U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Welch Vies for Success on the Course, in the Boardroom October 5, 2015 | Choudrant, La. By Stuart Hall

Tracy Welch comes from a family with deep ties to the game, and has played at a very high level while climbing the corporate ladder. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

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Underneath Tracy Welch's disappointment of losing in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Round of 64 still burns the passion of playing for a national championship.

In 2007, Welch reached the Round of 16, “so I was trying to do at least as good as that,” said Welch, 44, of Winchester, Mass., who lost, 4 and 3, to Shelly Stouffer, 44, of Canada. "I don’t have a ton of time for golf these days, but I was as well prepared as I could be."

Welch played well enough to advance to match play, shooting 19-over-par 161 to tie for 41st in stroke play at Squire Creek Country Club.

Welch’s ties to USGA championships run deep. This marked her 10th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and 18th championship overall. Along the way, she has also played in a U.S. Girls’ Junior, a U.S. Women’s Open and six U.S. Women’s Amateurs.

"Oh, yeah. This was like the highlight of my golf season. Definitely. I was thrilled when I made it through the qualifier and psyched last night when I made the cut,” she said.

In addition to being a win away from reaching the 2007 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur’s quarterfinals when she was five months pregnant with her third child, Welch received national acclaim in October of that year when she was selected to Golf Digest’s list of best golfers on Wall Street. 

Initially when the magazine called, Welch was under the impression someone was just trying to renew her subscription.

“But then I was like, ‘Wait, this person knows way too much about me,’” said Welch, currently the managing director of Credit Suisse’s equity division in Boston. Welch, who plays to a 1 handicap, was ranked the best female golfer and 25th overall.

“I bought like 1,000 copies of the Golf Digest issue that I still have. I didn’t really earn any notoriety from it. No one really knew about it other than the people I told.”

Welch comes from a golfing family. Her mother, Jane Faxon Welch, competed in two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateurs and her cousin is eight-time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon.

On Sunday evening, after learning she had advanced to match play, the cousins traded text messages. Welch, a two-time Massachusetts State Amateur champion, also poached a free lesson while visiting him as his course architecture company, Faxon and Booth Golf Design, renovated Woods Hole Golf Club on Cape Cod.

Having lost on Monday, Welch faced the prospect of having to text him the result. It was not quite the news she wanted to deliver, but she was already looking ahead to next year.

Stuart Hall is a North Carolina-based freelance writer whose work frequently appears on USGA websites.

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