By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
Richmond, Texas – Experience prevailed and early first-round winners in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur were largely players who have won before – a lot.
At the 6,124-yard, par 72 course at Shadow Hawk Golf Club, the winners of eight of the first 11 matches have accumulated a number of national and regional titles.
It’s not as if less experienced players never had a chance. Beth Cleckler, 42, of Austin, Texas, whose biggest win was the Austin City Championship gave the medalist, former professional Kerry Postillion, a scare.
The two were tied after 18 holes and the match, between Postillion, who was medalist with 142, and Cleckler, who was the last qualifier with a score of 162, finally ended on the 22nd hole. Postillion won with a par to Cleckler’s double-bogey.
Cleckler’s role as an underdog was deceiving. She won 14 Austin Women’s City Championships in a row from 1987-2001, but plays few other tournaments because of her job as manager of Morris Williams Golf Course in Austin.
Postillion, however, is a former professional who won the Illinois Women’s Amateur four times and the 1997 North & South Women’s Amateur.
Among the other early winners were Lori Planos of Kapalua, Hawaii, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion and former U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion as Lori Castillo. She defeated Sydney Moore of Menominee, Mich., 4 and 2.
Defending champion Corey Weworski of Carlsbad, Calif, edged Louella Kanew of Los Angeles, 4 and 3. San Francisco’s Sally Krueger, a10-time San Francisco Women’s Amateur Champion and a former Women’s Middle Atlantic Amateur winner, eased past Lea Anne Brown of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., 3 and 1.
Two other former Women’s Mid-Am champions prevailed. Kathy Hartwiger of Birmingham, Ala., defeated Marti Ross of Dallas, Texas, 5 and 4. And Virginia Derby Grimes, the 1998 champion, defeated another Dallas native inChar McLear, 5 and 3.
Still another USGA champion in the upper half bracket won her match. Carolyn Creekmore of Dallas, Texas, defeated Patricia Cornett of Mill Valley, Calif., 5 and 3.
Creekmore, however, had to be aware of Cornett’s record. Cornett reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1976 and 1990, and won the 1990 Women’s Western Amateur. She was also a member of two Curtis Cup teams.
Admittedly, some players are able to compete more but experience as a winner most often seems to make the vital difference in the outcome of match play.
Rhonda Glenn is a Manager of Communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at email@example.com.
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