U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Two-Time Champion Potter-Bobb is Medalist for Third Time September 15, 2019 | FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. By Ron Driscoll, USGA

This is the third time Julia Potter-Bobb, 31, has been the stroke-play medalist at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

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What Happened

Julia Potter-Bobb, of Indianapolis, Ind., followed Saturday’s record-tying round of 68 with a 2-under-par 70 on Sunday to post a two-round total of 6-under 138 and earn medalist honors by four strokes in the 33rd U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship on the Meadow Course at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Potter-Bobb, 31, who was medalist or co-medalist twice before and won the championship both times (2013 and 2016), was one of six players to finish 36 holes at 1-under 143 or better. She was joined by 2018 semifinalist Michelle Butler, of Columbia, Mo., and Heather Wall, of Lakeland, Fla., both at 2-under 142 and three players – including defending champion Shannon Johnson, of Easton, Mass. – at 1-under 143.

“I’ve been in these events for so long that anything can happen,” said Potter-Bobb, a left-hander who played on Saturday and Sunday with Johnson and 2017 champion Kelsey Chugg, of Salt Lake City, Utah. “The thing I can say about this round is that I definitely left some out there. I’m sure Shannon and Kelsey would say the same thing. If we all peak at the same time along with other competitors out there, it will be one heck of a tournament.”

Caryn Wilson, 58, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., who joined Potter-Bobb on Saturday in becoming just the third and fourth players to shoot a 68 in stroke play in Women’s Mid-Am history, bogeyed her last two holes on Sunday in a 3-over 75 to join Johnson and Megan Buck, of Easton, Mass., at 1-under 143. Mallory Hetzel, 32, of Virginia Beach, Va., the women’s golf coach at Old Dominion University, was one of three players at even-par 144, while Chugg and 2009 champion Martha Leach were among a group of five players at 1-over 145.

Lauren Greenlief, 29, of Ashburn, Va., the 2015 champion, shot 2-over 146 in stroke play and earned the No. 17 seed, while four-time champion Meghan Stasi, 41, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shot 5-over 149 and is the No. 34 seed. Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port, 57, of St. Louis, Mo., finished at 6-over 150 and is the No. 38 seed. 

What's Next

Six players finished stroke play at 12-over 156, and they will play off at 7:30 a.m. local time for the final spot in the match-play bracket. Whoever emerges from that playoff will be the No. 64 seed and face Potter-Bobb. The Round of 64 will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the Round of 32 and Round of 16 will both be contested on Tuesday.

Notable

Megan Buck, 31, is no stranger to Forest Highlands, having played the course about 10 times while she competed on the women’s golf team at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Buck caddied for Shannon Johnson at this championship in 2016 and 2017 before qualifying for the first time last year at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, Mo. “When I came back this week and stood on the tees, a lot of it came back to me,” said Buck of the Meadow Course, where she shot 71-72 on the weekend. “Funny thing, the fairways seemed a little wider than they did back in the college days. There’s definitely a comfort level – I have my parents here, along with a bunch of our friends from Phoenix who came up to watch.” Buck, who lost to Lea Venable in the Round of 64 last year, earned the No. 5 seed and plays Nora Klein on Monday. “I learned a lot last year. I went into my first match feeling like I had to hit every shot perfect, and you don’t have to, of course. I just need to play my game and stay patient and it’ll all work out.”

Three players who played at Stanford University together advanced into the match-play bracket. Lila (Barton) Thomas, 29, of Dallas, of the class of 2012, earned the No. 13 in seed in match play with a 1-over total of 145. Sydney Ramskill, 29, of Salinas, Calif., also of the class of 2012, earned the No. 27 seed. Marissa Mar, 27, of San Francisco, of the class of 2014, was a semifinalist in 2017 at Champions Golf Club and earned the No. 45 seed.

Seven players from outside the United States advanced to match play, four of them from Canada. The highest seed among the seven is Ket Preamchuen Vanderpool, of Thailand, who earned the No. 24 seed and will play Tina Papatolis, of Canada. Christina Proteau, of Canada, a semifinalist in this championship in 2015 and a quarterfinalist two other times, earned the No. 31 seed and will play four-time champion Meghan Stasi on Monday. Sue Wooster, of Australia, a two-time runner-up in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, earned the No. 42 seed.    

Quotable

“I just hit all my bad shots on the same hole, No. 3, and made a double bogey. I went from bunker to bunker to bunker and afterward, I told my Mom I just wanted to put her to work on some raking jobs.” – Megan Buck, whose mother, Liz, caddied for her

“Patience is key here. Keep making good strokes and good shots, especially with this wind. Today was tough. I really like match play and this is the highest seed I’ve had, so I’m excited going into tomorrow.” – Heather Wall, of Lakeland, Fla., who earned the No. 2 seed at 2-under 142

“Where I made bogeys, I didn’t specifically commit to the line off the tee and was being a little complacent. It will be a fun match-play course. There’s lots of risk and reward. You can take some different angles if you want. The greens are rolling awesome, so there’s tons of birdies to be made.” – defending champion Shannon Johnson

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

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