Mike Bolger was physically sweating through his golf shirt on Tuesday watching daughter and two-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, Meghan Stasi, complete the final round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Most of the perspiration was due to the 90-plus degree temperatures and sticky humidity. But when you are a parent, events like the U.S. Women’s Amateur will cause plenty of spectator anxiety. Especially considering that Meghan had never made the match-play cut in five previous Women’s Amateurs.
But the 32-year-old Floridian who was a member of the victorious 2008 USA Curtis Cup Team at St. Andrews, Scotland, finally ended that drought. An even-par 72 combined with Monday’s 76 easily qualified Stasi (she got married in 2009 to restaurant owner Danny Stasi) for the match-play portion of the competition that begins on Wednesday. The cut came at 7-over 151.
Stasi also is carrying the banner for the mid-amateur (25 years and older) crowd. Last year, none of the mid-amateurs in the Women’s Amateur field qualified for match play. Six competed in 2010, but only Stasi advanced.
“Age is just a number,” said Stasi. “You appreciate the game a lot more every chance you get. I’m just fortunate to be here right now.”
Stasi said nothing has changed with her game this summer. She did reach the semifinals of the British Ladies Amateur at Ganton Golf Club in England in June. She felt her round on Monday was solid outside of a few bad swings.
She also has good friend and Pinehurst Resort professional Brian Lally – nicknamed “Wally” – on her bag this week. Dad usually caddies at the Women’s Mid-Amateur and her husband, Danny, also will sometimes caddie.
“I don’t have to see their nerves,” she said smiling. “We’ve all been there. It’s not easy to watch. I had to do it as a coach [at the University of Mississippi]. They want it so much for you as well; probably a little more. Wally is just a great person and a great caddie.”
Now that Stasi is finally over the stroke-play hurdle at the Women’s Amateur, she could be a difficult opponent in match play. After all, she’s won two Women’s Mid-Amateurs and posted four victories at the British Ladies Amateur.
“Hopefully, it will be a good long week,” she said.
If that’s the case, dad might need to buy a few new shirts. – David Shefter