Julia Potter-Bobb (USGA photo)
Two-time champion Julia Potter-Bobb, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Caryn Wilson, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., both shot 4-under-par rounds of 68 to lead the way on Saturday in Round 1 of stroke play for the 33rd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship on the Meadow Course at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Potter-Bobb, 31, who won this championship in 2013 and 2016 and was the runner-up in 2014, and Wilson, 58, a semifinalist in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur two weeks ago, matched the lowest stroke-play score in U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur history. Two players had previously shot 68: Dawn Woodard in the first round of the 2005 championship at Shadow Hawk Golf Club in Richmond, Texas; and Lauren Greenlief in the second round of the 2017 championship at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
“This was the most solid round I’ve played in a long time,” said Wilson, who is one of two people, along with Althea Gibson, to have played in the U.S. Women’s Open in golf and tennis. “I had one bogey, and it was a good bogey. I putted well today.”
Potter-Bobb’s previous best stroke-play score in six championship starts was a 69 in her first Women’s Mid-Amateur round ever, in 2013 at Biltmore Forest Golf Club in Asheville, N.C. She went on to earn medalist honors and win the first of her two titles that year at age 25.
“I’m incredibly happy with how I played,” said Potter-Bobb, who was the oldest player to reach match play last month in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Old Waverly Golf Club, where she lost in the first round. “It could have been better, but everyone says that. I’m very happy with being 4-under going into tomorrow.”
Potter-Bobb and Wilson each had five birdies against a lone bogey, with both blemishes coming on the par-4 sixth hole, a 369-yard par-4 that ranked as the seventh-toughest on the course today. Courtney McKim, 29, of Raleigh, N.C., a quarterfinalist in this championship in 2017, shot a 3-under 69, which matches 12 previous players who had that score in Women’s Mid-Amateur stroke-play history.
Sarah Gallagher, 46, of Canton, Ga., who missed the cut last year in her first USGA start in 25 years, was alone in fourth place after a 2-under 70. A total of seven players shot scores of 1-under 71, three of them USGA champions: seven-time champion Ellen Port (who has four of her titles in this championship), 2015 Women’s Mid-Am champion Lauren Greenlief and 2017 Women’s Mid-Am champion Kelsey Chugg, who was the runner-up last year to Shannon Johnson. Johnson, of Easton, Mass., opened with a 2-over 74.
ABOUT THE U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur originated in
1987 to provide a national competitive arena
for amateurs 25 and older. Besides the age
restriction, the event is open to those with a
USGA Handicap Index of 9.4 or lower. It is
one of 14 national championships conducted
annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly
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