32nd U.S. Women's Mid-Am: Get to Know the Field September 19, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By Julia Pine, USGA

Olivia Herrick is looking to break through after advancing to the semifinals in 2016 and the quarterfinals last year. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

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Oldest Competitors: Annette Gaiotti (65, born 4-10-53), Anna Schultz (63, born 8-8-55), Brenda Pictor (63, born 8-19-55)

Youngest Competitors: Cathleen Wong (25, born 8-5-93), Michelle Butler (25, born 7-5-93), Christie Cates (25, born 6-28-93), Arielle Swan (25, born 6-7-93), Beau Bremer (born 4-24-93), Katie Kirk (25, born 2-24-93), Camry Tardy (25, born 1-11-93), Clare Connolly (25, born 11-20-92)

Average Age of Field: 38.67

U.S. States Represented – There are 32 states and the District of Columbia represented in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur: Texas (11), California (10), Georgia (9), Florida (7), Missouri (7), North Carolina (6), Illinois (5), Pennsylvania (5), Virginia (5), Minnesota (4), South Carolina (4), Wisconsin (4), Indiana (3), Massachusetts (3), New York (3), Ohio (3), Utah (3), Arizona (2), Colorado (2), Hawaii (2), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (2), Maryland (2), Nebraska (2), Oregon (2), Tennessee (2), Alabama (1), Connecticut (1), District of Columbia (1), Delaware (1), Kansas (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1),

International – There are nine countries represented in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur: United States (118), Canada (5), Mexico (4), Italy (1), Republic of Ireland (1), Singapore (1), Sri Lanka (1), Vatican City (1), Vietnam (1)

USGA Champions (11): Kelsey Chugg (2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Lauren Greenlief (2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Judith Kyrinis (2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur), Martha Leach (2009 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Mina Hardin (2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur), Ellen Port (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and 2012, 2013, 2016 U.S Senior Women’s Amateur), Julia Potter-Bobb (2013 and 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Margaret Starosto (2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Anna Schultz (2007 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur), Meghan Stasi (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Corey Weworski (2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur)

Players in Field with Most U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Appearances (2018 included) – Martha Leach (30), Robin Burke (24), Mina Hardin (24), Ellen Port (24), Corey Weworski (23), Mary Jane Hiestand (21), Dawn Woodard (17)

Played in 2018 U.S. Women’s Open (1): Kelsey Chugg (MC)

Played in 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (10): Marilyn Hardy (MC), Mary Jane Hiestand (MC), Judith Kyrinis (MC)Martha Leach (T-10); Janet Moore (MC), Brenda Pictor (MC), Ellen Port (T-33); Patricia Schremmer (T-23), M.K. Thanos-Zordani (MC)

Played in Curtis Cup Match (3)Robin Burke (1998, Captain in 2016), Ellen Port (1994 and 1996, Captain in 2014), Meghan Stasi (2008)


Jeanne Barton, 36, of Alexandria, Va., is a real estate agent and is competing in her first USGA championship. While Barton played collegiate golf at the University of Notre Dame, she has not played competitively in more than 10 years. Her husband, Gary, was a member of the golf team at the College of William and Mary and the two have three children.

Kim Benedict, 37, of Bonita Springs, Fla., is competing in her fifth USGA championship, advancing to the Round of 32 in the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Benedict, who played her collegiate golf at the University of Michigan, teaches at Gulf Coast High School, where she is also the boys’ golf coach. Last year, she led the Gulf Coast team to its first boys golf state championship and was named the 2017 Florida Boys Coach of the Year.

Sue Billek Nyhus, 55, of Orem, Utah, was, until this year, the only player to compete in every female USGA championship: Girls’ Junior, Women’s Amateur Public Links, Women’s Amateur, Women’s Open, Women’s Mid-Amateur, Senior Women’s Amateur, Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and Women’s State Team. The only championship missing is the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, which debuted in 2018. She currently serves as the head women’s golf coach at Utah Valley University, entering her ninth season at the helm. Last season, she led the Wolverines five top-five finishes. Prior to coming to Utah Valley, Nyhus was the head coach at Brigham Young University, her alma mater, for 11 seasons, where she was a two-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year. Nyhus received her PhD from the University of Utah. She was the runner-up to Jody Niemann in the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.

Robin Burke, 55, of Houston, Texas, served as the captain for the 2016 USA Curtis Cup Team and was a member of the 1998 USA Team that earned a 10-8 victory over GB&I at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minn. Burke, who was the runner-up in the 1997 U.S. Women’s Amateur, has competed in more than 35 USGA championships, including three U.S. Women’s Opens. Burke is married to two-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Burke Jr. They own Houston’s famed Champions Golf Club, site of the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open, where Robin serves as vice president.

