The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship originated in 1987 as a result of a need determined by an ad hoc committee headed by Dena Nowotny, a member of the USGA Women’s Committee.
The Women’s Mid-Amateur, the USGA’s 13th championship, was created to provide a national competitive arena for amateurs age 25 and older.
By 1987, it had become increasingly difficult for female amateur golfers beyond college to compete equitably with their collegiate counterparts, for whom golf was nearly a full-time vocation.
One must go back to 1973 and Carol Semple Thompson to find the last career amateur to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
As with any new championship, there was initial concern with the level of entries. In this case, women amateurs responded with enthusiasm. The first championship attracted 320 entries, only 22 fewer than the number that had entered the 1987 Women’s Amateur a few weeks earlier.
The starting field of 130 players was determined by sectional qualifying. The first Women’s Mid-Amateur was played at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The inaugural championship was won by Cindy Scholefield, 27, of Malibu, Calif. Scholefield (now McConnell) did not return to defend her title as she turned pro the following year.
The Women’s Mid-Amateur has been the setting for a number of noteworthy finals. In 1989, Robin Weiss, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., defeated Page Marsh Lea on the 22nd hole. In 1990, despite the tremendous pressure of competing on her home course as a crowd favorite, Carol Semple Thompson, 41, of Sewickley, Pa., defeated Page Marsh Lea, 3 and 1, at the Allegheny Country Club, where Semple Thompson had learned the game.
Sarah LeBrun Ingram, of Nashville, Tenn., in 1994 became the first player to capture consecutive Women’s Mid-Amateur championships. She had previously won in 1991 and 1993. Meghan (Bolger) Stasi of Oakland Park, Fla., also achieved the feat in 2006 and 2007. Stasi claimed her third Women's Mid-Amateur title in 2010 at Wichita (Kan.) Country Club.
In 2000, Ellen Port, 39, of St. Louis, Mo., won her third Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. She also won the title in 1995 and 1996.
Ingram, Port and Stasi are the only three-time champions of the event.