Kelsey Chugg (left) hugs Julia Potter-Bobb (USGA photo)
ST. LOUIS (Sept. 25, 2018) – Defending champion Kelsey Chugg
, of Salt Lake City, Utah, made consecutive birdies on No. 18 and the first playoff hole on Tuesday to defeat two-time champion Julia Potter-Bobb
in 19 holes and advance to the quarterfinals of the 32nd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club.
“It was really an intense match, one of the most intense I’ve ever played,” said Chugg, 27, who won this championship last November in her debut at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas. “Especially playing against such a good friend of mine.”
Chugg lost No. 17 to Potter-Bobb to go down a hole, but she converted a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 after Potter-Bobb missed her 14-foot birdie try, sending the match to extra holes. Chugg knocked her approach to 6 feet on the par-4 first hole and made the putt to defeat Potter-Bobb, of Indianapolis, Ind., who won this championship in 2013 and 2016.
Chugg and Potter-Bobb, who both won Round-of-32 matches on Tuesday morning, formed a four-ball partnership and qualified on Sept. 4 for the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, which will be played at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., next April. Chugg will now take on four-time champion Meghan Stasi
in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round. Stasi, 40, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., won another matchup of past champions on Tuesday afternoon, defeating 2004 winner Corey Weworski
, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif., 1 up.
Medalist and No. 1 seed Shannon Johnson
, 35, of Norton, Mass., eliminated four-time champion Ellen Port
, 57, of St. Louis, 2 and 1, in the morning Round of 32, before ousting Jordan Craig-Nyiri, 32, of Connellsville, Pa., 6 and 5, in the Round of 16.
“I didn’t make any putts all week, and it carried on to this match,” said Port, who has won seven USGA championships and will seek her fourth U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur title starting Oct. 6 at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla. “That was the difference. I missed a couple shots, but she putted well, and I had my opportunities.”
Johnson, who was the runner-up in 2016, will take on Clare Connolly
, 25, of Chevy Chase, Md., Wednesday at 8 a.m. CDT in the quarterfinals. Connolly roared back from a four-hole deficit to defeat Courtney McKim, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., in 19 holes after dispatching 2014 champion Margaret Starosto, of Woodstock, Ga., 5 and 4, in the morning.
2015 champion Lauren Greenlief
, 28, of Ashburn, Va., has won all three of her matches by 4-and-3 margins, and will take on Michelle Butler, 25, of Columbia, Mo., on Wednesday. Butler, who eliminated Kayla Eckelkamp, 28, of Washington, Mo., on Tuesday afternoon, is competing in her first USGA championship.
, 32, of Portland, Ore., who edged 2017 semifinalist Marissa Mar, 26, of San Francisco, 1 up, in the afternoon, will take on Julia Hodgson, 26, of Canada, who outlasted Tara Joy-Connolly, 45, of North Palm Beach, Fla., in 19 holes.