Ocala, Fla. – Co-medalists Mina Hardin of Fort Worth, Texas, and Meghan Stasi of Oakland Park, Fla., along with former champion Virginia Derby Grimes of Meridian, Miss., advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the 6,173-yard, par-72 Golden Hills Golf And Turf Club.
Stasi, 31, and Kathy Hartwiger, 43, of Birmingham, Ala., had the match of the day. They made 10 birdies before the match ended at the 18th with Stasi winning, 1 up.
The victory marked a huge come-from-behind effort for Stasi, who saw Hartwiger birdie four of the first five holes and take a 3-up lead into the back nine. But Stasi made three straight birdies starting at the 14th hole to get back into the match.
“I had the momentum going into the last holes,” Stasi said. “After the front nine we went past 18 and I thought, ‘I want to put a little pressure on her and hope I get to 18.’ I knew pars weren’t going to do it. I needed birdies.”
At the 18th, both players missed the green. Stasi chipped to within 7 feet of the hole and Hartwiger, who was putting for a bogey, conceded Stasi’s par putt and the match.
“It was a good match,” Hartwiger said. “I kind of petered out on the last four or five holes and Meghan came on strong.”
Hardin, 49, edged Lisa McGill, 50, of Philadelphia, Pa., on the 19th hole of a match that bogged down on the back nine. The pair registered only seven pars and four double bogeys on holes 10 through 18 before Hardin made a birdie-3 on the first extra hole to clinch the match.
Grimes, 45, the 1998 champion, struggled to defeat Lee Klasse, 50, of St. Anthony, Minn. After taking a 4-up lead through eight holes, Grimes made bogeys on five of the next six holes; Klasse made five pars and squared the match.
Grimes went 2 up again after making 2-foot birdie putts at the 15th and 16th, and held on to win, 2 up.
“I played OK on the front side,” Grimes said. “On the back side my driver let me down a little bit and I had a meltdown, then I birdied the 15th and 16th, back to back.”
Christy Schultz, 29, of Rochester, N.Y., scored an upset over 1978 Curtis Cup player, and next year’s USA captain, Noreen Mohler, 55, of Bethlehem, Pa., 3 and 2.
Another former USA Curtis Cup player, Robin Burke, 46, of Houston, Texas, was defeated when she lost to Dawn Woodard, 35, of Greer, S.C., 2 and 1.
Martha Leach, 47, of Hebron, Ky., scored a convincing win over Lisa Schlesinger, 51, of Laytonsville, Md., 5 and 4. Leach took a 1-up lead at the fifth hole, was 2 up after the 11th and won the 12th through the 14th holes to seal the match.
After a long, hot day in which she played two matches Leach, the sister of three-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Hollis Stacy, refused to rest. “I’m going to the practice tee,” Leach said. “I can be tired next year.”
Laura Coble, 45, of Augusta, Ga., upset three-time champion Ellen Port, 48, of St. Louis, Mo., 2 and 1. Both are veterans but had never met in match play. Coble won the first hole and the match see-sawed until Coble won the 16th and 17th with pars to win the match.
“It was scrappy,” Coble said. “It seemed like neither one of us, at times, wanted to win. It was hot out there and I got tired, but I wanted to win to just make it one more round.”
The final match of the day between Wendi Golden of Sarasota, Fla., and past champion Amber Marsh Elliott of Greensboro, N.C., was suspended because of darkness after 19 holes. The match will resume Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. on the 20th hole.
In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Hardin plays Grimes and Woodard faces Leach. Schultz will take on Coble while Stasi will face the winner of the Golden-Elliott match in the last encounter.
Following the quarterfinals on Wednesday morning, the semifinals will be played in the afternoon. The championship concludes with a scheduled 18-hole final on Thursday.
The Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. Ten are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Rhonda Glenn, a USGA Manager of Communications. E-mail her with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.