Hershey, Pa. – Lisa Schlesinger, 54, of Laytonsville, Md., carded a 4-under-par 70 on Saturday on the first day of stroke-play qualifying at the weather-delayed 2012 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at the par-74, 6,220-yard Hershey Country Club. Schlesinger was the only player to break par among those who finished.
Play was suspended at 6:44 p.m. EDT due to darkness with half of the 132-player field still on the course. The championship was delayed for 2 hours, 30 minutes in the afternoon due to heavy rain and lightning. The first round of stroke play will resume on Sunday morning, with the second round to follow.
A group of three players – Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, Mo.; Sydney Wells, 50, of Menominee, Wis.; and Diane Lang, 57, of Weston, Fla. – shot even-par 74 in the morning wave.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, Sept. 13, starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The field will be trimmed from 132 to 64 for the start of match play on Monday.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Schlesinger, who advanced to last year’s Senior Women’s Amateur semifinals, made five birdies, including three consecutive on the front nine, and had one bogey.
With six par 5s, I am drooling, said Schlesinger, who was last year’s stroke-play medalist. I can’t wait to get to the par 5s. Get it in the fairway and I have a really good chance of getting there (in two). I made a lot of putts.
Port, a four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, and Wells are both playing in their first Senior Women’s Amateur. Port opened with birdies on the first three holes, before making a double bogey on the par-5 15th. She rebounded with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole. Wells’ round was highlighted by an eagle on the 373-yard, uphill par-5 13th.
I was just calm, Port said. I took the right amount of time on all my swings. You have to take what the course gives you. And that’s what I did. I just stayed positive.
Added Wells, who made birdies on the 16th and 17th: If someone would have given me a 74 on the first tee this morning, I would have said, ‘Good. We are out of here.’
Lang, who has won three USGA Senior Women’s Amateur championships, also eagled the 13th, but closed with a double-bogey 6 on the 18th.
USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Notebook
From 1978 through 1994, Hershey Country Club hosted the Lady Keystone Open, a hard-fought tournament on the LPGA circuit that produced many champions of note. Seven winners were also USGA champions, including JoAnne Carner, who captured eight USGA titles and two Lady Keystone Opens, and Juli Inkster, who also won here twice and won five USGA championships. Other past USGA champions who won the Lady Keystone at this club are Laura Davies, Amy Alcott, Jan Stephenson, Nancy Lopez and Pat Bradley.
Six countries are represented in the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur field of 132 competitors: The United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Australia and Germany.
At the age of 78, three-time USGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion Marlene Stewart Streit of Canada is the oldest player in the field. While there are a number of newcomers who just turned 50, Jamie Hoffmann of Escondido, Calif., who was born March 31, 1962, is the youngest. Nine players in the field are age 65 or older.
Laura Algiero of White Plains, N.Y., says she tends to moan on the golf course, so much so that her mother calls her, Mona. When Lisa bought a new putter a few years ago, she wanted to give it a name and Mona seemed to fit. Mona is known far and wide in the circles I travel, she said. If I decide to putt with another putter, everyone wants to know where Mona is.
Ellen Port, 50, of St. Louis, and Martha Leach, 50, of Hebron, Ky., rookies in the Senior Women’s Amateur, have impressive USGA playing records. Port is the only four-time winner of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and Leach won the Women’s Mid-Amateur in 2011. Leach introduced her sister, six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy, when Stacy was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this spring.
Hershey, Pa. – Results of Saturday’s first round of stroke play at the 2012 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, played at 6,220-yard, par-74 Hershey Country Club (West Course).
Play was suspended due to darkness at 6:44 p.m. EDT with 66 of the 132-player field still on course. Play was delayed two hours and 30 minutes in the afternoon due to heavy rain and lightning.
