SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Oct. 8, 2012) -- Dawn Woodard, of Greer, S.C., followed up her opening-round 69 with a 1-over-par 73 for a 36-hole total of 2-under-par 142 to take medalist honors at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Briggs Ranch Golf Club. Woodard, 38, was the only competitor in the 132 player field to better par for 36 holes on the par-72, 6,127-yard Tom Fazio layout.
Three-time champion Megan Stasi, 34, of Oakland Park, Fla., finished three strokes behind Woodard at 1-over 145 after a second-round 71. Stasi was the only golfer to break par on Sunday.
Lucy Nunn, 25, of Lexington, Ky., and Debbie Adams, 45, of Asheville, N.C., shared third at 2-over 146.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, for female golfers 25 and over, consists of 36 holes of stroke play. The low 64 scorers advance to match play, which features six rounds, including an 18-hole final scheduled for Thursday morning at 9 a.m. CDT.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Unseasonably cool temperatures and gusty northeast winds greeted the players for the final day of qualifying, making for a challenging course that yielded just three sub-par rounds during qualifying. Temperatures in the region typically hover in the mid-80s at this time of year, but the high on Sunday morning was nearly 25 degrees below that average.
While temperatures remained cool throughout the day, the winds that gusted up to 25mph in the morning diminished as the day wore on. Because of that, the Saturday afternoon-Sunday morning wave of starting times seemed to get the more difficult conditions as just one of the top 12 finishers (Woodard) came from that half of the draw.
Woodard had an uneven start to her round with two birdies, one bogey and one double bogey over her first four holes. From there she settled down and played even-par golf the rest of the way.
“It was chilly starting out, but the big factor today was the wind,” said Woodard, who made four birdies after registering five in the first round. “There was at least a two to three club difference from yesterday. I just tried to err on the safe side and take big numbers out of play.
Woodard was more consistent off the tee on Saturday, hitting 13 of 14 fairways, but on Sunday her strategy was to play solidly to prepare for Monday’s first round of match play.
“I didn’t hit nearly as many fairways and greens … but I kept the ball in play and salvaged another good round,” said Woodard.
Woodard joins four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Ellen Port (2000, 2001, 2002, 2010) and two-time champion Carol Semple Thompson (1989, 1990, 1993) as the only competitors to earn medalist honors at least three times in this championship.
“The main thing is I know I played well for two days and I’ll take that to match play,” said Woodard. “Tomorrow morning is a clean slate so everything I did doesn’t mean much, but I do feel good about my game and go in with a lot of confidence.”
Stasi is no stranger to success in the Women’s Mid-Am either having won three of the past six titles. This week at Briggs Ranch, she has taken advantage of her length, playing the par-5s in four under.
“It was just solid ball striking, nothing too exciting,” said Stasi. “My game felt good today. I’ve been waiting for this cooler weather, so I’m very happy.”
Like Stasi, Adams is pleased with her position, though she wasn’t optimistic after she double bogeyed her opening hole on Sunday. She turned in 39, but made four birdies on the inward nine to card an even-par 72.
“I putted really well today,” said Adams, who capped her second-nine run with a 15-foot birdie-putt at the par-3 17th. “The course was certainly playing longer today, but after that horrible start I played really well.”
Nunn, who was the only other player along with Woodward to break par on Saturday, got off to another hot start. Starting on the 10th hole, she two-putted for birdie on the 461-yard, par-5 11th and made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-4 12th. Despite some late bogeys, Nunn enters match play with a lot of confidence.
“I really like match play,” said Nunn, who serves as the assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Kentucky. “Especially on a golf course like this – anything goes.”
Defending champion Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, also advanced to match play at 7-over 151. Port, who won the USGA Senior Amateur last month, is vying to join Pearl Sinn and Jennifer Song as the only female golfers to win multiple USGA championships in the same year. Port is a four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur champion.
Other past Women’s Mid-Amateur champions to make match play included: Martha Leach, Amber Marsh Elliott, Corey Weworski, Joan Higgins and Robin W. Donnelley.
The final match-play berths will be determined by an 8-for-5 playoff on Monday morning at 7:45 a.m... Stefi Markovich, of Canada, and Kay Daniel, of Covington, La., avoided the playoff by each making birdies on their final hole of the day.
The first of 32 matches is scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m.