St. Simons Island, Ga. (October 11, 2006) -– Diane Lang, 51, of Weston, Fla., will try to win her second consecutive USGA Senior Women’s Amateur when she faces Anna Schultz, 51, of Rockwall, Texas, in the final of the 2006 championship at Sea Island Golf Club Thursday.
Lang advanced with a 2-up semifinal victory Wednesday over Toni Wiesner, 59, of Fort Worth, Texas, at Sea Island’s par-71, 5,832-yard Seaside Course. Schultz earned her spot in the 18-hole final with a 6-and-4 over Deborah Anderson, 55, of Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Against Wiesner, a two-time Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up, Lang won the first hole but it would be her only lead until late in the match. Wiesner squared it when Lang bogeyed the second hole and by the 10th held a 2-up lead.
Despite trailing for the first time in the championship, Lang wasn’t overly worried.
“To me, the back nine is longer and harder, so I thought that with my length that I would have an advantage,” said Lang. “But I haven’t had many matches go past 13, so I hadn’t played some of those holes in a long time, and that was worrying me a little.”
Lang cut the deficit to one with a birdie on the 12th and, despite making bogey on the par-4 16th, squared the match after Wiesner double bogeyed. Lang won the par-3 17th with a conceded birdie and earned the victory after Wiener was unable to get up and down from short and right of the green on the par-4 18th hole.
“In this morning’s match, I felt like I played excellent golf,” said Lang. “I don’t know what happened this afternoon. I think I was a little bit tired because I was feeling unfocused and I kept telling myself, ‘you have to be focused, don’t let this get away.’ It wasn’t until the back nine that I felt like my thoughts got a little bit clearer.”
In the other semifinal match, Schultz won the second hole with a birdie and never looked back against Anderson. In her five matches en route to the final, Schultz has yet to trail for a single hole. In five rounds, she has played a total of 74 holes.
“My goal is to always get out of the gates fast and not make a bogey,” said Schultz. “You’re not usually going to lose to a par. I just try to get real focused from the get-go and try not to make a mistake and get a big lead and ride it in.”
Schultz, the 2000 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up, won the Southern Golf Association’s Senior Women’s Amateur Championship just before coming to Sea Island.
“I just felt confident coming into this week,” she said. “I knew my game was good, and it was just a matter of figuring out the greens. I’ve made a few mistakes out there on the speed, but 90% of the time I’ve gotten the speed of the greens really good, and I think that’s been the key. The putter just feels real comfortable in my hands.”
In Wednesday’s morning’s quarterfinals, Schultz advanced with a 1-up victory over Patty Moore, 56, of Charlotte, N.C., and Lang beat seven-time USGA champion Carol Semple Thompson, 57, of Sewickley, Pa., in a rematch of the 2005 final.
In that quarterfinal match, Lang won the second and third holes with pars to take an early 2-up lead. She increased her lead to 5 up, winning the seventh hole with a birdie and pars at the ninth and 10th holes. Thompson got one back with a birdie at the 11th and another with a par at the 14th, but after the two traded pars on the 15th and 16th holes, Lang had a 3-and-2 victory.
“I was just trying to be consistent and I couldn’t afford to bogey any holes, which I did,” said Thompson, who won four consecutive Senior Women’s Amateurs from 1999 to 2002. “I bogeyed nine and 10, which really put me in the basement. I chipped away a little bit, but I knew I had to make a couple birdies, and I did not succeed.”
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Beth Murrison of USGA Media Relations. Contact her at email@example.com with questions or comments.
St. Simons Island, Ga. – Results following Wednesday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of match play at the 2006 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at the 5,832-yard, par-71 Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club:
Deborah Anderson, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (164) def. Marianne Springer, Wellington, Fla. (163), 3 and 2
Anna Schultz, Rockwall, Texas (148) def. Patty Moore, Charlotte, N.C. (157), 1 up
Toni Wiesner, Fort Worth, Texas (155) def. Marianne Towersey, Pebble Beach, Calif. (153), 2 and 1
Diane Lang, Weston, Fla. (156) def. Carol S. Thompson, Sewickley, Pa. (154), 3 and 2
Schultz def. Anderson, 6 and 4
Lang def. Wiesner, 2 up
St. Simons Island, Ga. – Pairing for Thursday’s 18-hole championship final at the 2006 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,832-yard, par-71 Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club (time EDT):
8:30 a.m. Anna Schultz, Rockwall, Texas (148) vs. Diane Lang, Weston, Fla. (156)