U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Thompson Charms, Inspires at Women’s Mid-Am September 11, 2016 | Erie, Pa. By Ron Driscoll, USGA

Carol Semple Thompson has won seven USGA championships, including the 1990 and 1997 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateurs. (USGA/Ron Driscoll)

U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur

Carol Semple Thompson was mighty glad she had come.

The women’s amateur golf legend, from Sewickley, Pa., was the principal speaker at Friday’s Players Dinner for the Women’s Mid-Amateur at The Kahkwa Club, and it provided the seven-time USGA champion with an opportunity to share a few laughs and mingle with friends she has made in the game.

“It really was a big reunion,” said Thompson, 67, a World Golf Hall of Famer who was among the first women admitted to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 2015. “I haven’t played in this championship since 2009, and I haven’t been at the Senior Women’s the last couple of years, so I’ve missed a lot of people. It was particularly nice to see 10 or 12 people who are really good friends, and I love to tell stories.”

Thompson’s anecdotes and encouragement included a lighthearted reference to her remarkable longevity in the game. While competing in the match-play bracket of the North & South Women’s Amateur at age 53, she eliminated, in order, players who were 15, 17 and 15 years old. Longtime friend Robin Weiss Donnelley noted after the third match, “Why, Carol, their combined ages don’t add up to yours.”

Carolyn Creekmore is one of several U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur competitors who counts Carol Semple Thompson as a friend. (USGA/Fred Vuich)

“Nobody realizes how funny Carol is,” said Carolyn Creekmore, the 2004 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion, who has known Thompson for more than 30 years. “You don’t know she’s funny because you’re afraid of her or whatever. But everyone admires her, and those of us who are lucky enough to be her friend are just grateful. It’s unusual these days for there to be someone who is that accomplished and that humble.”

“I had played in a few of these events, and I was always in the back, admiring her,” said Corey Weworski, the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. “I had put her on this pedestal and was afraid to approach her for three or four years. I finally got up the nerve to introduce myself. She welcomed me, put her arms around me. She’s such an amazing lady; she just has this aura about her.”

Thompson has a long affiliation with The Kahkwa Club, having won the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur there in 1975 and 1997, and her mother, Phyllis, won the state senior women’s title at Kahkwa in 1975. But Thompson’s stature in the game is derived from much more than a roomful of trophies.

“There are a few great humans, and everyone else is pretty good,” said Creekmore. “She is a great human.”

Ron Driscoll is the manager of the editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org.

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