By John Stewart
Lisa Schlesinger of Norbeck Country Club validated her one-round championship of a year ago when she posted the low round in the second annual Maryland State Women's Mid-Amateur championship. Schlesinger was3-over-par 75 to complete a wire-to-wire victory with a 36-hole total of 153 at Four Streams Golf Course in Beallsville June 2.
Schlesinger won the inaugural event a year ago with a 2-under-par 70 at Lakewood Country Club. Last year stormy weather washed out a round, but this year Schlesinger had no weather worries -- or any others, for that matter.. There were two days of mild, sunny weather, as she birdied the 18th hole from eight feet to produce a six-shot triumph over Jessica Fernandez of Sparrows Point Country Club. Fernandez finished 79-80--159. Deborah Williams of Congressional Country Club and who was the runner-up in last years tournament, was third with an 81-79--160. The northern Montgomery County course was played at 5,596 yards to a par of 72 with 42 entries.
Schlesinger, who lives in Laytonsville, had four birdies and one bogey in fashioning a solid round that enabled her to make her first successful defense of a title. However, she had trouble with the greens, which were much slower than the first day.
"I couldn't get the ball to the hole," Schlesinger said.
Fernandez, a pharmaceutical sales rep from Baltimore, highlighted her round with a birdie at the 140-yard 10th hole, along with Williams, another former Maryland State Women's Amateur finalist, also had a birdie with two shots at the 115-yard seventh hole.
The top two players checked in with impressive resumes. Schlesinger has been a two-time finalist in the Maryland State Women's Amateur, and last summer was medallist in the U.S. Women's Mid-Am qualifying match along with being a first alternate in U.S. Women's Senior Amateur qualifying match. Fernandez started playing more competitive golf last summer after several years of club and local events, and it paid off. She was the medallist in the Maryland State Women's Amateur,(losing in the second round to eventual champion Caroline Sweet), and qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur. Additionally, she swept the Stroke Play and Match Play club tournament titles at Sparrows Point. Both women also played for their respective sides in the State Team Matches, won by Sparrows Point for a second straight year.
Mei-Lin Lu, a 12-handicapper who lives in Laurel and plays out of Northwest Park Golf Course, won the net title with rounds of 69-72--141. While having played for seven years, last fall's MSGA Women's Open was her first tournament as an individual as Lu placed in the top 20. On Tuesday,, she ended with an eight-stroke margin on runner-up Ruth Hough, who has a 27 handicap at Eisenhower Golf Course, 74-75--149. She admitted she had come out wanting to be focused and to hit fairways, but did neither and wound up scrambling for her scoreThe lefthander had hurt her left knee in the opening round, and was not able to push off as well as usual.
Gross leaders: Lisa Schlesinger, Norbeck CC, 78-75--153; Jessica Fernandez, Sparrows Point CC, 79-80--159; Deborah Williams, Congressional CC, 81-7--160; Lenore Martinez, Columbia CC, 84-81--165; Meg Giusti, Montgomery CC, 84-86--170.
Net leaders: Mei-Lin Lu, Northwest Park GC, 69-72--141; Ruth Hough, Eisenhower GC, 74-75--149; Vicki Huggins, Montgomery CC, 76-74--150; Karen Wood, Bowie G&CC, 82-72--154; Jennifer Kitchen, Redgate GC, 79-75--154.
Posted June 3, 2009