Hot Springs, Va. – Defending champion Diane Lang of Jamaica was eliminated during a flurry of match-play upsets Tuesday at the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,515-yard, par-70 Cascades Course of The Homestead.
Lang, who had advanced at least to the semifinals in her previous four Senior Women’s Amateur appearances, lost to 2004 champion Carolyn Creekmore of Dallas, Texas, 6 and 4, after Creekmore won five of the first six holes of their match.
“It was one of those days, all day long,” Lang lamented. “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was in another zone where I couldn’t do anything right.”
Lang had also won this championship in 2005 and 2006. She wasn’t the only notable to fall. Medalist Joan Higgins of Glendora, Calif., the 2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, lost to Sherry Herman of Farmingdale, N.J., in the morning’s second round, 6 and 5. Anna Schultz of Rockwall, Texas, the 2007 champion, lost to Noreen Mohler of Bethlehem, Pa., in the third round, 1 down.
Mohler, a former professional and a member of the 1978 USA Curtis Cup team, took her first lead of the match with a winning par at the par-5 16th hole, then sank a 6-footer for par at the 18th for a deciding halve.
The Lang-Creekmore match was the only battle between two past champions. Lang had the edge, having claimed three of the last four USGA Senior Women’s Amateur titles and defeating Creekmore twice on her way to winning.
“I figured she owed me one,” said Creekmore, a semifinalist last year. “I played steadily and she didn’t. She didn’t play like herself at all, and then she steadied toward the end of the match. I was hitting it where I wanted to hit it. I was hitting the greens and she was helping me by not playing well.”
With a 5-up lead after six holes, Creekmore never won another hole until the final one, the 14th, and she did it in grand style, holing a 40-foot, cross-country birdie putt.
Creekmore faces a tough opponent in Wednesday morning’s quarterfinals when she faces two-time USA Curtis Cup player Pat Cornett, a hematologist- oncologist from Mill Valley, Calif. Cornett edged Judy Miller of Tucson, Ariz., 2 up, to advance.
Mohler, the 2010 USA Curtis Cup captain will play against Brenda Pictor of Marietta, Ga. She will try to do what 2009 USA Walker Cup captain George “Buddy” Marucci achieved last year at the USGA Senior Amateur: win a USGA title while being a captain for an American international team. Marucci could not defend his championship, as he guided the USA to a third consecutive Walker Cup triumph last weekend at Merion Golf Club. The Senior Amateur, like the Senior Women’s Amateure, began on Saturday.
Herman advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Teresa Cleland of Syracuse, N.Y., 4 and 2, and will play Dana Harrity of North Hampton, N.H.
The remaining quarterfinal match pits Kim Eaton of Greeley, Colo., against Australian-born Robyn Puckett, a former professional from Irvine, Calif. Eaton defeated Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Pa., a four-time champion and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, in the morning’s second round, 5 and 4. Puckett needed 21 holes to beat Tanna Lee Richard of Fort Smith, Ark., in the morning before bouncing Kate Grace of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in the afternoon, 4 and 2.
After Wednesday morning’s quarterfinals, the semifinal matches will be conducted Wednesday afternoon. The championship concludes with a scheduled 18-hole final on Thursday.
The Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, of which 10 are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Rhonda Glenn, manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot Springs, Va. – Results of Tuesday’s second and third round of match play at the 2009 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,515-yard, par-70 Cascades Course at The Homestead:
Round of 32
Sherry Herman, Farmingdale, N.J. (157) def. Joan Higgins, Glendora, Calif. (142), 6 and 5
Teresa Cleland, Syracuse, N.Y. (154) def. Lisa Schlesinger, Laytonsville, Md. (154), 1 up
Mary Jane Hiestand, Naples, Fla. (158) def. Frances Gacos, Flemington, N.J. (161), 19 holes
Dana Harrity, North Hampton, N.H. (156) def. Shelley Savage, Alexandria, Va. (161), 2 and 1
Kim Eaton, Greeley, Colo. (149) def. Carol Semple Thompson, Sewickley, Pa. (156), 5 and 4
Linda Pearson, Glendale, Calif. (155) def. Karen Ferree, Hilton Head, S.C. (160), 1 up
Robyn Puckett, Irvine, Calif. (150) def. Tanna Lee Richard, Fort Smith, Ark. (156), 21 holes
Kate Grace, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (155) def. Rebecca Montgelas, Darien, Conn. (160), 4 and 3
Anna Schultz, Rockwall, Texas (145) def. Cindy Morris, Portsmouth, Va. (157), 6 and 5
Noreen Mohler, Bethlehem, Pa. (154) def. Jackie Little, Canada (154), 2 and 1
Terry Ehrhardt, Waco, Texas (156) def. Cheryl Grigg, Sea Island, Ga. (151), 5 and 3
Brenda Pictor, Marietta, Ga. (156) def. Alison Reifers, Dublin, Ohio (153), 3 and 2
Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas, Texas (147) def. Marianne Towersey, Pebble Beach, Calif. (157), 19 holes
Diane Lang, Jamaica (154) def. Daryl Nels, Beavercreek, Ohio (160), 5 and 4
Judy Miller, Tucson, Ariz. (158) def. Kelly Koselek, Canada (161), 3 and 1
Patricia Cornett, Mill Valley, Calif. (155) def. Annette Gaiotti, Holladay, Utah (153), 2 up
Round of 16
Herman def. Cleland, 4 and 2
Harrity def. Hiestand, 19 holes
Eaton def. Pearson, 4 and 2
Puckett def. Grace, 4 and 2
Mohler def. Schultz, 1 up
Pictor def. Ehrhardt, 4 and 3
Creekmore def. Lang, 6 and 4
Cornett def. Miller, 2 and 1
Hot Springs, Va. – Pairings for Wednesday’s quarterfinals at the 2009 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,515-yard, par-70 Cascades Course at The Homestead. (All times EDT)
8 a.m. - Sherry Herman, Farmingdale, N.J. (157) vs. Dana Harrity, North Hampton, N.H. (156)
8:10 a.m. - Kim Eaton, Greeley, Colo. (149) vs. Robyn Puckett, Irvine, Calif. (150)
8:20 a.m. - Noreen Mohler, Bethlehem, Pa. (154) vs. Brenda Pictor, Marietta, Ga. (156)
8:30 a.m. - Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas, Texas (147) vs. Patricia Cornett, Mill Valley, Calif. (155)