With 83 years of history on its side, the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Women’s Am has some amazing names attached to it. Babe Zaharias. Big Mama JoAnne Carner. Present LPGA standouts Lexi Thompson and Natalie Gulbis. Pretty heady company for those trying to advance through the field at Fort Lauderdale’s Coral Ridge Country Club.
Number-one seed Carly Ray Goldstein, an LSU junior from Coral Springs, FL had a bye on Tuesday, and will face Miami Beach’s Marie Arnoux to kick off Wednesday’s action in the Amateur Division. The 17th-seeded Arnoux defeated #16 Amy Kennedy 5 & 4 to advance
No. 2 seed Georgia Oboh, who recently placed 25th at the Harder Hall Invitational, also had a bye and will go against #15 Claire Fitzgerald, who advanced by knocking off 18th-seeded Paloma Nunez, 2-up.
There is a long list of past champions in the Senior Division who hope to hold the 2016 trophy on Saturday at Coral Ridge Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Defending champion and #1 seed Andrea Kraus, 55, looks to hold onto the title that she also won in 2012. Other past winners in the field include Ashley Rose (2013); Mary Jane Hiestand (2011); Kim Eaton (2010); Carolyn Creekmore (2009), and Connie Shorb (2007), a nine-time Coral Ridge club champion.
Kraus advanced in a 5&4 walk over the #32 seed Judy Miller. In a battle of past champions, # 15 seed Kim Eaton defeated #18 Ashley Rose. Eaton was the only former champ to advance, as Hiestand, Creekmore and Shorb all lost their opening round matches.
In addition to the top seed Kraus advancing, second-seeded Diane Lang advanced with a 1-up victory over #31 Jewell Malick, while the No. 3 seed, Kelly Loeb, needed 19 holes to win her hard-fought match against the #30 seed Therese Quinn.