Kim-Schaad Wins U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
Ina Kim-Schaad, 33rd U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion. Photos: USGA/Darren Carroll
UPDATE (September 19, 2019) -- Ina Kim-Schaad won two of the first three holes of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship and never relinquished her lead as she earned a 3-and-2 victory over fellow New York City resident Talia Campbell, Thursday at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Pars landed Kim-Schaad, 35, wins on the first and third holes, while Campbell -- a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame who works in private equity investments -- won the par-5 fifth to trim her deficit to one.
While Kim-Schaad added wins behind birdies on Nos. 7 and 11, Campbell, 25, didn't show any quit, quickly coming back to win the following hole on both occasions. After ties on Nos. 13-14, Kim-Schaad pushed her lead back to two with a par-4 on the 15th. This time, instead of Campbell answering, Kim-Schaad shut the door on the match, making birdie on the par-4 16th to earn the 3-and-2 victory.
“I’m sure it will sink in tonight or maybe later in the week, but it’s pretty amazing,” Kim-Schaad told the USGA. “The women I got to play with this week have been amazing. The golf course was amazing. It’s just a pretty surreal experience overall.”
Kim-Schaad's run to the final itself was impressive, as the 2000 U.S. Girls' Junior runner-up defeated four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship winner Meghan Stasi and defending champion Shannon Johnson in the process.
Kim-Schaad returned to golf three years ago after 11 years away from the game, saying that she had moved on from golf, until meeting her now husband Ian Schaad, who was on the bag this week. "I had closed that chapter of the book, and I kind of moved on," she said. "I was doing so many other things with my life, and then I met Ian, and he was the one who got me back interested in it. It happens very quickly, it really does. The first few birdies and then, you know, you’re hooked again.”
Campbell's run to the final was also a bit of a comeback for the 25-year-old. "It’s nice to have picked up the golf clubs again this summer after having them away, and hanging around in the championship long enough to figure my game out because I more or less came into the week kind of winging it, and glad that I was able to figure it out. It was a good run, all things considered."
UPDATE (September 18, 2019) -- The U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship has come down to a battle between New York City residents after both Ina Kim-Schaad and Talia Campbell both earned two more victories on Wednesday at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Related: U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
Kim-Schaad, who qualified as the No. 11 seed, began the day with a 4-and-3 victory over No. 3 seed Michelle Butler of Columbia, Mo. The two stood tied through eight holes, but Kim-Schaad claimed Nos. 9-11 to gather a 3-up advantage. Though Butler's birdie on the par-5 12th trimmed the lead, back-to-back birdies for Kim-Schaad closed the match on the 15th hole.
The Los Angeles native carried momentum into the afternoon, making four birdies over the first seven holes against four-time U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Stasi won Nos. 8-9 with pars, but Kim-Schaad's steady play down the stretch earned her a trio of victories with pars as she gathered the 4-and-2 win to secure her spot in the final.
"If I had let myself think about it for a nanosecond, I would have been absolutely intimidated," Kim-Schaad, 35, told the USGA. "I just tried to play my own game and not worry about what the other person was doing or who they were or who they beat or how they did last year." Kim-Schaad's run to the final has also included a win over 2018 champion Shannon Johnson. This is Kim-Schaad's second appearance in a USGA final, having finished as runner-up in the 2000 U.S. Girls' Junior.
Campbell, a Dallas native and 2016 Notre Dame graduate now living in Manhattan, surrendered just one hole during her morning match against Megan Buck of Easton, Mass. She built a 3-up advantage through 10 holes, while a birdie on the par-4 16th sent her to the afternoon semifinal against 2015 U.S. Women's Mid-Am winner Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Va.
The match had plenty of back-and-forth, with Greenlief winning a hole five times only to see Campbell win the following hole. Play down the stretch was especially impressive, as six holes out of seven were won with birdies -- Campbell winning Nos. 11, 12 and 15 to Greenlief's 13, 14 and 17. With the match tied heading to the last, both missed the green, but Campbell converted the up-and-down for par to advance.
"I think today was a big step forward in my game," said Campbell, 25, who works with noted instructor Cameron McCormick and is making her first U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur appearance. "The rust is definitely off and I'm starting to play Talia golf again, so I'm excited for tomorrow. I hope the wind blows again," she closed, sharing her preference for playing in windy conditions.
On the line Thursday will be the winner's gold medal along with the right to hold on to the Mildred Prunaret Trophy for a year. The winner also gets a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, and exemptions into the next U.S. Women's Open Championship and next two U.S. Women's Amateur Championships. The runner-up receives a three-year exemption to the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.
