Schiavone shines in #USWomensMidAm Qualifier at Whitford
EXTON, Pa. – As a middle school math teacher and assistant golf coach for her mother’s team, Stani Schiavone “has a rewarding career.” Tuesday at Whitford Country Club (par 72, 5,832 yards), it was her golf game reaping the reward.
Schiavone, of Bangor, Pa., finished with a 9-over 81 and medalist honors in a U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship Qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP). After finishing at 10-over 82, also securing national championships berths in a 3-for-2 playoff were Karen Siegel of Maple Glen, Pa. and Catherine Elliott-Powell of King of Prussia, Pa.
The day’s first alternate position went to Sara Gerloff (10-over 82) of Virginia Beach, Va., while the second alternate was grabbed by Sarah Relyea (13-over 85) of Bloomingdale, N.J.
The championship proper will be held Sept. 14-19 at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
For the medalist, a bogey-bogey-double bogey start wasn’t ideal, but also wasn’t deadly. Schiavone turned the tough luck and high scores into rest-of-round motivation.
“My round started off pretty slow and I had a couple of bad breaks. On the 1st hole, I was on a root under a tree and didn’t have much of a shot. On the 2nd hole, I was embedded on the front lip of a bunker, and on the 3rd hole I hit it out-of-bounds. It didn’t start well,” said the former University of Mississippi standout golfer who graduated in 2015. “I was able to accept [those mistakes] and move on. The key was determination.”
Making the turn in 6-over 42, Schiavone knew she had some work to do on Whitford’s second side. With only a three-bogey stretch in the middle of the back nine, she accomplished just that, riding six pars to a final-round 82.
“I felt like on the back nine I started to figure out the course. I didn’t play a practice round beforehand. I started to adjust as the greens were pretty firm and I was finding my distances and landing spots,” said Schiavone, a Riverview Country Club member in Easton, Pa. “In golf, you just take what you can get each day. It feels amazing to have qualified.”
Compared to her collegiate days, Schiavone hasn’t been playing much golf lately due to recent back surgery and a jam-packed schedule. Now set for a national championship, that should change. The beginning of her school season, which practice began for yesterday, will help, too.
“I help coach the team at [Bangor High School] along with my mom [who is in her 15th season]. That’s when I really start to play a lot as I’m with the kids at the golf course every single day,” said Schiavone, a math teacher at Bangor Middle School.
Despite not having competed at a high level as of late, Schiavone is looking forward to getting back on the big stage at Forest Highlands. After all, as a USGA veteran, she’s no stranger to what it takes to compete against the best of the best.
“It feels amazing. It’s always incredible to qualify for any USGA event,” said Schiavone. “This will be my sixth USGA Championship. I’ve played in three [U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships], a [U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship] and qualified for a [U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur] two years ago. I’m looking forward to getting the adrenaline going again, and once I get out there, whatever happens, happens.”
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.
|Name, city, state||Score|
|Stani Schiavone, Bangor, Pa.||81|
|*Catherine Elliott-Powell, King of Prussia, Pa.||82|
|*Karen Siegel, Maple Glen, Pa.||82|
|Alternates (in order)|
|*Sara Gerloff, Virginia Beach, Va.||82|
|Sarah Relyea, Bloomingdale, N.J.||85|
|Failed to qualify|
|Meghan Perry, Wilmington, Del.||89|
|Barbora Maralikova, Coatesville, Pa.||90|
|Janice Park, Meadowbrook, Pa.||93|
|Taylor Hollander, Chadds Ford, Pa.||94|
|* – decided in 3-for-2 playoff|