Lisa Schlesinger, Laytonsville, Md. - 35-35--70
Ellen Port, St. Louis, Mo. - 36-38--74
Diane Lang, Weston, Fla. - 36-38--74
Sydney Wells, Menominee, Mich. - 39-35--74
Martha Leach, Hebron, Ky. - 38-37--75
Mary Ann Hayward, Canada - 41-35--76
Liz Waynick, Scottsdale, Ariz. - 37-39--76
Terrill Samuel, Canada - 39-38--77
Corey Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif. - 38-39--77
Rachel Moreaux, San Rafael, Calif. - 42-35--77
Barbara Pagana, Selinsgrove, Pa. - 40-37--77
Annette Gaiotti, Salt Lake City, Utah - 40-37--77
Mary Jane Hiestand, Naples, Fla. - 37-40--77
Andrea Kraus, Baltimore, Md. - 38-40--78
Maggie Leef, Elm Grove, Wis. - 40-39--79
Nancy Smith, North Port, Fla. - 41-38--79
Julie Harrison, Baton Rouge, La. - 39-40--79
Claudia Pilot, Austin, Minn. - 41-38--79
Anna Schultz, Rockwall, Texas - 40-40--80
Lecia Alexander, Stafford, Texas - 41-39--80
Jamie Hoffmann, Escondido, Calif. - 40-40--80
Alexandra Frazier, West Conshohocken, Pa. - 38-42--80
Frances Gacos, Flemington, N.J. - 42-38--80
Marianne Towersey, Pebble Beach, Calif. - 39-42--81
Denise Kieffer, University Place, Wash. - 40-41--81
Terri Frohnmayer, Salem, Ore. - 39-42--81
Marykay Thanos-Zordani, Chicago, Ill. - 44-37--81
Angela Stewart, Greenville, N.C. - 40-41--81
Lin McMillan, Palm Coast, Fla. - 41-41--82
Kim Kaul, Boston, N.Y. - 43-39--82
Robyn Puckett, Australia - 42-40--82
Denise Martorana, Sag Harbor, N.Y. - 38-44--82
Laura Carson, Lake Bluff, Ill. - 41-41--82
Terri McAngus, Eagle River, Alaska - 40-43--83
Natalie Easterly, Charlottesville, Va. - 41-42--83
Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas, Texas - 39-44--83
Peggy Brady, Denver, N.C. - 42-41--83
Colette Rosenberg, Pacific Palisades, Calif. - 44-39--83
Laurie Steenrod, Aurora, Colo. - 41-42--83
Genevieve Robinson, La Quinta, Calif. - 43-41--84
Lynda Case, Fort Myers, Fla. - 42-42--84
Marlene Stewart Streit, Canada - 43-41--84
Melanie McCaffery, Huntington Beach, Calif. - 44-40--84
Teresa Cleland, Syracuse, N.Y. - 41-43--84
Martha Lang, Birmingham, Ala. - 44-41--85
Diane Bohl, Kissimmee, Fla. - 44-41--85
Bonnie Fry, Bel Air, Md. - 45-41--86
Connie Bousquet, Birmingham, Ala. - 43-43--86
Arline Hoffman, Alexandria, Va. - 42-44--86
Kathi Lundstrom, Stuart, Fla. - 41-45--86
Helen Stovell, Fairfield, Conn. - 44-43--87
Nancy Schlich, Auburn, Ala. - 44-43--87
Nancy Beck, Dallas, Texas - 45-43--88
Marcia Fisher, Canby, Ore. - 45-43--88
Christine Gagner, North Oxford, Mass. - 44-44--88
Martha Scott, Salt Lake City, Utah - 44-44--88
Patsy Ehret, Stuart, Fla. - 47-42--89
Susan Takai, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. - 47-42--89
Rebecca Reese, San Jose, Calif. - 47-42--89
Karen Mabli, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. - 45-44--89
Beverly Hoffenberg, Greenwood Village, Colo. - 46-44--90
Cathy Jefferson, Centerville, Ohio - 45-46--91
Christine Hunt, Downingtown, Pa. - 48-44--92
Susan Gatewood, Anchorage, Alaska - 49-43--92
Debbie Blount, Atlanta, Ga. - 49-44--93
Claudia Cenko, Beverly Hills, Mich. - 45-49--94