ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Julia Potter returned a 3-over 74 during Sunday’s morning wave of stroke play and holds the clubhouse lead at 1-over-par 143 at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the par-71 Biltmore Forest Country Club.
Potter, 25, of Granger, Ind., did not display quite the same spark that she had on Saturday, when her 2-under 69 was the day’s only sub-par round. The reinstated amateur opened with bogeys at the first three holes, all of which she had parred on Saturday. But a key birdie from 5 feet at the par-4 fourth served to calm frayed nerves.
“I was really afraid that I was going to be that girl who goes 69-79,” said Potter, a left-hander who played for the University of Missouri. “The pin placements, compared to yesterday, are definitely in more difficult spots. Not only difficult to get to, but difficult to putt.”
Potter described herself as an average hitter, pointing to her short game as her strength. That potent short game worked to her advantage, as she drained all but one putt from within 5 feet. Considering the day’s more difficult hole locations, and a steady, swirling wind of nearly 15 mph, Potter was happy to escape with a 74.
“The issue we were running into (with the wind) was more of it being swirly, where it would be in my face on my shot but then a side wind on my second shot,” she said. “It was more of figuring it out and being just confident in where we feel the wind's coming from.”
Of the players who have completed their second rounds, Olivia Herrick, 25, of Roseville, Minn., sits in solo second, seven strokes behind Potter at 8-over 150. Shannon Lutynski, 29, of Castle Rock, Colo., returned a two-day total of 10-over 152, while three-time USGA Women’s State Team champion Laura Coble and three-time Women’s Mid-Amateur stroke-play medalist Dawn Woodard are tied at 11-over 153.
Despite the increasing wind, the field scoring average has dropped more than one stroke through half the field, from 84.2 on Saturday to 83 even on Sunday.
Play was delayed for one hour on Sunday morning due to heavy fog, following an identical delay on Saturday.
Sixty-six players remain on the course for the afternoon wave, including Christina Proteau, who was second following Saturday’s first round at 74, and four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, who opened with 75.
The 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship is open to female amateur golfers who have reached their 25th birthday by Oct. 5. It consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.