An Inside Look at the Field September 7, 2016 | Far Hills, N.J.

Emilie Meason, a four-time All-America honoree for the University of Georgia, makes her Women's Mid-Amateur debut at The Kahkwa Club. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Home

The average age of the Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors is 43.13 years old.

The youngest player in the championship is Alex Carl, of Union, Ky., who turned 25 on Aug. 26. There are three other competitors in their first year of championship eligibility: Sarah Mathews, 25, of Nashville, Tenn.; Emilie Meason, 25, of Atlanta, Ga.; and Paloma Nunez, 25, of Ecuador.

The oldest player in the championship is Beatriz Arenas, 68, of Guatemala.

Field by age: 25-29, 23 players; 30-34, 21 players; 35-39, eight players; 40-44, 13 players; 45-49, 19 players; 50-54, 22 players; 55-59, 19 players; 60-64, five players; 65-69; two players.

There are eight countries represented at the championship: Australia (1), Canada (6), Colombia (1), Ecuador (1), Guatemala (1), the Republic of Korea (1), Mexico (1) and the United States of America (120).

There are 36 states represented at the championship: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (14), Colorado (3), Connecticut (2), Delaware (1), Florida (10), Georgia (8), Hawaii (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (5), Indiana (2), Kansas (2), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (4), Michigan (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (4), Nevada (2), New Jersey (4), New York (3), North Carolina (5), Ohio (1), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (8), South Carolina (2), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (12), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (2) and Wisconsin (1).

There are 10 USGA champions in the field:

  • Carolyn Creekmore, 64, of Dallas, Texas (2004 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Robin Weiss Donnelley, 62, of Palm Beach, Fla. (1989 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Lauren Greenlief, 25, of Reston, Va. (2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Mina Hardin, 56, of Mexico (2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Martha Leach, 54, of Hebron, Ky. (2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Julia Potter, 28, of Indianapolis, Ind. (2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Anna Schultz, 61, of Heath, Texas (2007 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Margaret Shirley-Starosto, 30, of Woodstock, Ga. (2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Meghan Stasi, 38, of Oakland Park, Fla. (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Corey Weworski, 54, of Carlsbad, Calif. (2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)

There are 11 USGA runner-ups in the field:

  • Robin Burke, 53, of Houston, Texas (1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur)
  • Carolyn Creekmore (2009 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Robin Weiss Donnelley (1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Jane Fitzgerald, 54, of Kensington, Md. (2012 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Mina Hardin (2001 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur; 2011 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Brenda Corrie Kuehn, 51, of Asheville, N.C. (1995 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Judith Kyrinis, 52, of Canada (2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Martha Leach (2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Julia Potter (2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)
  • Anna Schultz (2000 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur; 2006 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur)
  • Margaret Shirley-Starosto (2013, 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)

Three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors played on a winning team in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship:

  • Robin Weiss Donnelley (1999, Florida)
  • Emilie Meason (2015, Georgia)
  • Margaret Shirley-Starosto (2015, Georgia)

Four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors have represented the USA in the Curtis Cup Match:

  • Robin Burke (1998; captain 2016)
  • Brenda Corrie Kuehn (1996, 1998)
  • Robin Weiss Donnelley (1990, 1992, 2000)
  • Meghan Stasi (2008)

Three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors have represented their home countries in the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship:

  • Audrey Akins, 49, of Canada (1988)
  • Beatriz Arenas, 68, of Guatemala (1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  • Brenda Corrie Kuehn, 51, of Asheville, N.C. (1986, Dominican Republic; 1996, 1998, USA)

Three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors played in the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur contested at The Kahkwa Club:

  • Margaret Shirley-Starosto (reached the Round of 16, where she lost to current LPGA Tour player Sun Young Yoo)
  • Meghan Stasi (missed the cut, eliminated in playoff for final spots)
  • Katrin Wolfe, 32, of Johnstown, Pa. (missed the cut)

Three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors will celebrate a birthday during the championship:
  • Robin Burke (Sept. 14, turning 54)
  • Colleen Estes, 27, of Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 13, turning 28)
  • Lauren Greenlief (Sept. 13, turning 26)

General Player Notes

Emily Abernathy, 27, of Birmingham, Ala., became a United States citizen on July 22, 2016, and now holds dual citizenship in the USA and Canada. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of Montevallo, and in the same year, she became the first player in Peach Belt Conference history to qualify for the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship.

