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Headline: Shannon Johnson, Pam Kuong, Elizabeth Corcoran and Tracy Welch Vie For U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship in Houston
For Immediate Release: November 8, 2017
Four Bay State golfers will vie for the 2017 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship this week.
Norton, Mass. – Four Massachusetts natives will be in the field when the final USGA Championship Proper of the season kicks off later this week at Houston’s Champions Golf Club.
Norton native Shannon Johnson (Thorny Lea GC), the reigning WGAM Anne Marie Tobin Player of the Year recipient, Wellesley Hills native Pam Kuong (Charles River CC), the 2012 WGAM Anne Marie Tobin Player of the Year, Boston’s Elizabeth Corcoran (Oyster Harbors) and Winchester’s Tracy Welch (The Country Club) will be among the 132 vying for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship title beginning on Saturday, Nov. 11 when the stroke play portion of the Championship kicks off.
The 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which was originally scheduled to take place Oct. 7-12 at Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla, was relocated and pushed back to this week due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which caused extensive flooding and damage to Quail Creek’s course.
Now in Texas, the USGA Championship will be conducted on the famed Cypress Creek Course at the Champions Golf Club.
The 34-year old Johnson, a former collegiate golfer at the University of New Mexico and Indiana University, enters the 2017 USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship following her runner up finish in last year’s Championship, a 2 and 1 setback to Indiana native Julia Potter at The Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pennsylvania.
During her impressive 2016 run, she and Potter finished as co-medalists in the stroke play portion of the event before earning the No. 1 seed entering match play, where she defeated the likes of Staci Creech (Maine, 5&3), Katrin Wolfe (Pennsylvania, 5&4), Kayla Eckelkamp (Missouri, 3&2), Margaret Shirley-Starosto (Georgia, 6&5) and Olivia Herrick (Minnesota, 1 up). Trouble on Holes 16 and 17 in the Championship match proved to be the difference maker in the final.
Now back for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 2017, her first of three years of exemption into the Championship, Johnson will be making her 11th career USGA Championship appearance overall and her fourth appearance in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Earlier this year, she competed at the US Women’s Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to competing in Houston. My approach for the week will be to get familiar with the course and develop a game plan. Then once the tournament starts, I plan on taking one shot and one hole at a time to help with my focus. That has been my strategy in past events, and has proven very beneficial for my game."
Johnson will be joining longtime WGAM competitor Pam Kuong in the USGA field, who will be making her eighth appearance in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and her 23rd USGA appearance overall. Kuong was one of six competitors to advance from the USGA local qualifier held at Blue Hill Country Club in early August.
This will be Kuong’s fourth USGA Championship in 2017 after previously competing in the US Women’s Four Ball at The Dunes Club, the Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Waverley and the USGA Women’s State Team at the Club at Las Campanas.
"First. I am very grateful to the USGA and Champions Golf Club for making this tournament a reality in 2017. It’s very impressive that they can run a USGA event in less than 7 weeks’ timeframe. I am looking forward to the event because I know Champions Golf Club has hosted numerous major golf tournaments and know that the USGA will set up the course in a way that will test all the players. Playing in a USGA event is always special for me.
This will be my 23rd USGA Championship so the benefit is I know what to expect and therefore the first tee jitters are no longer there. It’s also a lot of fun catching up with friends whom I’ve met over the years."
The third member from the Bay State contingent is Elizabeth Corcoran, who will be making her second straight appearance in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship after playing in the stroke play portion of the Championship Proper a year ago.
Earlier this year, Corcoran took the Presidents Cup flight at the 2017 WGAM Amateur Championship at Myopia Hunt Club before originally netting alternate status at the USGA local qualifier that was held at Canton’s Blue Hill CC.
“There is nothing better than playing in a USGA event. I can't quite believe this will be my third. It's particularly special for me because both my Dad and my Grandfather played in the USGA Amateur, so I feel like I'm carrying a family tradition forward. And to play with Pam, Shannon and Tracy, all nationally recognized golfers, is an amazing experience.”
The final Bay State representative in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur field will be Winchester’s Tracy Welch, who will be making her second return to the field in three years. In 2015, the 46-old Welch advanced to match play at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, Louisiana. Making her 11th appearance in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships and her 19th USGA Championship, Welch advances after finishing as second alternate at the local qualifier held on August 2 at Blue Hill CC.
In addition to her presence in USGA Championship play, Welch was also the 2002 WGAM Anne Marie Tobin Player of the Year and is a two-time winner of the WGAM Amateur Championship. Most recently, she and her daughter Victoria took first in the WGAM Mother/Daughter Division III Championship over the summer. She is a former member of the captain of the Dartmouth College Women’s Golf Team, where she was a two-time Academic All-Ivy League Selection. She is also first cousin’s with eight-time PGA Tour Winner Brad Faxon.
"I’m thrilled to be headed to Houston for the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Qualifying for a USGA championship is always a golfer’s dream and is my goal each summer. In this instance getting into the tournament from the second alternate position is positively magical. Hopefully the magic will continue next week on the course!
My three kids are in school, so my husband will be home with them, but I’m very grateful that my parents are joining me in Houston. My Dad, Wade Welch, has caddied for me in nearly every USGA event I’ve played in, so I’m happy he’ll be on the bag again at Champions. My Mom, Jane Faxon Welch, has played in two US Women’s Senior Amateur Championships, and she will be cheering us on. This will be my 11th Mid-Amateur Championship, and I’m really looking forward to it!"
R1 and R2 Tee Times:
Shannon Johnson: 11:45 am (1) / 7:30 am (10)
Pam Kuong: 12:05 pm (10) / 7:50 am (1)
Elizabeth Corcoran: 12:15 pm (10) / 8:00 am (1)
Tracy Welch: 8:40 am (10) / 12:55 pm (1)
Schedule of Play:
Saturday, Nov. 11 (Stroke Play, Round 1, 18 holes)
Sunday, Nov. 12 (Stroke Play, Round 2, 18 holes)
Monday, Nov. 13 (Round of 64, match play)
Tuesday, Nov. 14 (Round of 32 and Round of 16 match play,)
Wednesday, Nov. 15 (Quarterfinal round and semifinal round of match play)
Thursday, Nov. 16 (Championship Match, 18 holes)
For more information on the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, visit usga.org or follow @USGA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #USWomensMidAm.