SUNRIVER, Ore. (Sept. 3, 2007)-- Medalist Patty Moore, 57, of Charlotte, N.C., and three past champions were among the winners Monday in the first round of match play at the 2007 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at Sunriver Resort’s 5,975-yard Meadows Course.
Moore, a three-time winner of the North and South Senior Amateur, defeated Fran Gacos, of Flemington, N.J., 6 & 5, building a 4-up through nine holes and never trailing.
The 2005 and 2006 champion Diane Lang, 52, of Weston, Fla., survived a balky driver to defeat Linda Maynard, of Highland, Ind., 4 & 2. Four-time winner Carol Semple Thompson, 58, of Sewickley, Pa., fought off a difficult start and beat Kathleen Hunt, of Buffalo, N.Y., 3 & 2. Carolyn Creekmore, 55, of Dallas, Texas, the 2004 winner, edged Kate Johnson, of Sleepy Hollow, Ill., 2 & 1.
"I played about the same as I did on (Sunday),” said Moore, who was a quarterfinalist in 2006. “Fran got in the rough a few too many times. That made it a little easier for me.”
Moore, who will represent North Carolina in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship later this month, was relieved to get the win.
"Don’t think I wasn’t thinking about the medalist kiss of death type of thing,” said Moore, a.three-time Carolinas Golf Association Player of the Year. “I didn’t want to go out in the first round. It was in the back of my mind.”
Jamaican-born Lang was down two holes after three but fought back to square the match through nine holes. She did not trail after the fifth hole.
"I am glad the first one is over,” she said. “The long clubs are slaughtering me. I certainly won’t go far unless I fix it. I’ve got to go figure out how to go far.”
Semple Thompson, playing in her 106th USGA championship, lost the first two holes before righting herself and winning four consecutive holes to take 2-up lead after nine holes.
Creekmore smiled when asked about the two days of double rounds that will follow, saying: “I love the double days. I love to be in the tournament. I hate to go home early.”
Toni Wiesner, 60, of Fort Worth, Texas, who shot the best round of stroke play, a 2-under 69, was 6 & 5 winner, over Patricia Robinson, of Polar Bluff, Mo.
In a match of note, 1999 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up Cecilia Mourgue D’Algue,of France, defeated 1988 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Martha Lang, of Birmingham, Ala., 2 & 1. Mourgue D’Algue has reached the semifinals three times.
Two past champions, 73-year-old Marlene Stewart Streit, of Canada, and Nancy Fitzgerald, of Carmel, Ind., did not advance.
Of the three players from Oregon, who made match play, only one survived: 1972 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and past Curtis Cup player and captain Mary Budke, of Eugene.
Beatriz Arenas, 59, of Guatemala, in her first match in this format, also won.
Match play continues with the second and third rounds on Tuesday. The championship concludes with Thursday’s final.
Story written by Pete Kowalski, USGA