Audrey Akins, 49, of Canada, won the Canadian Junior Girls Championship in 1980 at age 13, making her the youngest winner in championship history. She was a member of the Canadian Team that won a gold medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games, an Olympic-style competition for countries that were traditionally associated with the former British Empire. Akins, a 1989 graduate of the University of Oklahoma who works as an English teacher, won the 2016 Michigan Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

Beatriz Arenas, 68, of Guatemala, is an award-winning artist, specializing in oil paintings.

Marcy Austin, 52, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., was featured on the cover of a Japanese golf magazine in July 1985 as she was preparing to play on the Japan Tour. Her husband was the bass player for Spiral Starecase, a band that produced the hit single “More Today Than Yesterday.” She was also a stage actress who performed in the Los Angeles area from 1997 to 2001, and is now a vice president of sales and marketing for an insurance company.

Robin Burke, 53, of Houston, Texas, is a three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur semifinalist and was a member of the victorious 1998 USA Curtis Cup Team. She served as captain of the 2016 USA Curtis Cup Team, which in June lost to the GB&I Team at Dun Laoghaire Golf Club in Enniskerry, Ireland. She has also competed in three U.S. Women’s Opens. Burke is married to two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr. The Burkes own Houston’s famed Champions Golf Club, where Robin serves as vice president. In October, Burke will be inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

Julie Carmichael, 52, of Avon, Ind., is a healthcare and real estate executive and strategist. Along with her father, 1961 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist and former Indiana University golf coach Sam Carmichael, she owns the Martinsville (Ind.) Golf Club. Julie won the 1986 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship while attending Stanford University. She was inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame in 2005 and has won numerous Indiana Golf Association and Indiana Women’s Golf Association championships.

Elizabeth Corcoran-Hunt, 39, of Boston, Mass., is a legislative aide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Her father and grandfather, Kenneth F. Corcoran Jr. and Kenneth F. Corcoran Sr., both competed in USGA amateur championships, and Corcoran-Hunt is thrilled to qualify for her first championship and carry on the family tradition. Corcoran-Hunt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 9, and enjoys running to help manage her health. She has run the Boston, Dublin and New York marathons, and has run in support of the Barton Center, a summer camp for children dealing with the disease.

Staci Creech, 43, of Bangor, Maine, has deep family connections to the USGA, the game of golf and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Her father, John M. Aber, was a longtime USGA Rules official and committee member who passed away in October 2015. He lived in Creech’s hometown of Greensburg, Pa., and had hoped to watch his daughter compete so close to home. Her brother, John A. Aber, is the head golf professional at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley, Pa., just outside Pittsburgh. Her husband (and Women’s Mid-Amateur caddie), Karlton Creech, is the director of athletics at University of Maine. Karlton was on the bag when Staci won the 2015 and 2016 Maine Women’s Amateur Championships, and the duo paired to win the 2015 Maine State Mixed Team Championship.

Carolyn Creekmore, 64, of Dallas, Texas, was inducted into the Arkansas and Texas golf halls of fame in 2010. She tore her rotator cuff in 2014 and had to take the entire year off from playing golf.

Lauren Cupp, 31, of Rome, N.Y., is the assistant men’s and women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Hamilton College in upstate New York. During her undergraduate years at Hamilton, Cupp helped start the women’s golf club program, which has since been elevated to a varsity sport, and also competed for the volleyball and track and field teams. Cupp was runner-up to fellow U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitor Gretchen Johnson in the 2015 Speedgolf World Championship, which was conducted at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill., shooting a 21-over 93 in just 58 minutes. Cupp and her husband Wesley, a golf professional who also competes in Speedgolf competitions, are currently expecting their second child, joining 2½-year-old daughter Leslie.

