Mina Hardin, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas, defeated Alexandra Frazier, 52, of Haverford, Pa., 2 and 1, on Thursday to win the 49th USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course of Fiddlesticks Country Club.
Playing conservatively from the tee and hitting fine approach shots, Hardin outlasted Frazier, the 64th of 64 qualifiers to get into match play. The 64th seed has never won a USGA championship. Hardin, meanwhile, is the first female citizen of Mexico to win a USGA national championship.
Hardin was 1 up when she stroked a curling 60-foot putt with a 12-foot break to within a foot of the 17th hole. She was conceded a par. Frazier had been rolling in putts of considerable length throughout the round but missed her 8-footer to halve the hole, giving Hardin her first national title.
"This morning when I woke up I thought I could be the first woman Mexican citizen to ever win a USGA event," Hardin said. "This is a dream come true. "
Hardin played conservatively and hit her driver on only three holes. She teed off on 11 holes with hybrid clubs.
Hardin was 2 up at the turn but the momentum shifted toward Frazier at the par-5 11th hole. Frazier was on the green in four strokes, 2 feet from the hole. Hardin was just 20 yards short of the green after two wood shots, but Hardin then stubbed her chip. Faced with having to get up and down for a par, Hardin left her next chip 10 feet short of the hole. She missed the putt for a par and Frazier made her 2-footer to win the hole.
Mid-swing, I just doubted my distance, Hardin said of her first flubbed chip shot. It kind off rattled me a little bit.
"Each day I’ve won that hole from long hitters because they try to go for it in two and then they’re in a funny spot," Frazier said.
The 12th was another key hole to the outcome. Frazier got down in two strokes from the front bunker, holing a 25-foot putt for a par. Hardin faced an 8-foot putt to halve the hole.
"I was still thinking, 'Okay, you can do this,'" said Hardin. "It's okay. Not a big problem."
She made the 8-footer to remain 1 up.
With both players scrambling valiantly for pars, the margin held until the 17th when Hardin’s fine lag-putt stopped near the hole and she was conceded the par that would win the match and the championship.
Frazier’s appearance in the final was a surprise. As the last qualifier to make match play, she had upset the medalist (Leigh Klasse) and the defending champion (Sherry Herman) earlier in the week. The gallery of about 200 spectators cheered her on as an underdog. As she advanced and scored upset after upset, she was referred to as Number 64.
At the trophy presentation ceremony, Hardin set the record straight. Turning toward Frazier, Hardin announced, You’re not number 64. You’re number one.
"This was never a dream of mine because it seemed so far away and unattainable," Frazier said after the match ended. "I'm just shocked I'm here and delighted and proud."
In 2001, Hardin was runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Frazier’s biggest title was the 2009 Pennsylvania Senior Women’s Amateur.
The Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 10 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at email@example.com.
Fort Myers, Fla. – Results from Thursday’s championship match of the 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur being contested at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course at Fiddlesticks Country Club.
Mina Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas (149) def. Alexandra Frazier, Haverford, Pa. (165), 2 and 1