SUNRIVER, Ore. (Sept. 5, 2007)-- Anna Schultz, of Rockwall, Texas, the 2006 runner-up, and Robyn Puckett, of Irvine, Calif., each won two matches Wednesday to advance to the 18-hole final of the 2007 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Sunriver Resort’s 5,975-yard Meadows Course.
Schultz, who is playing in her third USGA final, birdied the 6th and 7th holes to take a 2-up lead, which she never lost, in defeating Tanna Lee Richard, of Fort Smith, Ark., in the semifinals, 3 & 2. Schultz, who lost 1-down, to Diane Lang in the finals in 2006, was also the runner-up at the 2000 Women’s Mid-Amateur
In her semi-final, Puckett, 60, who was born in Australia, grabbed a 3-up lead after nine holes against two-time defending champion Lang, of Weston, Fla., and held on for a 1-up victory. The Jamaican-born Lang was vying to become the sixth player to win the Senior Women’s Amateur three times after winning in 2005 and 2006.
"This is what we live for right here – to try and win a USGA championship,” said Schultz, a 52-year-old self employed CPA. “You don’t get in the finals very often. This is my third time in a USGA event. When you get the opportunity you have to seize it because you might never get there again.”
Schultz, determined to make sure she had another chance, abandoned her usual conservative play Wednesday.
"I fired at pins today,” she said. “I was on a mission I wanted to get to the final. I’m thrilled to be here. I want to finish it. I want to bring a trophy home.”
Puckett, who represented Australia in the 1970 Women’s World Amateur Team Championship and came to the USA full-time that year to play on the LPGA Tour, was more focused on her match with a daunting foe in Lang.
"I am just ecstatic,” Puckett said who is playing in her third Senior Women’s Amateur and made the round of 16 in 2006. “Diane is an amazing player. At no point did I think I had the match, even when I was 3-up. She is such a champion. You have to keep plodding along and that’s what I did.”
Puckett, who will represent California in the 2007 USGA Women’s State Team Championship later this month but retains dual citizenship in Australia, said: “I’ve been working hard since the California Amateur, especially on my short game which was pitiful. I really don’t play a lot of competitive golf.”
In the quarterfinals, Schultz, who eliminated medalist Patty Moore, defeated Madelaine Campbell, of Newport Beach, Calif., 4 & 3, and Puckett edged Lisa Smego, of Olympia, Wash., 1-up.
The champion receives a gold medal and custody of the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship Trophy for the ensuing year as well as an exemption to the next 10 Senior Women’s Amateurs. The runner-up receives a silver medal. The other semifinalists and medalist receive bronze medals.
Both finalists receive an exemption from qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur and all quarterfinalists are exempt from qualifying for the 2008 championship at Tulsa Country Club.
--Story by Pete Kowalski, USGA