ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Julia Potter, 25, of Granger, Ind., earned a second consecutive come-from-behind victory in Tuesday’s second round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the par-71 Biltmore Forest Country Club.
Potter trailed, 2 down, after two holes but was able to draw even by the seventh hole. She won three consecutive holes on the inward nine to take control of the match and advance in her first Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Potter hit a beautiful approach to within 8 feet at the first hole, only to have her opponent, Marilyn Hardy, knock in a 40-footer for birdie. Potter then bogeyed the par-4 second to drop to 2 down.
“There's something about that second shot on two, and I just never feel comfortable with the club I have in hand,” said Potter, a left-hander who received her amateur reinstatement in June 2012. “Next thing you know I'm 2 down after two. I'm like oh, been here before.”
Potter fought back to square the match at the seventh, and took the lead for good when Hardy had bunker problems at the par-4 10th and conceded Potter’s 15-foot birdie. Potter went on to take a 3-and-2 victory.
“That back nine, there's just something about it,” said Potter, who faces fellow 25-year-old Kate Hildahl in the afternoon’s round of 16. “When I made that turn at even, I just felt really confident and really good about my position.”
Defending champion Meghan Stasi, 35, of Oakland Park, Fla., continued her quest for an unprecedented fifth title, taking a 5-and-4 victory over Amy Loughney, of Hoboken, N.J. Stasi is now a remarkable 32-3 in her eight Women’s Mid-Amateur competitions.
Anna Schultz, who won the 2007 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, survived a late comeback from three-time Women’s Mid-Amateur stroke-play medalist Dawn Woodard. Schultz, at 58 the oldest player remaining in the match-play bracket, took a 1-up lead when Woodard bogeyed the par-3 third. Schultz was able to extend her advantage to 2 up, but was never able to pull away from her tenacious opponent. Woodard squared the match with a par at the par-4 17th hole, but Schultz won the 19th hole with a par.
Schultz’s afternoon opponent is Tara Joy-Connelly, 40, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who advanced with a 3-and-2 win over Kareen Markle.
Third-seeded Margaret Shirley, 27, of Roswell, Ga., advanced with a 4-and-3 win over 2013 USGA Women’s State Team champion Tara Fleming, of Jersey City, N.J. Shirley faces Biltmore Forest member Debbie Adams, who eliminated Tracy Welch, 3 and 2.
Adams’ fellow BFCC member, two-time USA Curtis Cup Team member Brenda Corrie Kuehn, fell 3 and 2 to Linda Jeffery, of Abilene, Texas.
For the fourth consecutive day, morning play was delayed. Matches began after a 70-minute fog delay.
The 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship is open to female amateur golfers who have reached their 25th birthday by Oct. 5. It consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Christina Lance is the assistant manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.