Courtesy of USGA
Defending champion Ina Kim-Schaad, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., prevailed in a battle of USGA champions Tuesday afternoon in the Round of 16 of the 34 th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Berkeley Hall. Kim-Schaad, who hasn’t been forced past the 16th hole in the first three rounds of match play, defeated fourth-seeded Lara Tennant, 54, a three-time U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion from Portland, Ore., 4 and 2, on the North Course to reach the quarterfinals.
Kim-Schaad, who defeated Andrea Miller, of Keswick, Va., 6 and 5, in the Round of 32 earlier on Tuesday, extended her win streak in the championship to nine, and did so in impressive fashion against the oldest remaining player in the field. She birdied the par-3 eighth to take a 3-up lead and made critical par saves on holes 12 and 13.
“I had two kind of longer putts for par that I made that I think really kept me in it,” said Kim-Schaad. “[Lara] was putting so well, the tide could have turned super easily then. Those were really key.”
Joining Kim-Schaad in the quarterfinals is 2015 champion Lauren Greenlief, of Ashburn, Va., and 2018 champion Shannon Johnson, of North Easton, Mass. The former champions, and friends, will face each other on Wednesday at 8:20 a.m. EDT.
“I have not played Shannon in a match before, but I've played a lot of golf in tournaments with Shannon. It'll be fun. It'll be a tough test. No one is going to let up. We're both going to give it our all, so I think it'll be a fun one,” said Greenlief, a management consultant.
It will be Greenlief’s second match against a USGA champion. On Tuesday morning, Greenlief defeated seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port, 2 and 1, before taking out Jacqueline Bendrick, 2 up, to earn her third consecutive trip to the quarterfinals.
Johnson route to the quarters included a 3-and-2 win in the Round of 32 over Lila Thomas, 3 and 2, and a tough 1-up victory over Tara Joy-Connelly, 1 up.
Aliea Clark, 25, of New York, N.Y., continued her Cinderella run, winning both of her matches convincingly to become the first 64 seed in championship history to reach the quarterfinals. Clark, making her championship debut, defeated Ashley Freeman, 3 and 2, and Kaylin Crownover, 4 and 2, in her two matches on Tuesday. This came after she eliminated record-setting stroke-play medalist Jennifer Peng on Monday in the Round of 64.
“I'm just super happy. I love match play because each day is a blank slate, each round is a blank slate, so I keep reminding myself, those first two days, like life, it's a fresh start every round,” said Clark, a former UCLA golfer who survived a 5-for-1 playoff on Sunday to grab the last match-play spot.
Clark, a graduate student at NYU, will take on No. 40 seed Dawn Woodard, of Greenville, S.C., on Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Woodard, who is competing in her 19th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, defeated Andrea Kosa, of Canada, in the Round of 32 before eliminating No. 9 seed Kimberly Dinh, of Midland, Mich., 2 and 1, in the Round of 16.
Blakesly Brock, of Chattanooga, Tenn., defeated 2019 runner-up Talia Campbell in 19 holes in the only extra-hole match of the Round of 16. Brock will face Clare Connolly, of Chevy Chase, Md., who defeated No. 3 seed Jamie Freedman, 4 and 3, in the Round of 16 after eliminating Melissa Loh, 3 and 2, earlier in the day.
Amanda Jacobs, of Portland, Ore., won both of her matches on the 18th hole on Tuesday and faces Kim-Schaad at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday. Jacobs defeated No. 5 seed Lana Weant in the Round of 16, 2 up.
The quarterfinal matches will begin at 8 a.m. EDT on Wednesday with the first of two semifinal matches set to start at 1 p.m. The 18-hole championship match on Thursday is scheduled for 9 a.m.