisa Schlesinger, of Laytonsville, Md., stroke-
play medalist in 2011 and 2012, and Mary
Jane Hiestand, of Naples, Fla., posted 3-over
Terri Frohnmayer, 57, of Salem, Ore., the
2011 champion, carded a 77.
Defending champion Ellen Port, of St. Louis,
who celebrated her 52nd birthday on
Saturday, shot 80. Her up-and-down round
three consecutive birdies and an outward 34,
but she followed it with a 46 on her second
nine. She was penalized two strokes when her
caddie accepted transportation. At the USGA
Senior Women’s Amateur, caddies must walk
at all times.
The 2013 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur
Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke
play followed by six rounds of match play,
championship scheduled to conclude with an
18-hole final on Thursday, Sept. 26, starting
at 8 a.m. (PDT). The field will be trimmed
132 to 64 for the start of match play on
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, for
players 50 years or older, is one of 13
national championships conducted annually by
States Golf Association, 10 of which are
strictly for amateurs.