TULSA, Okla. (Sept. 23, 2008) – Past champions Carol Semple Thompson and Carolyn Creekmore each won twice Tuesday and will meet in a quarterfinal match Wednesday at the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Tulsa Country Club.
Semple Thompson, 59, of Sewickley, Pa., is a four-time champion who will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame Nov. 10.
Creekmore was the 2004 champion and the stroke-play qualifying medalist on the 5,760-yard, par-71 layout.
The quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be played Wednesday. The 18-hole final is set for Thursday.
Semple Thompson, who won from 1999-2002, stepped up her game to play even par (with concessions) in beating third-round foe Susan Dekalb of Middletown, N.J., 7 & 5. She defeated Kate Grace of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in her morning match, 4 & 3.
Creekmore had a much more difficult time beating Patty Moore of Charlotte, N.C., and Jackie Little of Canada in her two matches. She needed a conceded birdie on the last hole to beat Moore in her morning match, 1-up. She then rallied to win four of the last six holes to close out Little, 2 & 1.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had two matches this hard,” said Creekmore, who one-putted five of the last eight greens against Little.
It doesn’t get any easier for Creekmore, who is a friend and long-time rival of Semple Thompson.
“I’ve never (met her), but I heard she can play a bit,” joked Creekmore after seeing her next opponent.
After “getting lucky” in her first two matches, Semple Thompson found her putting stroke and hit the ball more crisply in her third-round match.
“It’s possible I could win again if I just keep playing like I did this afternoon; staying close to par,” said Semple Thompson, who has won seven individual USGA titles dating back to the 1973 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Another former champion, Diane Lang (2005 and 2006), 53, of Jamaica, also reached the quarterfinals, as did reigning U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Joan Higgins, 52, of Glendora, Calif., and two-time runner-up Toni Wiesner, 61, of Ft. Worth, Texas.
Lang and Wiesner each survived two close matches while Higgins wasn’t challenged in winning by 6 & 5, and 4 & 3.
“I’m a bit embarrassed by it all,” said Higgins, who is vying to become the first to win the Mid-Amateur and Senior Women’s Amateur titles in the same year.
“I’m just trying to have fun," added Higgins. “This is a long week and match play is all about putting. My flight out is still scheduled for Wednesday night and if I have to change it, that would be good.”
The Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
--Story by Craig Smith, USGA