Robin Burke (right), seen with husband Jackie Burke Jr. and 2017 champion Kelsey Chugg, was the 2016 USA Curtis Cup captain. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Julie Carmichael, 54, of Indianapolis, Ind., is competing in her 35th USGA championship and 15th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. She was a quarterfinalist in the 2015 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Carmichael, who owns a health care consulting, real estate development and construction management company, has won four Indiana Women’s Mid-Amateur titles. She and her father, Sam, have both been inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame, the Indiana High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, and the Martinsville High School Alumni Hall of Fame. Her father was the golf coach at Indiana University for 23 years, but Carmichael played at Stanford University.

Kelsey Chugg, 27, of Salt Lake City, Utah, won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in her first appearance, defeating Mary Jane Hiestand in the final, 3 and 1. She became the fifth person from Utah to win a USGA championship and earned an exemption into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, a perk now given to the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. The four-time Utah Women’s State Amateur champion serves as the membership director at the Utah Golf Association, where she previously served as a P.J. Boatwright Intern.

Clare Connolly, 25, of Chevy Chase, Md., is competing in her third USGA championship and first U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Connolly is a full-time caddie, working at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., site of the three U.S. Opens, in the summer and fall, and Streamsong (Fla.) Resort, site of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, during the winter months. The youngest of 11 children, Connolly played her collegiate golf at Saint Leo University in Florida. She won the 2017 Maryland State Women’s Amateur. 

Staci Creech, 45, of Englewood, Colo., has advanced to match play in three of her four previous appearances in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Her husband, Karlton, took over as the head of athletics and recreation for the University of Denver in February, after serving as director of athletics at the University of Maine. Her brother, John A. Aber, is the head golf professional at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley, Pa., the host site of the 1990 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Her late father, John M. Aber, was a longtime USGA Rules official and committee member.

Susan Curtin, 48, of Westwood, Mass., served as a Third-Class Petty Officer in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for five years. Curtin played her collegiate golf at Brigham Young University before graduating from the College of Holy Cross. She was named the 2017 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Player of the Year and competed in this year’s U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship.

Kay Daniel, 47, of Covington, La., was a quarterfinalist in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and is competing in her 11th U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Daniel is a 10-time Louisiana Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and captured the Louisiana Women’s Amateur title in 2005. Her son, Nicklaus, is a member of the Louisiana Tech University men’s golf team, while her daughter, Abbey, will follow in her footsteps, as she is committed to play at Mississippi State University in 2019.

Ashley Freeman, 30, of Houston, Texas, is a tax manager in a wealth company’s personal finance division. She was an honorable mention All-American and All-Big 12 Conference selection at Texas A&M University, where she earned a degree in accounting. She then attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Freeman advanced to match play in three consecutive U.S. Girls’ Juniors (2003-05) and recorded a hole-in-one during the first round of match play in 2004.

Lauren Greenlief, 27, of Ashburn, Va., became the youngest winner (25 years, 25 days) of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion when she defeated Margaret (Shirley) Starosto, 2 and 1, in 2015. Greenlief, a management consultant, also reached the semifinals of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with partner Alexandra Austin and became the first mid-amateur to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur since 2006 earlier this summer at The Golf Club of Tennessee. Greenlief was a walk-on at the University of Virginia and earned three varsity letters from 2010-12.

Hayley Hammond, 27, of Arlington, Va., owns a doctorate in physical therapy and specializes in orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Hammond, who played at Radford University from 2012-14, is competing in her second U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. She once was invited to play golf with NBA owner and five-time league MVP Michael Jordan while operating a beverage cart at a Charlotte-based golf course.

Mina Hardin, 58, of Mexico, was the first Mexican-born woman to play on the LPGA Tour (1983-89) and the first Mexican-born USGA champion when she won the 2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. A reinstated amateur since 1991, she has competed in 23 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and reached the quarterfinals six times. Hardin has played in 56 USGA championships, including six U.S. Women’s Opens. In 2012, she was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.

Kallie Harrison, 32, of Saint Louis, Mo., is a member of Norwood Hills Country Club, site of this year’s championship. The first-time USGA qualifier works as an OB/GYN physician with the Memorial Medical Group and went to medical school at Saint Louis University. 

Olivia Herrick, 30, of Roseville, Minn., operates her own graphic design studio and coaches a high school golf team. She is playing in her 17th USGA championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of last year’s championship and the semifinals of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Herrick, who serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Golf Association, won two Missouri Valley Conference titles (2008, 2010) while playing at Drake University.

