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#USSrWomensAm Qualifier at Lu Lu

Mohler medals in #USSrWomensAm Qualifier

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GLENSIDE, Pa. — A scene from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams” is Noreen Mohler’s only Iowa reference point.

“When the baseball player comes out of the cornfield and says to Kevin Costner, ‘Is this heaven?’ And he says, ‘No … it’s Iowa,’” Mohler, 65, of Bethlehem, Pa., said. “I’ve never been to Iowa, so I don’t know much about it. I hear it’s flat with a lot of corn and fertile soil.”

Mohler will confirm those corn whispers when she sees the Hawkeye State firsthand in a few weeks. The Northampton Country Club member earned medalist honors in a U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Qualifier administered by GAP at Lu Lu Country Club (par 73, 5,623 yards) Monday.

Mohler carded a 6-over-par 79 to gain entry into the Championship proper, set for Aug. 24-29 at Cedar Rapids Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sue Sardi of Skillman, N.J. and Donna Young of Ewing, N.J. also advanced.

In order to secure a ninth U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur appearance, Mohler needed to overcome a protective mindset at Lu Lu.

“It was shaky at first. I don’t know what was going through my head,” Mohler, a GAP Executive Committee member, said. “It was like I was trying to protect a lead and I didn’t even have a lead. I was 4 over after six holes.”

A birdie on the par 5, 431-yard 10th settled Mohler into the round. She knocked a wedge 80 yards to eight feet there. Mohler also birdied the par 5, 439-yard 17th hole following an ideal 58-degree wedge shot from 65 yards. The ghost of protective golf past re-emerged on the 18th tee. Fortunately, it didn’t ultimately haunt Mohler.

“I get up there and I say to myself, ‘Don’t hit it right.’ And I haven’t hit it right all day,” Mohler said. “I hit it left. Another protective swing off the tee led to a double bogey. No reason for it. I just need to work on my mental game.”

Mohler made her first USGA appearance in the 1968 U.S. Girls’ Junior at age 14. She’s accrued 35 years-worth of national championship experience since. Of note, Mohler served as captain of the 2010 Curtis Cup team, reached the 1975 U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinals and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur quarterfinals on three occasions.

Sardi, a Cherry Valley Country Club member of 30 years, feels ecstatic to make her third USGA appearance.

“This is what matters to me. This is the thing I want,” Sardi, 63, said. “I’m really happy. I had no exceptions. Last Tuesday, I shot 93 at Ridgewood Country Club. I wasn’t feeling too confident coming here.”

Sardi, who represented New York during this year’s Griscom Cup, quickly gained confidence thanks to a reliable putter at Lu Lu. Lag putting proved crucial. As did a 5 on the par 5, 421-yard 13th hole. A 3-hybrid from 190 yards set up a chip 9-iron, which Sardi threw into tap-in territory.

Young, 62, returns to territory she last charted a decade ago. The Springdale Golf Club member carded an 81 — one back of Sardi — to gain entry into her 19th USGA event and third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

“This is exciting to be going to Cedar Rapids,” Young said. “I haven’t qualified [in the last 10 years]. I’ve been injured. I’ve had a lot going on and a lot of health issues. Multiple things … neck, back problems, two hand surgeries in the last two years, a hip procedure. It’s like I’m held together with Kinesio tape. It’s great to be back. I’ve worked hard on my game. I still like to compete.”

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers
Name, city, score
Noreen Mohler, Bethlehem, Pa.79
Sue Sardi, Skillman, N.J.80
Donna Young, Ewing, N.J.81
Alternates (in order)
Karen Siegel, Maple Glen, Pa.82
*Elizabeth Haines, Gladwyne, Pa.85
Failed to qualify
*Johanna Kung, Wilmington, Del.85
Patrice Franco, Long Beach, N.Y.86
Allyson Harrison, Kingston, Ontario86
Allison Long, Coatesville, Pa.89
Julie Smack, Wilmington, Del.91
Eileen Ramasamy, Moorestown, N.J.92
Alison Kellock, Oreland, Pa.95
Angiewhitley Coleman, New Castle, Del.WD
Barbara Jones, Scarborough, N.Y.WD
* — determined in playoff
WD — withdrawal