It was a long day in bright autumn sunshine for the remaining competitors in the 2013 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at CordeValle Golf Resort in San Martin, with the rounds of 32 and 16 both being played today. The first match in the round of 32 went off this morning at 8:00 AM, and the last match in the round of 16 finished up in shadow as the sun was sinking below the Santa Cruz Mountains.
At the end of the day, medalist Akemi Khaiat, 50, of Japan, had been retired from the competition – losing in the round of 32 to Lisa McGill, 54, of Philadelphia, PA – and McGill was herself retired by 2012 champion Ellen Port, 52, a high school teacher from St Louis, MO, who is three matches away from retaining her title.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship is no Ladies’ Club scramble at your local golf club – a field of 132 competitors play 36 holes of stroke-play golf to cut the field down to sixty-four for the match play finals, and winning through to the final rounds means facing two days of two rounds of one-on-one match play, a mentally and physically demanding competition.
The weather for today’s matches was sunny and mild, but a weak front which moved into the Bay Area this afternoon brought gusty winds of up to 15 mph for the afternoon matches.
Port, who has five USGA titles to her credit, got off to a strong start in her afternoon round against McGill, winning three of the first four holes, and eventually closing out the match 6 and 5. Port, who has been selected to captain the 2014 USA Curtis Cup team, is playing in her second USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, and is now 9-0 in match play.
The defending champion has a positive outlook going forward into the quarterfinal matches on Wednesday. “I feel confident,” she said, “and, I love windy conditions. I am able to knock some shots down and I think I managed the wind better this afternoon.”
The only two Northern California players still in the field were both eliminated in this morning’s second round. Lynne Cowan, 50, of Rocklin, a golf sales representative who attended San Jose State, lost to Tanna Richard, 56, of Fort Smith, AR, 2 and 1. Marianne Towersey, 62, of Pebble Beach was defeated by Susan Cohn, 52, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, 2 and 1.
Quarterfinal matches begin Wednesday morning at 8:00, with Ellen Port meeting Marilyn Hardy, of Houston, TX, in the morning’s first match. Subsequent matches pit Liz Waynick, of Scottsdale, AZ against Mary Jane Hiestand, of Naples, FL; 2009 champion Mina Hardin, of Fort Worth, TX against Caryn Wilson, of Rancho Mirage, CA; and Corey Weworski of Carlsbad, CA, against Susan Cohn of Palm Beach Gardens, FL.