Leach tops U.S. Senior Women's Am; earns her first No. 1 seed
Martha Leach (USGA photo)
Martha Leach (USGA photo)

Martha Leach is making USGA headlines again. The former U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion earned the stroke-play medal on Sunday at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Leach, the Hebron, Ky., resident who is competing in her 71st USGA championship, shot a second-round 73 on Sunday for a 36-hole total of 1-under 143 at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Country Club.

Remarkably, this will be the first time that Leach has ever taken the No. 1 seed into a USGA amateur match-play bracket. Or as her husband and caddie John put it, “I told her she was 0 for 70.”

It is her first stroke-play medal, though not her first USGA medal. Leach was low amateur at the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open last summer, for which she earned a silver medal. This week marks a breakthrough.

“I haven’t been playing well for over a year,” Leach said. “In this championship last year at Orchid Island, I had one good day, and it was the first time I hit the ball really well in four months. Since then, it has been a struggle. We’ve been trying to tweak things in my swing, and John [Leach, her husband and coach] and I figured something out the other day.”

Leach, 57, edged Ellen Port and Mary Ann Hayward of Canada by two strokes for the No. 1 seed in match play, which begins on Monday. Port, of St. Louis, Mo., a seven-time USGA champion, and Hayward, the 2005 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, completed two rounds at 1-over 145.

“I’m oblivious to the medalist thing," Port said. "I’ve won the whole thing when I’m medalist and I’ve won the whole thing when I’m not medalist. It doesn’t have anything to do with your positioning.”

Tennant, who was co-medalist and No. 1 seed in 2017 and defeated Sue Wooster last October at Orchid Island for the title, is the No. 5 seed after rounds of 70-78. Hayward, a four-time Canadian Women’s Amateur champion, is the No. 3 seed and Corey Weworski, the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, earned the No. 4 seed.

Quotse and information from the USGA used in this report

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ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Women's Amateur

The USGA Senior Women's Amateur is open to female golfers with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 14.4, who will have reached their 50th birthday on or before the first day of the championship. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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