Mary Jane Hiestand, 59, of Naples, Fla., has competed in 45 USGA championships, including 24 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs. She was the runner-up in last year’s championship at Champions Golf Club. Hiestand, who was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, struck the first tee shot in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, held at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in 2015, and also played in this year’s inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club, marking her fourth appearance in a USGA inaugural championship (1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am, the 1995 USGA State Team Championship, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, and the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open).

Linda Jeffery, 45, of Prattville, Ala., is competing in her eighth USGA championship, with her best showing coming in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, where she advanced to the Round of 16. Jeffery is a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, serving on active duty status at the Maxwell Air Force Base. She also volunteers at the Montgomery First Tee chapter and coaches youth soccer and basketball.

Gretchen Johnson, 32, of Portland, Ore., has run in 10 marathons, including four Boston Marathons. She combines 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 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (Bandon Dunes course) in 2014 and a 14-over 86 in 52 minutes at The Glen Club in Illinois in 2015. Johnson, who is playing in her fourth USGA championship, has spent the last 12 years working for Nike in retail, marketing and product management.

Shannon Johnson, 35, of Norton, Mass., was the runner-up to Julia Potter-Bobb in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, and advanced to the semifinals in 2017. Johnson, a golf equipment sales representative, has competed in 12 USGA championships. Born in Sioux Falls, S.D., she became the first female in South Dakota Golf Association history to win the state Women’s Amateur, Girls’ Junior, Two-Woman and Women’s Match Play titles.

Tara Joy-Connelly, 45, of North Palm Beach, Fla., has competed in 29 USGA championships, including 15 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs. She advanced to the Women’s Mid-Amateur semifinals in 2011 and 2014. Joy-Connelly, who is an independent sales representative, was named as the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts Player of the Decade (2000-09).

Ina Kim-Schaad, 34, of New York, N.Y., was the runner-up in the 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., and a 2005 graduate of Northwestern University, she returned to competitive golf after living abroad and working in the financial industry in Chicago, New York, London and Hong Kong for 11 years. Now living in Manhattan, Kim won the 2016 Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association Met Amateur and Met Amateur Stroke-Play championships. She survived a six-hole playoff to earn the final spot at her 2018 Women’s Amateur qualifier.

Judith Kyrinis, 54, of Canada, won the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur by defeating Terrill Samuel, 4 and 3, in the final at Waverley Country Club, in Portland, Ore. Kyrinis is a registered nurse at Toronto General Hospital and primarily preps cancer patients for surgery. She has competed in 14 USGA championships, including seven U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Her brother, Dan Allan, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

Martha Leach, 56, of Hebron, Ky., earned a special exemption into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur after earning low-amateur honors in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club, where she tied for 10th at 6-over 297. Leach is no stranger to USGA championships, as she has competed in 29 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, winning in 2009, and has competed in 18 U.S. Women's Amateurs. Leach was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2018. Her sister is World Golf Hall of Fame member and six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy. Leach and Stacy are one of two sister tandems to be USGA champions, joining Harriot and Margaret Curtis.

Marissa Mar, 26, of San Francisco, Calif., was a semifinalist in last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, losing to eventual champion Kelsey Chugg, 3 and 1. Mar, who works in corporate development for a financial services company, played her collegiate golf at Stanford University. She advanced to the Round of 16 of the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Lila Barton. Her mother, Gigi, was an All-America gymnast at UCLA and a 1984 Olympian for Canada.

Courtney McKim, 27, of Raleigh, N.C., was a quarterfinalist in 2017, falling to eventual runner-up Mary Jane Hiestand, in 19 holes. McKim was a member of the University of Alabama’s 2012 NCAA championship women’s golf team after transferring from Oklahoma State University. She handles real estate and purchasing for a medical products company. McKim is competing in her 10th USGA championship and her fourth Women’s Mid-Amateur.

Katie Miller, 33, of Jeannette, Pa., has worked in various industries, including sports television reporting on the professional and college levels, the family-owned Dairy Queen franchises, as a model for an athletic apparel brand, and in sales for a mobile solutions company. A former All-Atlantic Coast Conference player at the University of North Carolina, Miller competed on the LPGA Futures (now Symetra) Tour before regaining her amateur status in 2013. She has played in four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2016.

Joan Gossett Oates, 36, of Germantown, Tenn., is competing in her second USGA Championship and first U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Oates, who played at Vanderbilt University, works as a registered nurse. Her brother, David Gossett, won the 1999 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.

Erin Packer, 39, of Peachtree City, Ga., is the daughter of Allen Doyle, the 2005 and 2006 U.S. Senior Open champion. She caddied for her father on PGA Tour Champions from 2000-03. Packer has played in nine USGA championships, including the 2006 and 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Her husband, Brandt, is a producer for Golf Channel/NBC and her father-in-law, Billy, was a longtime college basketball announcer for both NBC and CBS.

