Two-time U.S. Women's Mid-Am champ Julia Potter Bobb (USGA photo)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (September 24, 2018) - All eight past USGA champions in the match-play bracket, as well as medalist Shannon Johnson, of Norton, Mass., advanced out of the Round of 64 on Monday in the 32nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club.
Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port, of St. Louis, Mo., the No. 32 match-play seed who has won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur four times, eked out a 1-up victory over Truc Ly, of Vietnam. Fellow four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the No. 3 seed, prevailed over Allison Schultz, of Madison, Wis., 4 and 3.
Port, 57, who resigned as the head women’s golf coach at Washington University on June 30, is competing in this championship for the first time since 2012 and posted victories in 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2011. She is one of three players from Missouri to reach the match-play bracket, and her victory sets up a Round-of-32 meeting with Johnson, who defeated No. 64 seed Brenda Pictor, 6 and 5. Johnson, 35, was the runner-up in this championship in 2016 at The Kahkwa Club, in Erie, Pa., where she shared medalist honors and lost in the final to two-time champion Julia Potter-Bobb.
Potter-Bobb, 30, of Indianapolis, Ind., also notched a 6-and-5 victory, over Sue Billek Nyhus, of Orem, Utah. Other past champions to advance included 2015 winner Lauren Greenlief, 28, of Ashburn, Va.; 2014 champion Margaret Starosto, 32, of Woodstock, Ga.; defending champion Kelsey Chugg, 27, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and 2004 champion Corey Weworski, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif. Judith Kyrinis, 54, the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion, also moved on.
Potter-Bobb, a University of Missouri graduate who is now the director of member services for the Indiana Golf Office, is joined in the Round of 32 by fellow Mizzou grad Michelle Butler, 25, of Columbia, Mo., who birdied the par-5 18th hole to edge Olivia Herrick, 30, of Roseville, Minn.
No. 2 seed Erin Bradford, 34, of Georgetown, Ky., lost a 1-up match to No. 63 seed Janet Moore, 54, of Centennial, Colo., who birdied the 17th and 18th holes for the victory in this, her 27th USGA championship. For Bradford, it is her second USGA championship and her first time making match play.
Heidi Stark, of Lincoln, Neb., was the odd player out in Monday morning’s 7-for-6 playoff to complete the match-play bracket. Five players parred the first playoff hole, the par-4 14th, while Stark and Brenda Pictor, of Marietta, Ga., both bogeyed. Pictor parred the second hole to take the 64th spot while Stark made another bogey. Pictor, 62, became the oldest player to reach match play, although she was eliminated by medalist Johnson later in the day, 6 and 5.
Ellen Port’s 1-up victory on Monday was her first match win in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Am since 2012, and the record 59th of her career. Port moved three victories ahead of Carol Semple Thompson (56), while Stasi earned her 46th victory on Monday. Port is competing in her 21st Women’s Mid-Am, while Stasi is competing in her 13th. Thompson, who won the championship twice, played in it 23 times. Weworski won her 27th match on Monday in this, her 20th start, to move into solo 11th place on the all-time win list.
Clare Connolly's 8-and-7 win on Monday over Patricia Ehrhart is the largest margin of victory in the championship since Liz Waynick defeated Mary Jane Hiestand, 9 and 7, in 2012. Connolly, 25, of Chevy Chase, Md., closed out her win with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.
Two rounds of match play are scheduled on Tuesday, the Round of 32 and the Round of 16, with the first matches set to begin at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively. The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday with the 18-hole championship match on Thursday at 9 a.m.