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USGA Women's Mid-Am: Woodward (68) is Early Leader

RICHMOND, TX (September 10, 2005) -- Dawn Woodard, 31, of Franklin, Tenn., shot a record round of 4-under-par 68 to take the lead in the first round of stroke-play qualifying in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the 6,124-yard par 72 course at Shadow Hawk Golf Club.

Woodard’s 68 beats the previous Women’s Mid-Amateur record by one stroke in this 19th annual championship for women amateurs aged 25 and over.

"How about that," said the mother of three.

Two-time winner Carol Semple Thompson, 57, of Sewickley, Pa., and Thuhashini Selvaratnam, 29, of Sri Lanka, were tied for second at one-under-par 71.

Mary Ann Lapointe, 45, of Canada and Kerry Postillion, 42, of Burr Ridge, Ill., were at 72. Defending champion Corey Weworski, 43, of Carlsbad, Calif., and 1998 champion Virginia Derby Grimes of York. Ala., shot 75.

Woodard played well early with a 17-foot birdie putt on the 2nd hole and never made a bogey. She made three more birdies on putts of 12 feet, five feet, capping her round with a 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

Woodward said she didn’t make many mistakes in firing her record round. "I missed three fairways but not by much, so I was never in the deep rough," she said. "When I missed a green, it was only by a couple of inches."

She barely made it into the championship, winning the last spot at her sectional qualifying site in a three-way, sudden-death playoff.

"Director of chaos," Woodard said of her role as a mother. The weather delay helped her in that role. She made telephone calls to her seven-year-old daughter to check on her soccer game and to her five-year-old, who was celebrating her birthday. A third daughter is two years old.

"I play a little more golf this time of year, but it’s not the priority that it used to be," Woodard said.

In 1995 and ’96, Woodard won the Southern Conference Championship playing for Furman.

Compared to many players of national caliber, she finds little time to practice. She hits a few putts and full shots in the evening, then tries to play five holes. But that’s only on alternate days. Several evenings a week she assumes babysitting duties while her husband Jason practices. "We swap," she said.

Woodard tuned up for the Women’s Mid-Amateur by winning her club championship, which included a first-round 62. "It’s only a 4,700-yard course, so it’s not like shooting 62 on a course like Shadow Hawk, but you still have to hit it straight," she said.

Three players did not finish because of darkness and will resume their rounds Sunday morning. After 36 holes, the low 64 scorers advance to match play. The championship will be decided by an 18-hole final Thursday, Sept. 15.

ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur

The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur originated in 1987 to provide a national competitive arena for amateurs 25 and older. Besides the age restriction, the event is open to those with a USGA Handicap Index of 9.4 or lower. It is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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