NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Weather wreaked havoc with the second day of match play at the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at Hillwood Country Club. The Round-of-32 matches were not completed until late in the afternoon, and while one Round-of-16 match is in the books, seven others are still in progress and will resume Wednesday morning at 7:45 a.m.
Tuesday morning’s tee times, initially scheduled to begin at 7:45 a.m., were delayed 45 minutes due to rain and the necessary course maintenance. A storm that passed through Nashville caused a suspension of play at 10:33 a.m., with a resumption at 11:21 a.m. Play was again suspended due to lightning and more rain at 11:49 a.m, resumed at 1:47 p.m. and ultimately suspended due to darkness at 6:25 p.m.
Tama Caldabaugh, 51, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., is the lone player to win two matches on Tuesday and reach the quarterfinals. In the morning’s Round of 32, she never trailed en route to a 5-and-4 win over Susan Stewart, 54, of Louisville, Ky.
However, Caldabaugh struggled early in her afternoon match with Lynne Cowan, 52, of Rocklin, Calif. Caldabaugh was 2 down through six holes after shooting the equivalent of 7 over par, with the usual match-play concessions. Not to be counted out, she promptly reeled off victories at seven of the next nine holes, including consecutive wins at holes 7-11, to earn a 5-and-3 win.
"I got off to a very sloppy start in the second round,” said Caldabaugh, a retired sales and marketing professional who survived ovarian cancer in 2013. “Maybe I was too relaxed. But I’m very patient and I don’t get down on myself, so I knew I might have a chance to come back."
Caldabaugh’s winning streak included an ace with a 7-iron at the par-3, 123-yard 14th hole, the first hole-in-one at the Senior Women’s Amateur since 2012.
Lisa Schlesinger, 57, of Alexandria, Va., and 2009 Senior Women’s Amateur champion Sherry Herman, 57, of Middletown, N.J., had Tuesday morning’s final Round-of-32 tee time – and the longest wait to finally reach the course. The duo was scheduled to tee off at 10:15 a.m. but did not hit their first shots until approximately 2 p.m., with Schlesinger never trailing in a 3-and-2 victory.
“It’s agonizing,” said Schlesinger, who earned medalist honors in 2011 and 2012. “You come and you’re ready to go, and then you have to stop and relax, and then get ready to go again. It’s one of the hardest things to do in golf. The whole game is mental, so you just have to prepare yourself and hope for the best.”
In the Round of 16, Schlesinger holds a 1-up lead through three holes over 2013 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up Sue Cohn, 52, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Six-time USGA champion Ellen Port fell short in her quest to add a seventh title to her résumé. Port held an early lead over Pamela Kuong, 52, of Wellesley Hills, Mass. But she stumbled down the stretch, carding bogey/double bogey at holes 12 and 13 to Kuong’s pars and giving Kuong a 1-up lead. Another bogey from Port at No. 16 extended Kuong’s lead, and she held on for a 2-and-1 win.
"It doesn’t really matter who you beat,” said Kuong, who holds a 1-up lead over France’s Sophie Pfeiffer in the Round of 16. “Just to win a match is great because everybody here is good.”
Maria de Orueta, the 64th seed who eliminated stroke-play medalist Mary Ann Hayward in Monday’s Round of 64, was not so fortunate on Tuesday. The 54-year-old from Spain held a 2-up lead through 15 holes over 2012 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up Jane Fitzgerald. But Fitzgerald, 53, of Kensington, Md., birdied the par-3 16th to cut de Orueta’s lead to 1 up, and de Orueta’s chip to the 18th green came up just short, leading to a bogey that squared the match.
Fitzgerald ultimately reached the Round of 16 over de Orueta in 19 holes, winning with a par on the first extra hole. She currently holds a 2-up lead over 2007 Senior Women’s Amateur champion Anna Schultz, 60, of Rockwall, Texas.
Last year’s runner-up Judith Kyrinis, 51, of Canada, birdied the first extra hole to earn a 19-hole win over 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up Laura Coble, 51, of Augusta, Ga. Kyrinis now holds a 2-up lead in the Round of 16 over Julie Carmichael, 51, of Plainfield, Ind. Carmichael, who won the 1986 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship while at Stanford University, reached the Round of 16 with a 3-and-2 win over Lynda Wimberly, the final Tennessean in the field.
Caldabaugh and the seven others who will join her in the quarterfinals will all receive exemptions into the 2016 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be conducted Sept. 17-22 at Wellesley (Mass.) Country Club.
The 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship is open to female amateur golfers who reached their 50th birthday on or before Sept. 26, 2015, and have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 18.4. 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, Oct. 1.
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