Martha Leach (USGA photo)
WHEATON, IL (July 15, 2018) - After her third-round 1-under 72 at Chicago Golf Club on Saturday, Martha Leach (Hebron, KY) said she only had one goal for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open: win the gold medal as the Low Amateur.
On Sunday she did just that and more, closing with two birdies on her final three holes for an even-par 73 and a top-10 finish in the USGA's newest championship.
Going in to the final round, Leach said she wasn't hitting the ball to her liking, but that it was all a part of the challenge of the game.
"I'm not hitting it great, but I think golf is more interesting when you're not hitting it well and you're trying to get it in the hole," she said. "Just kind of fake it until you make it."
Her other keepsake from the week is the ball with which she holed out for an eagle two on the 14th hole of the third round. The USGA, in an effort to collect memorabilia from the inaugural championship, asked Leach if she would be wiling to donate the ball to their museum, but by that time she had already gotten it signed by her playing partners and her daughter. So it will be heading home along with the gold medal.
Of the 29 amateurs who started the week, seven made the cut and played 72 holes.
Patricia Ehrhart (Honolulu, HI), who gained some notoriety
earlier in the week when her uncle, musician Jimmy Buffett, caddied for her in a practice round, finished T23 and second-low among the ams.
Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port, who was the head women's golf coach at Washington University in St. Louis for the past three seasons, was third low amateur with a T33 finish. Port has won three U.S. Women's Mid-Amateurs and four U.S. Senior Women's Amateurs.
Other amateurs to play all 72 holes include last year's Canadian Women's Senior champion Sue Wooster (Australia), Akemi Nakata Khaiat (Japan), Kathy Kurata (Pasadena, CA), and Marie-Therese Torti (Canada).
Final Amateur Leaderboard
78-75-72-73=298 (T10) Martha Leach
75-74-79-77=305 (T23) Patricia Ehrhart
79-74-76-79=308 (T33) Ellen Port
81-76-78-76=311 (T40) Sue Wooster
78-80-78-78=314 (T44) Akemi Nakata Khaiat
75-81-79-80=315 (T47) Kathy Kurata
76-82-83-81=322 (T53) Marie-Therese Torti
82-77=159 (MC) Marilyn Hardy
80-81=161 (MC) Janet Moore
79-82=161 (MC) Judith Kyrinis
80-81=161 (MC) Liz Waynick
78-83=161 (MC) Maggie Leaf
77-84=161 (MC) Therese Quinn
80-82=162 (MC) Mary Jane Hiestand
85-77=162 (MC) Lara Tennant
81-81=162 (MC) Leigh Klasse
85-80=165 (MC) Evelyn Orley
81-84=165 (MC) Helene Chartrand
84-83=167 (MC) Laura Carson
84-84=168 (MC) Brenda Pictor
82-86=168 (MC) Tina Barker
85-83=168 (MC) Kelley Nittoli
82-86=168 (MC) M.K. Thanos-Zordani
84-86=170 (MC) Susan West
82-88=170 (MC) Cindy McConnell
84-88=172 (MC) Terrill Samuel
85-88=173 (MC) Macarena Campomanes
94-92=186 (MC) Julie Wirth
105-91=196 (MC) Maureen SheehanView results for U.S. Senior Women's Open