Kay Daniel, 45, of Covington, La., won the 2005 Louisiana Women’s Amateur and has won eight Louisiana Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Daniel, an orthodontist, finished runner-up in the 2015 Louisiana Women’s Amateur.

Charlotte Daughan, 32, of Orlando, Fla., owns a women’s golf accessory line called Blingo Ball Marks. She is the two-time defending champion of the Florida State Golf Association’s Women’s International Four-Ball Championship, teaming with Katie Miller in 2016 and Sarah Matin in 2015, both of whom are fellow U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitors. She was runner-up in the 2014 Florida Women’s Amateur Championship, and with her husband, Ben, was runner-up in the 2014 Florida State Golf Association Mixed Team Championship. She was a four-time Division II national player of the year at Rollins College, where her husband also played golf. Both Daughans work at Golf Channel, with Ben serving as a producer for Golf Central and Charlotte working in customer relations for GolfNow.com.

Jane Fitzgerald, 54, of Kensington, Md., is a buyer and operations manager at Chevy Chase Club, where her husband, Jim, is the head golf professional. She also owns her own company, selling items featuring golf illustrations and working with the Trawick Foundation, which serves nonprofit organizations in Maryland’s Montgomery County. Fitzgerald is a five-time Maryland Women’s Amateur champion and won the 2001 Maryland Women’s Open Championship.

Debbie Hall Friede, 56, of Washougal, Wash., spent six years on the LPGA Tour before receiving her amateur reinstatement in 2005. She is the marketing and membership director for Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Wash., after spending time at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf and Nike Golf.

Lauren Greenlief, 25, of Reston, Va., is a three-time Virginia State Golf Association Stroke-Play champion, winning the 2010 title on the seventh playoff hole. Greenlief, a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group who in 2015 became the youngest winner in U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur history, received an exemption into the LPGA Tour’s 2016 Kingsmill Championship. 

Mina Hardin, 56, of Mexico, was the first Mexican woman to play on the LPGA Tour and the first Mexican-born USGA champion. A reinstated amateur since 1991, she has twice won the Texas Women’s Amateur and was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.

Olivia Herrick, 28, of Roseville, Minn., has won multiple Minnesota Golf Association and Minnesota Women’s Public Golf Association championships, including the 2009 Women’s Amateur and 2016 Women’s Match-Play championships. Herrick, who serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Golf Association, runs her own graphic design studio, and also coaches a high school varsity golf team.

Annie Hogan, 28, of Medford, Mass., has only been playing golf for five years and admits she is still learning about the game. Hogan was a hockey standout and was a two-time captain for Northeastern University’s women’s hockey team before playing professionally for the Boston Blades of the CWHL. She currently works as a hockey instructor for EdgeWorks Hockey.

Connie Isler, 32, of Las Vegas, Nev., previously served as the head women’s golf coach at her alma mater, Georgetown University, where at age 21 she set a record as the youngest head coach for any NCAA Division I sports team. She now works as a software client leader for NASA and the Department of Energy on behalf of IBM. Isler won the Maryland State Golf Association’s 2015 Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

Amanda Jacobs, 28, of Portland, Ore., spent two years in Japan working as an English teacher.

Gretchen Johnson, 30, of Portland, Ore., has run in 10 marathons, including four Boston Marathons. She combines her loves of running and golf by competing in the Speedgolf World Championship. Johnson won the 2014 and 2015 events, shooting a 12-over 84 in just over 55 minutes on the Bandon Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Golf Club in 2014 and a 14-over 86 in 52 minutes at The Glen Club in Illinois in 2015. She also participated in the 2015 Ultra Speed Golf Challenge, which raised money for the nonprofit organization A Cure in Sight. She completed 171 holes in 12 hours at Napa Golf Course in Northern California.

