Higher Seeds Rule the Day at Women’s Amateur
FLOURTOWN, Pa. – The 83rd edition of the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur Championship is like so many others across the commonwealth this year – dominated by Mother Nature. Rain-delayed yesterday, the players returned to Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill course this morning and completed the stroke play qualifying round as well as the first round of match play. In the championship flight of the amateur division, seven of the top eight seeds advanced, with 16th seed Samantha Staudt being the only lower seed to move on to the quarterfinals in the championship, which is presented by LECOM. The day had one rain delay at 3:25 p.m. and began with the conclusion of stroke play qualifying, which was itself delayed due to bad weather on Wednesday at 2:42 p.m.
Staudt upset defending champion Kristen Obush of Ligonier Country Club, who was automatically the top seed in the championship, winning 5 and 4. Staudt, of Applecross Country Club, jumped out to an early lead winning holes two through four and never let up, losing just one hole on the day and closing out Obush on No. 14.
Second-seeded Kaitlyn Lees of Philadelphia Country Club needed 19 holes to get past Fox Chapel Golf Club’s Katie James. The back and forth match saw neither golfer lead by more than one hole and saw just six holes halved between the players. Lees trailed by one heading into No. 17 but won that hole with a two-putt birdie. The players were tied after 18 holes and returned to No. 1, where Lees made par to advance.
“I think Katie and I both played really well,” Lees said. “She was making a lot of putts and not missing many greens. I was really proud of how I was able to stay in it on the back.”
Lees was co-medalist in the stroke play qualifying with No. 3 seed Morgan Frazier of Carlisle Country Club as they each fired even par scores of 72. Frazier then advanced past Treesdale Golf & Country Club’s Laura Hilger, 3 and 2, to move to the quarterfinals. Frazier started hot with five consecutive threes on the scorecard, winning the first five holes and six of the first seven to take an insurmountable lead.
Olivia Zambruno of Pleasant Valley Golf Club showed why she earned the No. 4 seed, sweeping out Bala Golf Club’s Megan Adelman, 8 and 6. Zambruno was 7-up at the turn and closed out the match on No. 12.
She will face fifth-seeded Julia McLaughlin in Friday’s quarterfinal round. McLaughlin, of Saucon Valley Country Club, bested Treesdale Golf & Country Club’s Lauren Freyvogel, 4 and 3. McLaughlin lost just two holes in the match.
Three-time champion and sixth-seed Katie Miller took a step toward another title by topping PAGA Individual Member Julianne Lee, 2 up. Miller, from Ligonier Country Club, had a 4-up lead after 10 holes but withstood a comeback from Lee that took the match all the way to the 18th hole.
In a matchup of two local players, Yardley Country Club’s Jackie Rogowicz knocked off Casey Oppenheimer of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, 6 and 5. Rogowicz never trailed on her way to the quarterfinals.
“I played pretty consistent,” Rogowicz said. “I made two birdies that really capitalized on my lead, so that was nice.”
For Rogowicz, the golf course difficulty was increased on day two.
“It played pretty similar condition-wise to yesterday,” Rogowicz said. “The pins were definitely harder today as they were on the edges and tucked a lot.”
The final championship flight match saw Cassidy Gavaghan of Sandy Run Country Club battle against Madelein Herr of Jericho National Golf Club in a back and forth battle eventually won by Gavaghan, 2 up.
In the amateur division’s first flight, the top three seeds advanced, led by Union League Golf Club at Torresdale’s Erin Lo.
Top-seeded Lisa McGill of Sunnybrook Golf Club cruised to a 9 and 7 win over Karen Hazleton of Wyoming Valley Country Club. She will face home course hopeful Kerry Rutan in Friday’s quarterfinal. Rutan, the No. 8 seed, won 6 and 5 over Christy Traenkle of Old York Road Country Club.
All eight higher seeds won in the round of 16. Second-seeded Ellen Miller of Gulph Mills Golf Club won 3 and 2 over Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Maureen Koerwer. She will face No. 7 Amy Kennedy of Country Club of York, who beat Pattie Parsons of Carlisle Country Club, 6 and 5.
No. 3 seed Allison Long of Honeybrook Golf Club advanced, 4 and 3, over Irem Country Club’s Merri Walter. She will face Noreen Mohler of Northampton Country Club, who moved past Ruth Averback of Old York Road Country Club, 3 and 2.
Fourth-seeded Suzi Spotleson of RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve moved on with a 4 and 3 win over Joanne Vansaun. She will face Commonwealth National Golf Club’s Karen Siegel, who beat Annie Vanzant of Valley Brook Country Club, 7 and 6.
No. 1 seed Liz Haines of Merion Golf Club moved on to the semifinals with a 4 and 3 victory over PAGA Individual Member Dale Reston. She will face Range End Golf Club’s Paula Bauer, who knocked off Nancy Straub of Crossgates Golf Club by that same margin (4 and 3).
Second-seeded Bonnie George advanced to the semifinals after opponent Barbara Naglak conceded the match. George will take on Overbrook Golf Club’s Karen McFadden in the other semifinal. McFadden beat Allentown Municipal Golf Course’s Maria Church, 7 and 6, to advance.
The quarterfinals of the Amateur and Senior Division, as well as the semifinals of the Super-Senior Division will take place on Friday morning.