Robertson is Medalist At VSGA Women's Amateur
July 11, 2012
WILLIAMSBURG -- ODU women's head golf coach Carol Robertson shot 2-under-par 70 in the second round of stroke-play qualifying to earn medalist honors at the 87th Virginia State Golf Association Women's Amateur Championship at the 5,770-yard, par 72 Golden Horseshoe Golf Club Gold Course.
Robertson, 28, opened with 5-under 67 on day one and finished qualifying at 7-under 137. Robertson is the low qualifier for match play, which begins on Wednesday. She was the only competitor to post two subpar rounds leading up to the match play portion of the championship.
Showers delayed the start of the second round by an hour and a half. With some intermittent sprinkles staying around, Robertson and Hannah Pierce, 19, of King George who returned a day two-best 3-under 69, posted the only rounds in red numbers on Tuesday.
In addition to Robertson, Elizabeth Brightwell, 21, of Nellysford (143, 69-74), a rising junior at the University of Virginia, and Pierce, a rising junior at Longwood University, were the three low qualifiers for match play. Teenagers Lauren Coughlin, 19, of Chesapeake (147, 74-73), a rising sophomore at the University of Virginia, and Alex Wright, 14, of Midlothian (151, 75-76) filled the top five spots in the match play field. Wright, a former St. Catherine's School student who now attends the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was the runner-up at the Richmond Women's Golf Association Championship in mid-June.
Seventeen of the 19 low qualifiers for match play are age 21 or under; Robertson and reigning VSGA Senior Women's Amateur champion Mimi Hoffman of Springfield (151, 73-78), the 10th low qualifier for match play, lead the mid-amateurs.
For a second straight day, Robertson (pictured left) birdied three of the final four holes - Nos. 15, 17 and 18 - to claim the medal for the first time. One over par at the time, Robertson started the surge by stuffing a gap wedge to 5 feet to a demanding back left hole location for an eventual birdie at the par-5 15th. Thereafter, at the par-4 17th, her pitching wedge from a spotty lie through the green on the left side came to rest 15 short of the flagstick and she made the ensuing birdie putt. Robertson two-putted for birdie from 30 feet at the par-5 finishing hole.
Robertson won the 2006 VSGA Women's Amateur before turning professional. She was reinstated to amateur status in September 2010. Having played at some of the top levels of competitive golf, Robertson knows that no assurances accompany being medalist.
"I'm really excited about how I've played over the last couple of days," she said. "I also know that match play is a totally different story and I know that I need to keep making some birdies and stay steady. You never know what will happen in match play. I just hope that I can keep up the good work from here."
Brightwell played consistently for much of the day, posting 16 pars against two bogeys. Pierce, meanwhile, completed her round in the same manner as Robertson - making birdies at Nos. 15, 17 and 18. At the par-5 15th, she played her 3-wood second shot to the front of the green, 90 feet short of the flagstick, but rattled home an 8-footer for birdie. Pierce then birdied the final two holes from inside 4 feet to improve her first round score by six strokes.
"I was putting a bit better on the back nine [Tuesday] and I didn't get into any trouble," she said. "It's an entirely new game now. I'm confident and I think I stand a good chance of playing well."
Two-time defending champion Amanda Steinhagen, 20, of Oak Hill will continue her pursuit of a third straight Women's Amateur victory, but it won't be easy. Steinhagen concluded qualifying as the 12th low qualifier for match play at 8-over 152 (75-77). She is trying to become the first player to win three consecutive titles since Salem's Lee Shirley accomplished the feat from 1996-98.
Thirty-two players with a 36-hole aggregate of 180 or better advanced to match play.
Both the first and second rounds of match play are scheduled for Wednesday, July 11, with the quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, July 12. The scheduled 18-hole championship final is set for Friday, July 13.
WILLIAMSBURG -- Results from the second round of stroke play qualifying at the 87th VSGA Women's Amateur Championship at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club's Gold Course (5,770 yards, par 36-36--72) on Tuesday, July 10.
Carol Robertson (Virginia Beach), 67-70--137 Elizabeth Brightwell (Nellysford), 69-74--143 Hannah Pierce (King George), 75-69--144 Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville), 74-73--147 Mimi Hoffman (Springfield), 73-78--151 Paige Reese (South Hill), 68-83--151 Lauren Eklund (Charlottesville), 74-77--151 Karishma Thiagaraj (Haymarket), 75-76--151 Ju Hee Bae (Chantilly), 69-82--151 Alex Wright (Midlothian), 75-76--151 Amanda Steinhagen (Oak Hill), 75-77--152 Amanda Hollandsworth (Floyd), 76-76--152 Khushboo Thiagaraj (Haymarket), 75-79--154 Hunter Ross (Manakin-Sabot), 77-78--155 Kayleigh Reed (Virginia Beach), 77-78--155 Elizabeth Bose (Norfolk), 76-80--156 Lauren Kruszewski (Chesapeake), 78-79--157 Whitney Rhodes (Staunton), 83-76--159 Lauren Greenlief (Oakton), 81-79--160 Jessica Merrill (Reston), 80-81--161 Kate Burns (Leesburg), 77-84--161 Kristine Rohrbaugh (Richmond), 77-84--161 Cyndi Carlson (Chesapeake), 83-79--162 Coty Hudson (Lynchburg), 75-87--162 Tracy Moriconi (Richmond), 81-82--163 Mary Barbero (Fairfax Station), 82-82--164 Michaela Conway (Chester), 80-85--165 Stephanie Eybers (Haymarket), 81-85--166 Lindsay Wortham (Richmond), 87-80--167 Heather Felty (North Chesterfield), 85-87--172 Susan Podolsky (Alexandria), 81-92--173 Casey Gaffney (Chesterfield), 92-88--180
-WILLIAMSBURG -- Pairings and starting times for the first round of match play at the 87th VSGA Women's Amateur Championship at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club's Gold Course (5,770 yards, par 36-36--72) on Wednesday, July 11 (stroke play qualifying score indicated).
All Times EDT Wednesday (July 11), Hole No. 1