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Kathy Hartwiger feeling right at home at U.S. Senior Women's Am
10 Sep 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, Lakewood Golf Club, Kathy Hartwiger Rankings

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Playing in her adopted home state of Alabama, Kathy Hartwiger opened with a 3-under 69 on Friday at The Lakewood Club. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)
Playing in her adopted home state of Alabama, Kathy Hartwiger opened with a 3-under 69 on Friday at The Lakewood Club. (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Kathy Hartwiger has won a record 21 Alabama state championships, so it should come as no surprise the Birmingham resident is off to a fast start at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur at the Lakewood Club (Dogwood Course) in Point Clear, Ala.

Hartwiger, the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, began her quest for a second USGA title on Friday by carding a 3-under 69 in the first round of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, which is being contested four hours south of her Birmingham residence.

Hartwiger, 55, got off to a dream start with birdies on holes 2, 4, 5 and 7 for a frontside 32. Her fifth birdie of the day on the par-3 17th took some sting out of a pair of bogeys on her inward nine.

Hartwiger is no stranger to success in her home state, having won 10 state amateur titles over three decades. She won he first state amateur title in 1999 and then ran off six consecutive titles from 2002-2007. Hartwiger added three more titles from 2010-12. She won her record 21st state title in July when she captured the Alabama Women’s State Senior Match Play Championship.

Her biggest win came on the national stage when she won the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, defeating Ellen Port, 2-up in the final at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club Hartwiger is one of five Alabama residents in the field, along with Patricia Ehrhart (Birmingham), Lea Green (McCalla), Theresa Mahlik (Madison), Susan West (Tuscaloosa).

“I’ve been playing well, but this course is a little long for me,” said Hartwiger, who helped Alabama capture the USGA State Team Championship in 1997. “In stroke play, we all have these squirrelly thoughts in our heads, like we’re going to forget how to play golf. But I made a long putt on the second hole, and the first green I missed (No. 4), I chipped in. That loosens you up a bit.”

Amy Ellertson of Free Union, Va. finds herself one back of Hartwiger after firing a 2-under round of 70. She survived an up-and-down opening nine holes (3 birdies; 3 bogeys) and then birdied holes 12 and 18 to finish at 2-under.

Susan Cohn (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Sandra Turbine (Canada) joined Hartwiger and Ellertson in the red with rounds of 71.

Two-time defending U.S. Senior Women's Amateur champion Lara Tennant was four over after her first six holes but got her round back to even with birdies on holes 8, 11, 13 and 17.

“I just needed to get into a better mindset and get the pace of the greens a little bit better,” said Tennant, 54, who opened with bogeys on four of her first six holes, but rallied to play 3-under golf over her final 12 holes, including birdies on three par 3s. “It’s always a learning experience the first two or three rounds on any golf course, and this course challenges every aspect of your game.”

Ellen Port, a seven-time USGA champion with three U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles, opened with a 1-over round of 73. The steady Port opened her round with 14 consecutive pars before making a bogey on the 15th hole. She birdied the 17th and made a bogey on the closing hole for a 73.

Sue Wooster, of Australia, the runner-up to Tennant in both of her victories, opened stroke play with a 4-over 76 and is tied for 16th with eight other players.

Sarah Ingram, the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup captain and three-time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion, opened with a 77.

Seven-time USGA champion, Carol Semple Thompson, opened with a 7-over 79 in her record 119th USGA championship start.

What's Next

The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will wrap up 36 holes of stroke play Saturday, after which the 132-player field will be reduced to the low 64 scorers. There will be six rounds of match play, starting Sept. 12 with the Round of 64. The Round of 32 and Round of 16 will be played on Sept. 13. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on Sept. 14 and the championship will conclude with an 18-hole final on Sept. 15.

View results for U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
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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