Related: U.S. Mid-Amateur
In the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club, 2016 MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad saw his run in the championship come to an end in the semifinal round for the second straight year. Hagestad defeated Nick Geyer of San Diego, Calif., by a 4-and-2 margin in the morning, Wednesday, but lost to Australia's Lukas Michel in the afternoon. Michel built a 3-up lead through seven, but Hagestad chipped away and eventually took a 1-up lead through 15, having won Nos. 10, 12, 14 and 15. But, the Aussie responded with birdie on the par-5 16th then won the final two holes, taking advantage of Hagestad miscues to claim the 2-up victory.
"I'm super bummed to be that close," said Hagestad, who has a 14-3 match-play record in the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
UPDATE (September 17, 2019) -- Ina Kim-Schaad, Talia Campbell and Stewart Hagestad continued their stellar play in their respective U.S. Mid-Amateur championships, Tuesday, as all three claimed a pair of victories to advance to the quarterfinals.
After an impressive 6-and-5 victory in the morning at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., Kim-Schaad carried momentum into the afternoon against reigning U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Shannon Johnson of Easton, Mass. A birdie-three put the three-time Women's Met Am champion up one, while four wins in a five-hole stretch helped extend her lead to four holes, with Johnson also chalking up a win in the span. After two ties, Kim-Schaad closed out the match with a birdie-four on the 14th to seal a 5-and-4 victory and secure her spot in the quarterfinals.
Campbell, a Dallas native and 2016 Notre Dame graduate now living in Manhattan, earned a 4-and-3 victory in the morning over Kay Daniel of Covington, La., then never surrendered a hole in her afternoon 3-and-2 win over Gretchen Johnson of Portland, Ore. "I'd say I'm knocking the rust off," the 25-year-old told the USGA. "I'd say I've played more golf the past few days than I have cumulatively this year."
Kim-Schaad will take on No. 3 seed Michelle Butler of Columbia, Mo., at 11 a.m., Eastern, while Campbell takes on No. 5 seed Megan Buck of Easton, Mass., at 10:40 a.m.
At Colorado Golf Club in Aurora, Colo., 2016 MGA Player of the Year Hagestad continued to roll in his attempt to claim the title for the second time. In the morning, Hagestad -- whose last month has included play in the Pan-American Games in Peru, the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst, and the Walker Cup in England -- earned a 5-and-4 win over Blake Parks of Odessa, Texas. In the afternoon, Hagestad's game remained sharp as he logged another 5-and-4 victory, this time over John Ehrgott of Peoria, Ill., as he dropped just one hole during the match. Hagestad faces No. 63 seed Nick Geyer of San Diego, Calif., at 9:30 a.m., Eastern.
UPDATE (September 17, 2019) -- Ina Kim-Schaad of New York, N.Y., led a trio of players with Met Area ties that claimed victories in Monday's opening round of match play at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur and U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Kim-Schaad, a three-time winner of the Women's Met Amateur, picked up a decisive 4-and-3 win over Jessica Smith of Grand Junction, Colo., thanks to a strong closing stretch at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. The match stood tied through nine holes, but a pair of birdies and two more wins with pars led Kim-Schaad to close out the match after the 15th hole. Talia Campbell of New York, N.Y., also advanced to the Round of 32, as a par and birdie on the 18th and 19th holes led her to victory over Marissa Mar of Paulo Alto, Calif.
Meanwhile, Noelle Maertz of Clark, N.J., gave reigning champion Shannon Johnson of Easton, Mass., all she could handle, with Johnson winning in 22 holes. Maertz stood two down through five holes, but won Nos. 7, 8 and 10 to claim her first lead of the match. The two battled back and forth, with Johnson forcing extra holes with par on the 18th and advancing with a birdie-three on the 22nd hole.
Two rounds of matches are on slate for Tuesday, with Kim-Schaad facing Katrina Cmitoc of San Francisco, Calif., at 12:45 p.m., Eastern and Campbell taking on Kay Daniel of Covington, La., at 11:15 a.m.
At Colorado Golf Club in Aurora, Colo., 2016 MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad won his opening match, 4-and-3 over William Davenport of Palm City, Fla., as he looks to begin another deep run in the championship that he won in 2016. Hagestad will square off against Blake Parks of Odessa, Texas, Tuesday at 10:40 a.m.
Brandon Dalinka of New York, N.Y., who earned the No. 4 seed in qualifying, was in a back-and-forth match with David Noll, Jr., of Dalton, Ga., and stood two down as late as the 11th hole. While Dalinka won Nos. 14 and 16 with birdies to help send the match to extra holes, Noll, Jr., advanced behind a birdie-three on the 21st hole.
