Hiestand Recaptures Match Play Title
The Forest Country Club in Fort Myers hosted the Women’s Senior Amateur Match Play, the last Women’s Championship of 2016. The Bear Course at The Forest Country Club challenged the competitors but Mary Jane Hiestand prevailed and regained her title as Women's Senior Amateur Match Play Champion.
Monday morning began the Round of 32 matches in the Championship Division. Seeded based on handicap index, Lisa Schlesinger, of Fort Myers, was seeking to defend her title as the number one seed. Schlesinger advanced to the Round of 16 where she defeated Tama Caldabaugh (17th seed) two and one. She faced Marion Reid (ninth seed) in the Quarterfinals and earned a four and three victory gaining a spot in the Seminfinals. Laura Carson (fifth seed), of Vero Beach, knocked out Therese Quinn (fourth seed) after 19 holes in the Quarterfinals to face Schlesinger. Mary Jane Hiestand, 2014 Women’s Senior Match Play Champion, was a force to be reckoned with. Hiestand, number three seed, made her way to the Quarterfinals after a seven and six win over Nancy Chaffee (19th seed) in the Round of 16. Hiestand continued to defeat Mindy Smith (22nd seed) in the Quarterfinals, four and three.
The number two seed, Diane Lang, of Weston, also moved forward to the Quarterfinals after a one-up victory over Kiely Allen, of Clearwater, in the Round of 16. Taffy Brower (seventh seed), of Boynton Beach, played an impressive Round of 16 match. Brower, defending runner-up back-to-back years, was four-up with four holes to play against Sarah Phillips-Durst (10th seed). Phillips-Durst, of Tallahassee, came from behind and after 19 holes advanced to the Quarterfinals where she would face Lang. A one-up victory by Sarah sent her to the Semifinals to go head-to-head with Hiestand!
The Final match boiled down to two previous Champions, Lisa Schlesinger, defending Champion, and Mary Jane Hiestand, 2014 Champion! Wednesday morning began the Semifinal matches where Schlesinger beat Carson two-up and Hiestand defeated Phillips-Durst three and two.
The afternoon brought much excitement as Schlesinger and Hiestand battled for the title. A par on the third hole gave Lisa an early one-up lead. After draining a 40 foot putt on number five for birdie she moved to two-up. Mary Jane fought back with wins on holes six and seven to set the match back to all square. Hiestand did not back down and sunk a 25 foot putt on the ninth hole to make the turn at one-up. Schlesinger brought the match back to all square on the tenth hole but with a win on number 11 and a birdie on the par three 12th hole, Hiestand increased her lead to two-up. A par on the 13th hole gave Mary Jane a three-up lead that she would hold onto through 14 and 15. Hiestand stepped up on the 16th tee box for only the second time this week. Schlesinger fired back at Hiestand’s lead sinking a birdie putt on 16 and winning with a par on 17 to leave Hiestand one-up on 18. Lisa lands her approach shot on 18 short of the green, chips up, and rolls the ball over the hole barely missing birdie. With two putts left for the win, Mary Jane made par for a one-up victory over Schlesinger! Hiestand hoisted the trophy and regained her title of 2016 Women's Senior Amateur Match Play Champion.
The Middle Division began Quarterfinal matches on Monday morning in the format of net match play. The first Quarterfinal match saw Kathy Copelin (8th seed), of Lake Worth, advanced to the Semifinals after 20 holes against the number one seed Elise Gordon. Copelin then earned a one-up win over Kathy Baker (fifth seed), of Wellington to advance to the Finals. Patricia Hughes-Gelardi (seventh seed), of Palm Beach Gardens, defeated the number two seed, Kathie Westlund, two and one in the Quarterfinals and Betsy Knights (third seed) three and two in the Semifinals to move on to the Finals.
The number seven and eight seed would go head-to-head in the Final match to determine the Champion. Copelin and Hughes-Gelardi went back and forth in the last match. Kathy Copelin was persistent and prevailed with a two-up win over Hughes-Gelardi to be crowned Champion!
Middle Division Bracket
In the Forward Division, Dolores Ainsworth (fourth seed), of Port Saint Lucie, and Lory Cassens (second seed), of Orlando, went head to head on Wednesday morning to determine who would be crowned victorious! Leading up to the final match, Ainsworth (fourth seed) conquered her first match against Teresa Brandes (fifth seed) two-up. Joyce Hart (eighth seed) played a tough 23 holes to defeat the number one seed, Kay Waltman, in the Quarterfinals to meet Ainsworth in the Semifinals. Ainsworth advanced with a six and five win over Hart. Meanwhile, Lory Cassens (second seed) had a one-up win over Lynn Robbins (seventh seed) in the Quarterfinals and after 19 holes against Sharon Sheline (sixth seed), found herself playing in the final match! Cassens continued her winning streak and seized victory by defeating Ainsworth six and four!
Forward Division Bracket