HERSHEY, Penn. (Sept. 9, 2012) -- Lisa Schlesinger, 54, of Laytonsville, Md., earned medalist honors for the second consecutive year with a 36-hole score of 1-over-par 149 on Sunday at the weather-delayed 2012 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship being conducted at the par-74, 6,220-yard West Course at Hershey Country Club.
Schlesinger, the first-round leader with a 4-under-par 70 that included five birdies, slipped to a 79 over her second 18 holes, in part due to a triple-bogey 8 on the par-5, 480-yard 15th hole. She hit a wayward 6-iron from the fairway that resulted ended in penalties for two unplayable lies. But she immediately responded with a birdie on No. 16.
“It’s nice to be the medalist in back-to-back years,” said Schlesinger, a USGA Senior Women’s Amateur semifinalist last year. “I didn’t play as great today, as silky-smooth. It wasn’t easy, but that’s golf, right? I wasn’t swinging great, nothing was horrible.”
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play, with the field then reduced to the low 64 scorers for six rounds of match play. The championship concludes with an 18-hole final on Thursday, starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, Mo., was one stroke behind with a two-round total of 150. A four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, Port backed up an opening-round 74 with a 76. Her second round featured three birdies and five bogeys.
Diane Lang, 57, of Weston, Fla., carded a 4-over 78 on Sunday after beginning with a 74. The three-time USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion was in contention for medalist honors, but bogeyed four holes on her inward nine to finish at 152.
“It’s coming together for the first time in four years,” said Lang about her play. “It’s a very interesting [leader] board. There are tons of great players at 162 or 163. Every match could be a tough match. I am going to prepare myself for that.”
Taffy Brower, 67, of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Martha Leach, 50, of Hebron, Ky., each finished at 5-over 153. Brower’s round of 74 was the best of the day. A three-time Senior Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist, she made five birdies, including a 27-foot putt on the par-4 18th, to match five bogeys on the card. Leach, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and 2011 Mid-Amateur runner-up, shot rounds of 75 and 78.
“I love the greens in the North,” said Brower, who credits recent play in Upstate New York as acclimating her to this style of course. “It’s fun to play the contours and use your creative side. It’s very difficult to come from Florida and just jump onto northern golf courses. They are so very different.”
Defending USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion Terri Frohnmayer, 56, of Salem, Ore., rebounded with a 78 in the second round after opening with an 81 to safely advance to match play.
“My focus was a lot better,” Frohnmayer said. “I swung the clubs instead of thinking about where the ball was going. I hit the ball great, my drives were great.”
The final five berths in match play will be determined in an eight-player playoff, which begins at 7:45 a.m. on Monday.
Stroke play was suspended on Saturday due to weather with half of the 132-player field still on the course. The first round of stroke play concluded at 10:25 a.m. on Sunday, and was followed by the second round.