Robertson Loses Hard Fought Final Match At US Women's Mid-Amateur
Sept. 30, 2010
WICHITA, Kan. -- Carol Robertson's pursuit of a U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship title fell just short following strong performance by her opponent, Meghan Stasi of Oakland Park, Fla., in the 18-hole championship final on Thursday at Wichita Country Club (Kan).
The 32-year-old Stasi shot the stroke-play equivalent of three under par to post a 2-up victory over Robertson, a 27-year-old reinstated amateur from Virginia Beach and assistant men's and women's golf coach at Old Dominion University.
Stasi, the 2006 and 2007 champion, matched Ellen Port (1995, 1996 and 2000) and Sarah LeBrun Ingram (1991, 1993 and 1994) with three Women's Mid-Amateur wins, signaling the most titles in the history of the championship for golfers 25 and older.
"Like Martha [Leach] said in her [recent players' dinner] speech, she waited so long for her first one," Stasi told Ken Klavon of the USGA. "To have three is incredible. The win today ranks up there with all the other wins. It's been an incredible journey."
With the concessions that are typically a part of match play, Stasi was six under in an eight-hole span from Nos. 4-11 to build an important 4-up advantage, completing the surge by knocking in an 8-foot, hole-high birdie putt.
"She made every putt for birdie that she looked at and was making some awesome putts for par, too," said Robertson, the assistant women's golf coach at Old Dominion University. "Every time I thought I might've had a chance, when she'd have a 10- or 12-footer to tie me, she made them."
Robertson never relented and rallied back, collecting three straight wins from Nos. 12-14, starting the surge with consecutive pars, before making her third birdie of the day at the par-4 14th hole to get within one. Both finalists traded wins at Nos. 15 (Stasi) and 17 (Robertson) and Stasi held a 1-up lead going to No. 18.
"To have a chance on the 18th hole to at least extend the match was a pretty good feeling after being 4-down at one point," Robertson said.
Stasi, the former women's golf coach at the University of Mississippi, completed the wire-to-wire victory at the par-4 finishing hole with a conceded par after Robertson couldn't get up and down from the greenside bunker.
Robertson, the 2006 Virginia State Golf Association Women's Amateur champion, leaves with her head held high following a return to amateur golf four weeks ago. She played the Futures Tour from 2007-09 before being officially reinstated as an amateur on Sept. 5. Robertson qualified for the Women's Mid-Amateur two days later at Rivermont Golf and Country Club in Johns Creek, Ga. The fifth low qualifier for match play, Robertson won five matches to reach the deciding encounter at the national championship.
"I went into this week knowing that I had a good chance to play well and really compete," Robertson said. "As far as being in the finals - I must say I'm surprised - but I earned it."
With her showing, Robertson has earned an exemption into next year's U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, set for Bayville Golf Club in Robertson's hometown of Virginia Beach, Sept. 17-22, 2011.
"I'll be ready, Robertson said. "That will be fun to be able to be right at my back door." The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur is one of 13 championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association each year, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs. Ken Klavon, web editor for the United States Golf Association contributed to this report.