Herrick and Klasse Move on at U.S. Women's Mid-Am; A String of Bogeys Sends McCullough Home
November 14, 2017
HOUSTON – After falling during the semifinal round at last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in Erie, Pa., Minnesotan Olivia Herrick continued her impressive play at the national event Monday by earning a 2 and 1 victory over Sarah Mathews to advance to the Round of 32 at The Champions Golf Club.
Making her 13th appearance at the event this week, Minnesota Golf Hall of Famer Leigh Klasse cruised to a decisive victory, 5 and 4, over Portland, Ore., native Gretchen Johnson to move on, while Paige McCullough let an early lead slip away Monday, falling to Floridian Mary Jane Hiestand, 5 and 3.
Herrick, of Roseville, Minn., built a 2-up lead over Mathews through seven holes Monday, before a birdie by Mathews at the 11th cut Herrick’s lead in half. Herrick bounced back by winning the 12th with a par.
Carding a birdie at the par-4 15th, Mathews once again looked to stage a late comeback by trimming Herrick’s lead to one, but the four-time Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Golfer of the Year pulled away late by winning the 16th with a birdie and closed out the match at the 17th with the victory, 2 and 1.
Herrick will face Pasadena, Calif., native Kathy Kurata when the Round of 32 begins Tuesday as Herrick and Kurata are slated to tee off at 8:24 a.m. at The Champions Golf Club.
Klasse, who now lives in Cumberland, Wis., took advantage of an early miscue by Johnson at the par-4 third to take a quick 1-up lead before carding a birdie at the sixth. Johnson answered by winning the seventh, but Klasse found her stride and would win four of the next six holes to take a commanding 5-up lead through 13 holes before closing out the match at the 14th to earn the victory, 5 and 4.
Klasse squares off against Marissa Mar, of San Francisco, Calif., when their Round of 32 match begins at 9:18 a.m. Tuesday at The Champions Golf Club. In 13 appearances at the event, Klasse has advanced to match play in all but one trip, with her best performances coming in 2003 and 2009 when she advanced to the Round of 16.
McCullough, Stillwater, Minn., earned the No. 9 seed when match play got underway Monday thanks to a pair of 73's to begin the championship Saturday. Facing Hiestand during the Round of 64 Monday, McCullough won the second hole with a par to take the early lead but quickly ran into trouble, carding four bogeys over the next five holes as she watched her slim lead turn into a 3-down deficit.
Winning the eighth hole with a par, McCullough kept her chances alive, but bogeys at the ninth and 12th holes gave Hiestand a 4-up lead before she closed out the match by winning the 15th to eliminate McCullough, 5 and 3.
2017 U.S. WOMEN’S MID-AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
THE CHAMPIONS GOLF CLUB
6,036 YARDS, PAR 72
ROUND OF 64 RESULTS
OLIVIA HERRICK, ROSEVILLE, MINN., def. Sarah Mathews, Nashville, Tenn., 2 and 1
LEIGH KLASSE, CUMBERLAND, WIS., def. Gretchen Johnson, Portland, Ore., 5 and 4
Mary Jane Hiestand, Naples, Fla., def. PAIGE MCCULLOUGH, STILLWATER, MINN., 5 and 3