U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Quarterfinals Set at The Kahkwa Club
September 13, 2016 | Erie, Pa.
By Christina Lance, USGA
Three past champions are among the eight players who advanced to the quarterfinals on Tuesday in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, being conducted on the 6,052-yard, par-72 Kahkwa Club.
In the match of the championship thus far, four-time champion Meghan Stasi, 38, of Oakland Park, Fla., earned a hard-fought 2-up win over Emilie Meason, 25, of Atlanta, Ga. In a Round-of-16 match that featured a combined 10 birdies – including five winning birdies over the opening eight holes – it was Stasi’s 24-footer on the par-3 15th that proved to be the decisive stroke.
“(Emilie) was getting up and down from everywhere,” said Stasi, who previously took the title in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012. “I’m not getting down on myself, so I knew at some point I was going to make a putt. It just snuck in there.”
Should she take the title on Thursday, Stasi would become the first five-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur winner, and would join only JoAnne Gunderson Carner, Carolyn Cudone, Bob Jones and Glenna Collett Vare as five-time winners of the same USGA championship. Stasi, however, refused to look too far ahead at the historic possibility.
“I’ve been in the same situation the last few years and you’ve just got to keep fighting,” said Stasi, who eliminated Carmen Titus by a 7-and-5 margin in Tuesday morning’s Round of 32.
Stasi’s quarterfinal opponent will be Patricia Schremmer, at age 51 the championship’s oldest remaining competitor. Schremmer, of Honolulu, Hawaii, notched a 5-and-4 win over Renata Young in the Round of 32, and knocked off 2015 semifinalist Christina Proteau, 2 and 1, in the Round of 16.
“To be this far is really a treat,” said Schremmer, a reinstated amateur who now travels the world with her three daughters, who compete in international surfing competitions. “I love this game. I don’t get to compete much, so I’m just taking advantage of getting to play another day.”
Past champions Julia Potter and Margaret Shirley-Starosto joined Stasi in the quarterfinals. Potter, the 2013 champion and 2014 runner-up, needed a marathon 19 holes in the Round of 32 to eliminate Audrey Akins. Potter’s Round-of-16 match with 2015 semifinalist Whitney Britton, however, got off to a very different start. Potter birdied the par-3 11th for a 6-up lead, but Britton promptly carded birdies of her own at holes 12 and 13 to pull within striking distance.
"[Whitney] is a really long hitter, so I knew she was going to be able to hit No. 12 in two and I have not been able to do that,” said Potter, who ultimately earned the 4-and-3 victory over Britton. “What was really big for me was making that putt on 11, because I felt that if I was able to get to 6 up, that just in case I did lose 12, 13, 14 … I would still give myself a good setup for the final holes."
Potter’s quarterfinal opponent will be Katie Miller, 31, of Jeannette, Pa. Miller, the last remaining Pennsylvanian in the field, needed all 18 holes in her 1-up win over Kristyl Sunderman in the Round of 32, but she handily beat 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Martha Leach, 7 and 5, in the Round of 16.
Shirley-Starosto, who beat Potter in the 2014 final and was runner-up in 2013 and 2015, made quick work of her two rounds on Tuesday. She never trailed in either victory, eliminating Jordan Craig, 4 and 3, in the Round of 32, and cruising to a 5-and-4 win over Maggie Leef in the Round of 16.
Should she reach the championship match, Shirley-Starosto would become just the fifth player in history to reach a USGA final at least four years in a row. But like Stasi, Shirley-Starosto knows that history must wait.
“Sure (the thought) is there, but that’s not making me nervous standing over a putt,” said Shirley-Starosto. “But it’s always in your head. I’ve had a really good four years. To make it to the quarters again is a great feat. I’m just happy to be here.”
Next up for Shirley-Starosto is top-seeded Shannon Johnson, 33, of Norton, Mass. Johnson, who shared stroke-play medalist honors with Potter, started her day with a 5-and-4 win over Katrin Wolfe, and earned an equally smooth 3-and-2 victory over Kayla Eckelcamp in the Round of 16.
Olivia Herrick and Amanda Jacobs will face off in the fourth quarterfinal in a battle of 28-year-olds. Herrick, of Roseville, Minn., had the longest day of the championship. She battled back from early 2-down deficits in both her matches, advancing to the Round of 16 with a 20-hole victory over 2004 champion Corey Weworski, then taking a 2-up win over Liliana Ruiz in the Round of 32. On the other hand, Jacobs, of Portland, Ore., never trailed en route to her wins over Eleana Collins, 3 and 2, and Dawn Woodard, and 1 up.
All eight quarterfinalists are fully exempt into the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which will be conducted Oct. 7-12 at Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla.
The 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA), is open to female amateur golfers who are at least 25 years of age and who have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 9.4. It consists of two 18-hole rounds of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play starting on Monday, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday.