U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Five Matches to Watch in the Round of 64
November 12, 2017 | Houston, Texas
By Ron Driscoll
For the first time, the winner of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship will earn an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. The 31st Women’s Mid-Am champion, who will receive automatic entry into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama, will be decided on Thursday, but that player has already passed one test, earning a spot in the 64-player draw for match play.
The final five berths in match play were decided on Monday morning among eight players who tied at 16-over-par 160. Here are some intriguing matchups among the 27 pairings that were already known before the hole-by-hole playoff began at 7 a.m. (all times CST):
Corey Weworski vs. Mallory Hetzel, 8 a.m.
Weworski, 55, of Carlsbad, Calif., is the 2004 Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and she continues to be a factor in this championship, having reached the quarterfinals three times since her victory. She is competing in her 22nd Women’s Mid-Amateur and her 38th USGA championship. Hetzel, 30, was a nationally ranked junior and an All-American at the University of Georgia before joining the coaching ranks, first at Western Carolina University for six seasons and now at Old Dominion University. Last spring, Hetzel was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year in her first year at the Norfolk, Va., school.
Judith Kyrinis vs. Patti Hogeboom, 10:15 a.m.
After finishing as runner-up in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship three years ago, Kyrinis, 53, of Thornhill, Ontario, captured the same championship for her first USGA title in September, defeating fellow Canadian Terrill Samuel in the first USGA match-play final to feature two players from Canada. On Monday, Kyrinis squares off against another Canadian in the Round of 64. Hogeboom, 33, of Kingston, Ontario, is competing in her second consecutive Women’s Mid-Amateur and her sixth overall, after a three-year absence from 2013-15. Hogeboom played college golf at Augusta (Ga.) State and captured the 2011 Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Victoria Fallgren vs. Kelsey Chugg, 10:42 a.m.
Fallgren, 26, of Spokane, Wash., is in her fifth year as the assistant women’s golf coach at Gonzaga University, her alma mater. A three-time All-West Coast Conference selection, she helped the Bulldogs earn their first NCAA tournament berth in 2012. She won this year’s Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur by nine strokes and is competing in her seventh USGA championship. Chugg, 26, of Salt Lake City, Utah, played for Weber State and is the membership director for the Utah Golf Association. She has won the Utah Women’s Amateur title four times, including this year.
Ashley Freeman vs. Kathy Crumley, 11 a.m.
This matchup pits two of the three competitors from Texas who made the match-play bracket (Stacy Dennis is the other). Ashley Freeman, 30, of Houston, was an honorable-mention All-America and All-Big 12 Conference selection at Texas A&M University. Freeman advanced to match play in three consecutive U.S. Girls’ Juniors (2003-05). Crumley, 48, of Dallas, is competing in her 15th USGA championship and 12th Women’s Mid-Am. A volunteer with The First Tee of Dallas, she lettered for four years at LSU. She got into the field late last week as an alternate.
Martha Leach vs. Erin Packer, 12:12 p.m.
One of the last matches of the day is brimming with USGA history. Leach, 55, of Hebron, Ky., won the 2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and is extending her own record this week by competing in her 29th Women’s Mid-Am. The sister of six-time USGA champion and World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Hollis Stacy has reached match play every year but one. Packer, 39, of Peachtree City, Ga., is the daughter of Allen Doyle, the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Senior Open champion and a member of two winning USA Walker Cup Teams (1991, 1993). Packer caddied for her father on PGA Tour Champions from 2000-03 and is competing in her ninth USGA championship.
Ron Driscoll is the manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.