By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
The Honors Course
The Pete Dye-designed layout has received universal acclaim from the players in this field. Former champion Carolyn Creekmore said, “It’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s just perfect. I don’t think there’s a bad hole out here.” Defending champion Mina Hardin said, “I love the course. It sets well to my eye.” The 1972 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, Mary Budke, said, “The course suits my eye. There’s a lot of room, so I drive it well.” Two-time USA Curtis Cup player and 2012 Curtis Cup captain Pat Cornett said, “It’s got shots out there that are risk-reward. You could compare it to Pebble Beach.”
Susan Rheney, 52, of Greensboro, Ga., didn’t need her MBA from Harvard University to see the parallels between her performance in this year’s championship and last year’s. In 2010, Rheney said she was three holes down after four holes in every match, yet still made the round of 16. In this championship, Rheney faced 2009 champion Sherry Herman in her first match. Herman was 4 up through nine holes but Rheney thought, “I’ve done this before. I just have to keep playing. I’m nobody, so I have nothing to lose.” Rheney defeated Herman on the 19th hole. Now she’s a quarterfinalist.
In the Committee Family
Along with the USGA staff, the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship Committee is dedicated to running a wonderful championship. Committee members come from all over the United States and pay their own expenses to serve as Rules officials and do the myriad tasks that make this championship one of the best. Some two decades ago, Claire Candler, a friend from Sea Island, Ga., was a dedicated member of the Senior Women’s Amateur Committee. Candler has since passed away but her daughter, Claire Carruth, also of Sea Island, is carrying on her work. Carruth is the second generation of her family to serve on the committee.
Doctors In The House
Three physicians made the cut for match play: Angela Stewart, an obstetrician from Greenville, S.C., lost in the first round. Pat Cornett, a hematologist oncologist from Mill Valley, Calif., lost in the second round in an extra-hole match. Mary Budke, past U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and an emergency room physician who has recently retired, made it all the way to the third round before losing.