Tina Papatolis, 42, of Canada, was an accomplished softball player before taking up golf in her 30s. Papatolis played collegiate softball at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where she was a first-team All American and helped lead the Terriers to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) title in 1999. She was also a member of the Canadian Women’s Senior National Softball Development Team for two years.

Ellen Port, 56, of St. Louis, Mo., is a seven-time USGA champion. She has won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur four times (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011), and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur three times (2012, 2013 and 2016) and has represented the USA in the Curtis Cup on two occasions (1994 and 1996), and captained the team to victory in 2014 at St. Louis Country Club. Port is seeking an eighth USGA title, which would match JoAnne Gunderson Carner for the most by a female player and tie her with Jack Nicklaus. Only Bob Jones and Tiger Woods have won more USGA championships, with nine apiece. In August, she became the second-oldest player to ever advance to match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Julia Potter-Bobb, 30, of Indianapolis, Ind., is a two-time USGA champion, winning the 2013 and 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. In 2013, she became the first female left-handed USGA champion, and is the only left-handed player, male or female, to win multiple USGA championships. Potter-Bobb has won the 2007, 2008, 2014, 2015 and 2018 Indiana Women’s Amateur and the 2016 Indiana Women’s Open championships. The University of Missouri graduate 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.

Patricia Schremmer, 53, of Honolulu, Hawaii, advanced to the semifinals of both the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. She qualified for the LPGA Tour in 1997 and competed on the Futures Tour (now Symetra Tour). Schremmer, who was reinstated as an amateur three years ago, has played in eight USGA championships. Her daughters (Mason, Lola and Scarlett) are competitive surfers on the state and national levels and are members of the Margaritaville Surf Team, which is sponsored by musician Jimmy Buffett. Earlier this year, Schremmer tied for 23rd in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club.

Allison Schultz, 26, of Madison, Wis., competed as a member of the McGing Irish Dancers for 12 years on the regional, national and world levels. The group took first-place honors for choreography in the All-Ireland Irish Dance and Midwest Oireachtas championships. Schultz, who is playing in her second U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, was a member of the University of Toledo golf team and now works as an account manager for an insurance company.

Thuhashini Selvaratnam, 42, of Sri Lanka, was the runner-up to Meghan Stasi in the 2006 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. At age 12, she won the Sri Lanka Amateur, earning an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest to claim a national championship. Selvaratnam, who is the co-head girls’ golf coach at Xavier College Prep in Phoenix, Ariz., has competed in 33 USGA championships, including 13 Women’s Mid-Amateurs.

Rachel Smith, 30, of Mansfield, Texas, is a web content editor for TopGolf. In 2013, she was a USGA P.J. Boatwright Intern for the Women’s Texas Golf Association. Smith is competing in her sixth consecutive U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and has advanced to match play in five of her six previous appearances. She is a former All-Big South Conference player at Winthrop University.

Meghan Stasi, 39, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is a four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012) who represented the USA in the 2008 Curtis Cup Match on the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, where she got engaged to her husband, Danny, on the iconic Swilcan Bridge. She served as the head women’s golf coach at the University of Mississippi from 2000-07. A Tulane University graduate, Meghan and her husband own a seafood restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale.

Corey Weworski, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif., won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, posting a 5-and-3 victory over Virginia Grimes in the final. She has played in 39 USGA championships and 22 Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Her son, Tyler, has competed on the Web.com Tour, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

Deborah Williams, 43, of Potomac, Md., is competing in her third USGA championship and her first since the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur. She played golf at Penn State University, where she met her husband, Andy, who was a member of the men's golf team. While seven months pregnant, Williams finished runner-up in the 2005 Maryland State Amateur with her husband on the bag. Williams is a registered nurse at the Georgetown University Hospital.

Kelly Wilson, 45, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., played professional tennis for four years and qualified for the 1996 US Open in doubles. In 2013, she was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor and is the winningest player in school history with 152 singles victories. She helped the Longhorns win a pair of NCAA championships, in 1993 and 1995, earning NCAA national senior player of the year honors in the latter. Wilson, who works as a realtor, has played in six U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, advancing to match play four times.

Dawn Woodard, 44, of Greenville, S.C., is a consultant who assists individual golfers and teams with enhancing performance. A five-time South Carolina Women’s Amateur champion, Woodard has competed in 28 USGA championships. She has played in 16 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and is a three-time stroke-play medalist (2006, 2007, 2012), reaching the quarterfinals in 2007 and 2009. She earned all-region and all-conference recognition at Furman University and helped the Paladins advance to four NCAA tournaments (1993-96).

Julia Pine is the manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at jpine@usga.org.

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