CAREFREE, Ariz. (Oct. 2, 2007)-- Stroke-play medalist Dawn Woodard of Franklin, Tenn., and defending champion Meghan Bolger of Haddonfield, N.J., both advanced in Tuesday’s second-round action at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, being played at the 6,208-yard, par-73 Desert Forest Golf Club.
The 33-year-old Woodard won the first two holes with pars against two-time USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion Diane Lang, 52, of Jamaica and never trailed en route to a 5 & 3 victory.
It wasn’t the first time Woodard and Lang saw each other on the golf course at the championship – they also played two practice rounds together.
“I definitely knew that I was going to have to play well today,” said Woodard, who is trying to become the first stroke-play medalist to win the title since 2000. “I knew from playing the two practice rounds with her that she wasn’t playing as well as I’ve seen her play before, but I also know she’s been around the block in match play a few times and I knew that even if she wasn’t hitting it well that she would find a way to compete.”
Lang, who won the 2005 and 2006 Senior Women’s Amateurs, was not at her sharpest – she finished three over par with the usual match-play concessions – but was just 1-down after eight holes.
“I was struggling on the front nine but I was holding it together,” said Lang. “I made two bad mistakes on the first two holes and that put me two down, and that was not a good way to start.”
But Woodard took over from there. She won the ninth hole with a birdie and won No. 10 with a par to increase her lead to 3-up, and she closed out Lang with a birdie on the 15th.
“I just tried to still keep my game plan of keeping the ball in play and give myself some chances,” said Woodard. “I hit it left on the fourth and seventh holes, but both of those were just poor second shots. Other than that, I felt like I hit the ball where I needed to, and I felt like my putter really helped me.”
Despite the outcome, Lang wasn’t disappointed.
“I would have needed my A-plus game, and I had my C game,” said Lang. “And you cannot beat Dawn with a C game. The better player won. She hits it so well and so pure.”
Bolger, 29, is trying to become the first repeat winner since Ellen Port won the 1995 and 1996 championships. She played even-par golf en route to a 2 & 1 win over 2001 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links runner-up Missy Farr-Kaye, 40, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Bolger’s third-round opponent will be 2004 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur winner Carolyn Creekmore, 55, of Dallas, Texas, who needed 24 holes to outlast Laura Ladden, 31, of Coatesville, Pa.
The 46-year-old Port, of St. Louis, Mo., who also won the 2000 championship, kept her hopes of a fourth title alive with a 2 & 1 win over 1978 USA Curtis Cupper Noreen Mohler, 53, of Bethlehem, Pa. Port’s next opponent will be Toni Wiesner, 60, of Fort Worth, Texas. Wiesner, who is playing in her 21st Women’s Mid-Amateur, beat 26-year-old Canadian Jill Hardy in 19 holes.
Two other USGA champions were victorious in the second round. Virginia Derby Grimes, 43, of Meridian, Miss., the 1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, earned a 4 & 3 victory over Ann Lahey, 55, of Kentfield, Calif. And Anna Schultz’s hopes of becoming the first to win the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in the same year remained alive with a 2 & 1 win over Dana Harrity, 49, of N. Hampton, N.H.
Schultz would become the second golfer this year to win two USGA championships in a season. Colt Knost, who won the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2007, became the sixth single-season double champion in USGA history.
Kerry Postillion, a two-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up and a member at Desert Forest, advanced with a 4 & 2 win over Sharon Park, 29, of Irvine, Calif. Postillion’s third-round opponent will be 2001 Women’s Mid-Am runner-up Mina Hardin, 47, of Fort Worth, Texas, who earned a 5 & 4 second-round victory over another Desert Forest member, 2006 Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up Thuhashini Selvaratnam, 31, of Sri Lanka.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur continues with the third round of match play Tuesday afternoon. The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Wednesday and the championship concludes with the 18-hole final on Thursday.
--Story by Beth Murrison, USGA