Megan Stasi (Women's Golf Assocaition of Philadelphia photo)
On a warm summer day, Meghan Stasi added another line to her already impressive resume.
Stasi, who will captain the U.S. Curtis Cup side next summer and is a four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, won her 10th Philadelphia Women’s Amateur Match Play title on Thursday, via a 2-up win over Coastal Carolina junior-to-be Clare Gimpel in the 18-hole final at Sandy Run Country Club just outside Philadelphia.
Stasi took the lead for the last time at the 13th hole; her winning margin equaled the biggest of the match. She finished the 18 holes at the equivalent of four over par.
“Mainly I just tried to stay patient today,” she said. “It’s a tough golf course; I didn’t play a practice round so I didn’t see the golf course before (Wednesday’s quarterfinals). I just tried to stay below the pin in a lot of spots.
“The greens were form, fast, they were rolling great.”
Even though she’s a longtime Florida resident, Stasi, a South Jersey native, makes it a point return to the Philadelphia area to compete when her schedule permits.
“I play a lot of golf tournaments throughout the year,” she said. I love coming home to New Jersey. I don’t get to do it as much as I would like sometimes. But I do enjoy coming up here as much as I can.
“But you name it. Any tournament that fits the schedule. A lot of things overlap but this one fit perfect so I figured I’d stay and play.”
For Stasi, competing in the Philadelphia Women’s Amateur marks a return to her golfing roots and a chance to reconnect with old friends.
“I played so much junior golf in the Philadelphia PGA section,” she said, and then at the courses we’ve been members at (Tavistock Country Club and Medford Village Country Club).”
Stasi savors the fact that many of the players she competed against early in her career are still active.
It’s just really incredible to see the women still playing,” she said.
“This is a lifelong game for me. I’m very happy with the path that I’ve chosen and hopefully it continues.”
Stasi was an all-around athlete growing up. She started playing golf at age 8 but also played soccer and basketball. She says the lessons she learned playing team sports help her today in golf.
“I wish kids could do more of that,” she said. “They get consumed in one sport and burned out.
“You see a lot of kids playing multiple sports up here though due to the weather and the season changes. It’s just so important to be able to play team sports. I’ve learned a lot from team sports that I’ve been able to use in golf, mentally and physically.
“[Playing multiple sports] you won’t get burnt out as quickly. You’ve got to have an outlet besides golf or whatever sport it is.”
Stasi says playing multiple sports is one ingredient in the formula that has allowed her to maintain her enthusiasm for tournament golf. She points to other factors as well.
“I have been healthy,” she said. “I haven’t had any major injuries. Getting older there’s a few things here and there but I really just truly love the game.
“It is something that I hope to play forever and just keep the relationships and friendships that I’ve been able to form. And that’s truly, mainly, what it’s all about.
“I’ve been able to travel all over the world to play. That’s incredible, that’s fun, that keeps me motivated.”
Stasi is embracing her role as Curtis Cup captain. She was told privately before her appointment was officially announced this past January.
“I found out early and I couldn’t say anything for a while,” she said. “It was really tight-lipped for a while.
But once it was announced it was a lot of fun to hear from a lot of people I hadn’t heard from in a while. It’s exciting to hear how many people will be going.”
The matches are set for Sunningdale Golf Club in England next August 30-September 1.
Stasi has no official role in selecting her team, a USGA committee has that responsibility. But she’ll be keeping an eye on potential team members through the summer and through their college seasons.
“I’m looking forward to following a lot of potential players,” she said. [The Curtis Cup] is a little bit later in the season. That may affect a couple. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
For Gimpel, the tournament is a family affair. Her sister Emily won it in 2013 while a student-athlete at Maryland. Now she is competing against some of the same players herself.
“It’s really cool to see some of these players that’ve I’ve looked up to a lot of years,” she said. “I’m kind of catching to them now a little bit.”
The Philadelphia Women’s Amateur Match Play is the oldest regional women’s championship in America. It was first played in 1897.View results for Philadelphia Women's Match Play
ABOUT THE Philadelphia Women's Match Play
Open to Class A players (handicap index of 15.9 or
less). Monday is qualifying (individual stroke play) to
determine seeding for match play. 48 players qualify
for match play. Tuesday - 1st round of match play.
Wednesday - 2nd and 3rd rounds of match play,
Thursday - finals in all flights (36 holes for
Championship Flight, 18 for other flights)
View Complete Tournament Information