ANN ARBOR Mich. (Sept. 7, 2008) – Wendi Patterson-Golden, 33, of Bradenton, Fla., shot a 2-under-par 70 Sunday for a 36-hole stroke-play total of 142 to win medalist honors by one stroke at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Barton Hills Country Club.
Just behind Patterson-Golden was a trio of past champions. The 2002 winner, Kathy Hartwiger of Birmingham, Ala., was at 143, followed by 2005 champion Mary Ann Lapointe of Canada at 145 and 1998 winner Virginia Derby Grimes of Meridian, Miss., at 146.
"Medalist at a USGA event? Absolutely, it means something,” Patterson-Golden said of leading the low 64 scorers into match play. “These are the best of the best of the Mid-Ams who play in this country and Canada. That is a great honor and I’m very pleased with that but I’d be more pleased to be standing at the end on Thursday (when the championship concludes).”
Patterson-Golden, a high school golf coach who played professionally from 1996-2000, made five birdies against three bogeys to record just the fourth sub-par score in stroke play on the 6,189-yard, par-72 Donald Ross-designed course.
Using the local knowledge of her caddie and club member, Dr. Frank Gordon, Patterson-Golden found confidence putting on the undulating greens of Barton Hills Country Club.
"He pretty much taught me the greens,” Patterson-Golden said of her caddie, who is a local dentist. “I know where it’s going. He’s been my eyes but now he has to go back to work. He gave me the confidence I need on these greens.”
Patterson-Golden’s score ties for the second-lowest medalist score in championship history. Two-time winner Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Pa., who advanced to match play for a record 22nd time, holds the record of 141, which she shot in 1993.
Two-time defending champion Meghan Bolger of Oakland Park, Fla., shot 148, to easily qualify for match play as did 2004 champion Corey Weworski of Carlsbad, Calif., at 158.
Patterson-Golden, the mother of two young daughters, regained her amateur status two years ago. She coaches the Braden River High School girls’ golf team in Bradenton.
"Yesterday, I played flawlessly and left five or six shots out on the course,” said the four-time Georgia Women’s Amateur champion. “I missed five putts inside of 15 feet. Today, I chunked it five times and still got up and down. I was confident with my putter.”
Other notable players who advanced to match play were Michigan State women’s golf coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll of Haslett, Mich., and a trio of USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champions -- Carolyn Creekmore of Dallas, Texas; Anna Schultz of Rockwall, Texas and Diane Lang of Jamaica.
The championship runs through the 18-hole final match, which is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. Eastern.
The Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.