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U.S. Women's Mid-Am: Leach and Port to meet in finals

by Christina Lance

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Sept 22, 2011) -– Past Women’s Mid-Amateur champions Ellen Port and Martha Leach will meet in this afternoon’s 18-hole championship match at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at 6,187-yard, par-72 Bayville Golf Club.

Three-time winner Port, 50, of St. Louis, Mo., continued her strong play during her 4-and-3 semifinal victory over reinstated amateur Helene Beat of Sylvania, Ohio. Leach faced her first true challenge of the championship, but rallied for a 19-hole win over Tara Joy-Connelly of Pembroke, Mass.

Port led for the duration, surviving a loss-of-hole penalty on the par-5 sixth hole. After her ball ended up in Beat’s line, she failed to replace her ball marker to its original position on the green before converting her par putt, a breach of Rule 20-3a.

“I was very focused and just forgot to move it back,” said Port, who is vying to win a record fourth Women’s Mid-Amateur and playing in her record sixth championship match. “I was disappointed in myself because it’s my responsibility and golf’s hard enough without giving something away.

“I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t in the back of my mind. So I made a really good putt on 8 to halve the hole and settle down.”

Until this morning’s semifinals, 2009 champion Leach had cruised through the match-play bracket. The 49-year-old from Hebron, Ky., had yet to play past the 16th green, needing an average of only 14.5 holes per match.

But Joy-Connelly gave Leach by far her toughest test. Joy-Connelly took the lead at the second hole and held it until the par-4 17th. Consecutive bogeys from Joy-Connelly sent the match to extra holes and gave Leach the chance she needed. Leach did not let the opportunity pass her by, winning the par-4 first hole with a birdie for the second championship final berth.

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.

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Golf Championship
Place  Pts
WinMOEllen PortSt. Louis, MO1000
Runner-upKYMartha LeachHebron, KY700
SemifinalsFLHelene BeatOakland Park, FL500
SemifinalsMAx.Tara Joy x.ConnellyDuxbury, MA500
QuarterfinalsGABrenda PictorMarietta, GA400

View full results for U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Golf Championship

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