U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S AMATEUR
Notebook: A Surprise For McGill October 8, 2010 By Ken Klavon, USGA

Lisa McGill (above) welcomed the knowledge that Meghan Stasi imparted on Saturday. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Ft. Myers, Fla. – Lisa McGill had a surprise guest Saturday and certainly not one she fully expected.

Prior to beginning her first round of stroke-play qualifying, McGill caught wind that U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi was going to caddie. In sandals, no less.

I’m definitely going to need to wrap my feet tonight, said Stasi, 32, after the round.

It was happenstance that Stasi, who lives in Oakland Park – about an hour’s drive away – was in the area. She’s playing in the Florida State Mixed-Team Championship at the nearby Plantation Golf and Country Club. Besides that, Stasi promised McGill during a practice round at Wichita Country Club two weeks ago at the Women’s Mid-Amateur that she would caddie if she ever got the chance. The opportunity presented itself Saturday.

When she offered to do it, said McGill, 51, of Philadelphia, Pa., I was taken aback in surprise. She’s such a great player and I would say she was a huge confidence-booster out there today.

The two know one another from their Philadelphia Golf Association newsContents. Stasi grew up in southern New Jersey and rose through the ranks in the Philadelphia area. Caddieing allowed her to see the game from a different perspective.

It wasn’t as relaxing as I thought, said Stasi. It was fun, but it helped me relate to what players go through during a round.

McGill shot a 5-over-par 77, well within sight of the leaders at 73.

McGill won’t be so lucky Sunday. Stasi’s services will be suspended until Monday should McGill make match play because the Mixed-Team concludes Sunday, which Stasi happens to lead.

Scary Moment

Fifty-one-year-old Cindy Gilkeson of Sugarland, Texas, didn’t know what to think when she traveled to Cairo for work recently. She planned on doing touristy things over the three weeks she was scheduled to be there. Until she heard the troubling news that a suicide bomber was spotted in the vicinity. The hotel went into lockdown mode and her company ordered its employees not to leave the premises.

No one was allowed to go anywhere, Gilkeson said. Fortunately for her, the hotel had a golf course. And as luck would have it, she brought her clubs along to while away the time.

I was able to call home and tell everyone everything was OK, said Gilkeson, a certified public accountant.

Even better, her fellow competitors were two men who worked on security for the Egyptian government.

I felt really safe, she added.

Sinking In

What’s a USGA champion to do after winning a championship? Rest might be a good answer, but not the right one for Stasi. Shortly after defeating Carol Robertson at Wichita Country Club in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur final, Stasi and her husband caught a prop plane to Nebraska. She wound up playing 27 holes of golf the day after the victory, at The Sandhills.

Stasi said she catches herself thinking about the win at various times, like during McGill’s round on Saturday. Stasi was able to step back and appreciate the way the USGA runs a championship, which she doesn’t immediately notice while playing because of her deep focus.

Ouch

Lea Anne Brown, 51, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., had difficulty swinging a club Saturday after burning part of her right hand while making breakfast. The friction from her grip soon caused the area to blister. She forged through the pain with a 7-over 79 that put her in a tie for 29th heading into Sunday.

Back Again

Four-time USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion Carol Semple Thompson shot 6-over 78 to get her in solid position to qualify for match play. That suited her just fine.

Maybe you’ll want to talk to me more if I advance, she quipped.

    Ken Klavon is the USGA's Web Editor. E-mail him with questions or comments at kklavon@usga.org.