Wichita, Kan. – Before facing Robin Burke in her third-round match Tuesday afternoon, three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Ellen Port intimated that Burke was the best player in the field to have never won the championship.
Port, 49, of St. Louis, then went out and fell to Burke, 48, of Houston, 3 and 1, at the 6,209-yard, par-72 Wichita Country Club.
I made careless mistakes and unforced errors, said Port, the medalist, who had won the 50th match of her Mid-Amateur career earlier in the day, the second-most ever. You can’t do that out there and especially not against Robin.
For Burke, it marks the farthest she’s come since being a semifinalist in 2005, when she lost to Mary Ann Lapointe of Canada.
Through the first 10 holes, neither player led by more than 1 up. It wasn’t until the 414-yard, par-4 13th that Burke started to pull away. Port put two balls in the water, one of them at a critical time on No. 13, when she drove into a nearby pond. Burke didn’t let her off the hook, eventually parring to win the hole. Burke closed out the match on the 156-yard, par-3 17th when Port’s chip from the back side of the green rolled 10 feet past the flagstick.
Burke eliminated two top-echelon players in Mina Hardin, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Port on Tuesday.
I know Ellen’s a good player, and she’s a good friend, said Burke. I respect her a lot and she has one [heck] of a short game.
Other third-round winners included: last year’s runner-up Laura Coble, 46, of Augusta, Ga.; past USGA Women’s Senior Amateur champion Carolyn Creekmore, 58, of Dallas; 27-year-old Carol Robertson of Virginia Beach, Va.; two-time champion Meghan Stasi, 32, of Oakland Park, Fla.; Sydney Wells, 49, of Menominee, Mich.; and 2004 champion Corey Weworski, 48, of Carlsbad, Calif.
In the day’s marquee match, Stasi defeated Kerry Postillion, 47, of Scottsdale, Ariz. – again. It was a rematch of the two 2007 finalists.
When she needed it most, Stasi, who eliminated Marilyn Hardy earlier in the day, arguably played her finest golf over the final three holes. On No. 15, she finessed a 24-foot putt close enough to the hole that Postillion conceded and Stasi went 1 up. Then on the 494-yard par-5 16th, Postillion struck a magnificent approach shot that stopped 8 feet from the flagstick. Not to be outdone, Stasi placed her approach inside Postillion’s. The three-time championship runner-up picked up Stasi’s ball and handed it to her. Stasi was 2 up.
Stasi placed more pressure on Postillion on the 156-yard, par-3 17th hole. With control of the tee, Stasi stuck her 4-iron to within 2 feet of the hole. Postillion’s tee shot stopped 12 feet left of the flagstick. When Postillion reached the green, she conceded the match.
What are you going to do? said Postillion with a shrug. If that’s how you’re going to lose, you want your opponent hitting really good shots.
Stasi, who will face Coble in Wednesday’s quarterfinal round, kept the victory in perspective and said she draws on experience.
It helps, said Stasi. There are a lot of proven players and all of them played well to get here.
For Coble, who ousted past USGA champion Diane Lang, 55, of Weston, Fla., 5 and 4, the road back to the final hasn’t gotten any easier.
No one puts any more pressure on me than myself, said Coble, who lost, 3 and 2, to Martha Leach in last year’s Women’s Mid-Am final and helped Georgia to victory at the 2009 USGA Women’s State Team Championship.
For the second consecutive day, Weworski had to change flight plans. That’s what winning does. She jumped to a 4-up margin through 13 holes against Jennifer Lucas of Knoxville, Tenn. Lucas closed the gap to two holes before conceding the match on No. 17.
After failing to qualify for match play the year following her victory, in 2004, Weworski is motivated to climb to the top rung again. Her son, Tyler, a golfer at Texas Tech, has kept her motivated with text messages like Stay positive now and Enjoy the ride.
I’m excited, said Weworski, who faces Burke next. I am having fun.
The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, followed by the 18-hole final Thursday.
The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Story written by Ken Klavon, Web editor for the USGA. E-mail him with questions or comments at email@example.com.
Round of 32 Results
Ellen Port, St Louis, Mo. (146) def. Tara Joy-Connelly, Pembroke, Mass. (156), 2 and 1
Robin Burke, Houston, Texas (153) def. Mina Hardin, Ft Worth, Texas (154), 3 and 2
Jennifer Lucas, Knoxville, Tenn. (151) def. Wendi Golden, Bradenton, Fla. (158), 2 and 1
Corey Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif. (155) def. Linda Jeffery, Abilene, Texas (161), 4 and 2
Sydney Wells, Menominee, Mich. (156) def. Amber Marsh Elliott, Greensboro, N.C. (162), 3 and 1
Kelly Wilson, Cameron Park, Calif. (152) def. Meredith Chiampa, New York, N.Y. (154), 7 and 5
Carol Robertson, Virginia Beach, Va. (150) def. Alexandra Casi, East Palestine, Ohio (156), 3 and 2
Diane Irvin, Pacific Palisades, Calif. (159) def. Martha Linscott, Kansas City, Mo. (154), 4 and 2
Katy Treadwell, Oklahoma City, Okla. (147) def. Lea Venable, Simpsonville, S.C. (156), 4 and 3
Brooke Williams, Fort Worth, Texas (159) def. Brenda Kuehn, Asheville, N.C. (159), 3 and 2
Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas, Texas (151) def. Thuhashini Selvaratnam, Sri Lanka (157), 19 holes
Kim Eaton, Greeley, Colo. (158) def. Akemi Khaiat, Japan (160), 5 and 4
Meghan Stasi, Oakland Park, Fla. (147) def. Marilyn Hardy, Houston, Texas (156), 4 and 3
Kerry Postillion, Scottsdale, Ariz. (153) def. Tanya Olson, Naperville, Ill. (159), 6 and 5
Diane Lang, Jamaica (162) def. Dawn Woodard, Greer, S.C. (155), 19 holes
Laura Coble, Augusta, Ga. (152) def. Linda Pearson, Glendale, Calif. (158), 2 and 1
Round of 16 Results
Robin Burke, Houston, Texas (153) def. Ellen Port, St Louis, Mo. (146), 3 and 1
Corey Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif. (155) def. Jennifer Lucas, Knoxville, Tenn. (151), 2 and 1
Sydney Wells, Menominee, Mich. (156) def. Kelly Wilson, Cameron Park, Calif. (152), 3 and 2
Carol Robertson, Virginia Beach, Va. (150) def. Diane Irvin, Pacific Palisades, Calif. (159), 4 and 3
Brooke Williams, Fort Worth, Texas (159) def. Katy Treadwell, Oklahoma City, Okla. (147), 6 and 5
Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas, Texas (151) def. Kim Eaton, Greeley, Colo. (158), 3 and 2
Meghan Stasi, Oakland Park, Fla. (147) def. Kerry Postillion, Scottsdale, Ariz. (153), 2 and 1
Laura Coble, Augusta, Ga. (152) def. Diane Lang, Jamaica (162), 5 and 4