UPDATE (September 16, 2019) -- Following the weekend's 36 holes of on-site stroke play qualifying, a number of Met Area players advanced to match play in both the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Colorado Golf Club in Aurora, Colo., and U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Brandon Dalinka of New York, N.Y., fired rounds of 69-68 at Colorado Golf Club and CommonGround Golf Course en route to a tie for second at 5-under 137. In 2017 Dalinka qualified for match play in the Met Amateur, while he claimed this year's New Jersey State Mid-Amateur title. "I just tried to stay calm," Dalinka told the USGA after advancing to match play for the first time in his sixth USGA start. "My dad is on the bag and he has kept me level-headed. I made a couple of mental mistakes not calculating the altitude, which cost me two bogeys. I rolled a lot of putts in and got lucky."
Dalinka's Round of 64 opponent is yet to be determined, with an 18-for-6 playoff set to take place Monday morning at 9 a.m., Eastern.
Past MGA Player of the Year Stewart Hagestad followed up an opening round 73 with a 4-under 66 at CommonGround Golf Course as he jumped into a tie for 7th with a 3-under 139 total. Hagestad, the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, is one of five past U.S. Mid-Am winners to advance to match play in Colorado. Hagestad faces William Davenport of Palm City, Fla., in the opening round, teeing off at 2:20 p.m.
Michael Brown of Maple Shade, N.J., also advanced behind scores of 75-68. Garnering the No. 24 seed, Brown opens match play against Alejandro Villavicencio of Guatemala at noon.
In Arizona, three-time Women's Met Amateur champion Ina Kim-Schaad of New York, N.Y., shot even-par (73-72--145) in qualifying to tie for 10th. She squares off against No. 54 seed Jessica Smith of Grand Junction, Colo., at 4 p.m.
Talia Campbell of New York, N.Y., carded rounds of 74-73 and garners the No. 24 seed in match play. She begins against Marissa Mar of Paulo Alto, Calif., at 1 p.m. Noelle Maertz rounds out Met Area players advancing to match play, as the Clark, N.J., native posted an 11-over 155 to earn the No. 59 seed. She faces defending champion and No. 6 seed Shannon Johnson of Easton, Mass., at 3:42 p.m.
ELMSFORD, N.Y. (September 13, 2019) -- Met Area players will tee it up in Colorado over the weekend as they compete in the 39th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. Stroke play qualifying takes place Saturday and Sunday at championship host Colorado Golf Club and companion course CommonGround Golf Course, with the low 64 scores advancing to match play for the remainder of the championship.
Related: U.S. Mid-Amateur Home Page
Past MGA Player of the Year honorees Darin Goldstein (2018) of New York, N.Y., and Stewart Hagestad (2016) stand as two of several MGA champions in the field. Goldstein claimed the 2017 MGA Mid-Amateur title, while Hagestad won the 2016 Met Amateur shortly before his dramatic run to claiming the 2016 U.S. Mid-Amateur title. Both were exempt into the championship.
Two-time MGA Mid-Amateur champion Trevor Randolph of Franklin Lakes, N.J., and 2017 Met Amateur titlist Matt Mattare of Jersey City, N.J. Mattare has had strong performances in the U.S. Mid-Am, making a run to the quarterfinals in 2012 and earning medalist honors the following year. Mattare has also advanced to the Round of 16 on two more occasions. Mattare was exempt into the championship based on age-eligible players' standings in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, while Randolph finished second in qualifying at Nassau Country Club, the site of his first MGA Mid-Am title. Eric Lefante of Florham Park, N.J., the 2012 MGA Public Links champion, is also in the field, having qualified at Fairmount Country Club.
Colorado Golf Club has previously hosted the 2010 Senior PGA Championship and the 2013 Solheim Cup.
|Player||Hometown||Round 1||Round 2|
|Michael Brown||Maple Shade, N.J.||CO* - 1:45pm||CG - 9:00am|
|Mark Costanza||Jersey City, N.J.||CO* - 2:29pm||CG - 9:44am|
|Brandon Dalinka||New York, N.Y.||CG* - 2:29pm||CO - 9:44am|
|Nicolas Donaldson||New York, N.Y.||CO - 2:51pm||CG* - 10:06am|
|Darin Goldstein||New York, N.Y.||CO* - 10:28am||CG - 3:13pm|
|Stewart Hagestad||Newport Beach, Calif.||CO - 9:33am||CG* - 2:18pm|
|Brent Herlihy||New York, N.Y.||CG* - 9:11am||CO - 1:56pm|
|Eric Lefante||Florham Park, N.J.||CG - 9:33am||CO* - 2:18pm|
|Matt Mattare||Jersey City, N.J.||CO* - 2:40pm||CG - 9:55am|
|Trevor Randolph||Franklin Lakes, N.J.||CG* - 10:06am||CO - 2:51pm|
|Rich VanderMass||Locust Valley, N.Y.||CO* - 9:22am||CG - 2:07pm|
|Jason Zubatkin||Somers, N.Y.||CG - 9:22am||CO* - 2:07pm|
All times EDT
CO - Colorado Golf Club
CG - CommonGround Golf Course
* denotes 10th tee start