Annie Hogan was a standout hockey player while competing for Northeastern University, and picked up golf after her college years. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

Tara Joy-Connelly, 43, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was named the Massachusetts Golf Association Player of the Decade for 2000-2009 and made the semifinals of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. In 2015, Joy-Connelly won the Florida State Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur Stroke-Play and Women’s Mid-Amateur championships.

Kim Kaul, 58, of Colden, N.Y., won the 2015 New York Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. She was a four-sport athlete as a high school student in western New York, played basketball at Canisius College and spent her career as a high school softball and basketball coach and physical education teacher. Kaul, a competitive softball player who was invited to the 1992 Olympic Trials, was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Kim Keyer-Scott, 48, of Bonita Springs, Fla., started playing golf at age 30, learning the game while living in Belgium for her husband’s job. Four years later and back in the United States, she enrolled at Northern Kentucky University and became a freshman on the women’s golf team at age 34. She was the NCAA Division II Freshman of the Year in 2002, and earned All-America and Academic All-America honors all four years. Keyer-Scott was inducted into Northern Kentucky’s athletic hall of fame in 2013.

Andrea Kraus, 55, of Baltimore, Md., played on the Yale University men’s golf team until a women’s program started her junior year. She later earned a law degree from Columbia University. Kraus has volunteered at a domestic violence legal clinic, and currently volunteers for an organization that provides free loans to people in need.

Brenda Corrie Kuehn, 51, of Asheville, N.C., played in the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open eight months pregnant with her second daughter, Rachel. She gave birth one week after the conclusion of the championship. Earlier this year, Rachel joined her mother as a USGA competitor when she played in the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Judith Kyrinis, 52, of Canada, won the 2015 and 2016 Senior Women’s North & South Championships. She recorded a hole-in-one while 8½ months pregnant with her oldest child, and is currently a registered nurse at Toronto General Hospital.

Martha Leach, 54, of Hebron, Ky., is the sister of six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy and the 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. Leach introduced her sister at her 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and Leach was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 2015. She competed with her daughter, Madison Gerstle, in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015 at Bandon Dunes.

Katie Manor, 32, of Dallas, Texas, is the foundation coordinator for the Northern Texas PGA Section. She manages the Fairway to Success program, which is conducted at three Dallas-area high schools and exposes juniors to the game of golf and “the life lessons of discipline, honor and integrity that are central to the game.” Manor, an avid runner who completed her first triathlon last fall, is expecting her second son in February 2017. She and her husband, Rob, who won the 1997 Southern Amateur Championship, have a 4-year-old named Will.  

Kareen Markle, 54, of Meridian, Idaho, is a three-time Pacific Northwest Golf Association Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and three-time Idaho Senior Women’s Amateur champion. She is a registered nurse and also serves as a volunteer golf coach at Mountain View High School.

Sarah Matin, 34, of Winter Garden, Fla., competed in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur while pregnant. This year, she is excited to travel to the championship with her 5-month-old son, Andrew. She is a civil engineer, and currently serves as treasurer of the Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 2015, she partnered with fellow U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitor Charlotte Daughan to win the Florida State Golf Association’s International Four-Ball Championship.

Courtney McKim, 26, of Raleigh, N.C., was a member of the University of Alabama team that won the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship. She is now a project manager for real estate and indirect sourcing for ConvaTec, a global medical products and technologies company.

Emilie Meason, 25, of Atlanta, Ga., was a four-time All-American for the University of Georgia, where one of her coaches was fellow U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur competitor Margaret Shirley-Starosto.

Janet Moore, 52, of Centennial, Colo., and her husband, Kent, served as the women’s and men’s (respectively) golf coaches at Wheaton (Ill.) College from 2011-15. She has won five Colorado Women’s Stroke-Play Championships and was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2001; Kent was inducted in 2004.

Elizabeth Payne, 40, of Flossmoor, Ill., is not the only member of her family competing in a USGA championship this week. Her husband, Brian Payne, qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, which is being conducted at Stonewall in Elverson, Pa., concurrently with the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Both Paynes are playing in their first Mid-Amateurs.

Julia Potter, 28, of Indianapolis, Ind., won the 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015 Indiana Women’s Amateur and 2016 Indiana Women’s Open championships. She is the director of marketing for the Indiana Golf Office and was a 2008 P.J. Boatwright Intern for the Missouri Golf Association. Potter was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager and underwent the same back surgery as LPGA star Stacy Lewis.

Christina Proteau, 33, of Canada, is a five-time Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and has won three British Columbia Women’s Amateurs and five British Columbia Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Proteau, a prosecutor for the British Columbia Ministry of Justice, qualified for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur while six months pregnant, and all four of her matches went to 19 holes. Her son, Jameson, is 21 months old.

Tanna Richard, 59, of Fort Smith, Ark., was inducted into the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2006. She won back-to-back Arkansas Girls’ Junior titles in 1973 and 1974, and the 1980 Arkansas State Match Play and 1996 Arkansas State Stroke Play championships. She was also a quarterfinalist in the inaugural 1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. She played for the University of Missouri golf team under her maiden name, Lee.

Anna Schultz, 61, of Rockwall, Texas, won the 2013 Texas Women’s Open Senior Championship, as well as numerous other state events. She was one of eight people inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2013, including 1981 U.S. Open champion David Graham and CBS golf and NFL television producer Lance Barrow.

Maureen Sheehan, 58, of Grayslake, Ill., is the executive director of the Lake Forest Swim Club. Among her students are Olympic gold-medal swimmers Conor Dwyer and Matt Grevers.

Claire Sheldon, 28, of Somerville, Mass., runs her own business, Perspective Student-Athlete College Counseling, which helps high school athletes with the college recruitment process. Sheldon is a two-time Massachusetts Women’s Amateur champion and played on Harvard University’s first Ivy League championship team in 2008.

Margaret Shirley-Starosto, 30, of Woodstock, Ga., is the executive director of Atlanta Junior Golf, a golf organization that hosts 90 one-day golf tournaments in the summer for kids ages 7-18. Shirley began her competitive career in an Atlanta Junior Golf event. She has represented the USA in the last two South American Amateur Championships.

Meghan Stasi, 38, of Oakland Park, Fla., won the 2012 Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship, as well as the 2010 and 2012 Florida Women’s Amateurs and 2013, 2014 and 2016 Florida Women’s Mid-Amateurs. She represented the USA in the 2015 South American Amateur Championship, where she finished eighth. Stasi and her husband, Danny, own a seafood restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Sydney Wells, 54, of Menominee, Mich., is a four-time Wisconsin Women’s State Golf Association Mid-Amateur champion and a three-time Senior Amateur champion. She has been named the Wisconsin State Golf Association (WSGA) Player of the Year four times, and was inducted into the WSGA Hall of Fame in 2012.

Brenda Williams, 56, of Minnetrista, Minn., is a graphic designer and created the clover logo for Erin Hills, which will host the 2017 U.S. Open Championship. She has won numerous Wisconsin State Golf Association and Wisconsin Women’s State Golf Association titles, most recently the 2015 Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.

Caryn Wilson, 55, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., is one of two women to compete in a U.S. Open championship in both golf and tennis, joining only Althea Gibson. Wilson, a reinstated amateur, was a three-time All-America selection in tennis at Stanford University, leading her team to a national title in 1982.

Dawn Woodard, 42, of Greenville, S.C., is a highly decorated player in the Carolinas region. In 2015, she won her sixth Women’s South Carolina Golf Association’s Amateur Championship. She also won the 2011 and 2012 Carolinas Women’s Match Play Championships, the 2010-12 Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Match Play Championships and the 2012 WSCGA Stroke Play Championship. She was the 2012 Carolinas Women’s Player of the Year.

Compiled by Christina Lance, USGA manager of championship communications. Email her at clance@usga.org.

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