To Be Playing
Gets Call As Alternate … Drives 2 Hours On Monday To Compete In Women’s
David Shefter, USGA
Pa. – If anyone was happy to see a weather delay on Monday it was Ashley
Grier. Grier actually wasn’t even at Philadelphia Country Club as the
first round of stroke-play qualifying commenced on Monday. In fact,
she officially wasn’t in the field.
|Ashley Grier, of Hagerstown, Md., was a last-minute
replacement for Morgan Pressel, who withdrew on Monday due to a
family emergency. (John Mummert/USGA)
when Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., withdrew early Monday because
of a family emergency, the USGA quickly hit the phones to find an alternate.
When they got through to Grier ’s cellphone, the Hagerstown, Md., resident
said she could make it. Grier was the third alternate at the Bethesda,
Md., sectional qualifying site, but because Pressel’s withdrawal came
on the day of the championship, logistics prevented some alternates
from being available to play.
a sophomore-to-be at Jacksonville ( Fla. ) University, was in Clifton,
Va., assisting with a team match between girls from Maryland and Virginia.
Also there was her friend Kaitlyn Johnston, who plays at Appalachian
State. Grier and Johnston made the approximate two-hour drive together.
called at 10:15 (a.m.),” Grier said. “They were like, ‘Can you be here
by 1:45 (p.m.).’ I told them we would be cutting it close, but we would
try to make it.”
two pulled into the Philadelphia C.C. parking lot with 15 minutes to
spare. But upon arrival, they found out about the weather delays, which
eventually moved their starting time to around 6 p.m.
there was a rain delay because I was not ready to jump right out of
the car and start,” said Grier.
Grier was not able to get a practice round in prior to the championship.
So once she did start her round, she had little familiarity with the
nuances of the William Flynn-designed course, which this week is playing
6,368 yards (par 71). The rains also slowed up the greens a bit, but
Grier had difficulty finding the right pace for her putts. She finished
her round Tuesday morning at 84, a respectable score considering the
was a little bit nervous,” said Grier, who is competing in her first
Women’s Amateur. She did play in the Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship
in June, losing in the first round of match play to 13-year-old Stephanie
I was just happy to be playing. I really haven’t really practiced the
past couple of days, so I didn’t know how I was going to hit it when
I got out to the driving range.”
the popcorn, please: With Tuesday’s weather suspension keeping
players in the clubhouse for several hours, Rod Clement, the banquet
manager at Philadelphia Country Club, decided to open up one of the
dining rooms to show the classic golf movie "Caddieshack.” A showing
of “Meet the Parents” with Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller followed.
players decided to eat lunch or play cards during the delay, which began
at 1:04 p.m. Ashley Knoll, Mallory Underwood, Sookhee Baek, Cindy Shin
and Jane Park had a card game going. The competitors who had to come
out Tuesday morning to complete the first round of stroke-play qualifying
were able to finish. It was during the second round that the thunderstorms
hit the area.
club employee carried a tray of brownies and cookies into the players’
lockerroom and when she re-emerged, there was just one brownie left.
Needless to say, a weather delay is a good time to indulge in a sweet.
golfing pedigrees: Joni
Gossett, whose brother David caddied for her (he won the 1999 U.S. Amateur
at Pebble Beach and is now on the PGA Tour where he won the 2002 John
Deere Classic) was not the only player in the Women’s Amateur field
with a famous sibling or parent.
|David Gossett (left), the 1999 U.S. Amateur champion
and a current PGA Tour player, discusses strategy with his younger
sister, Joni, during first-round action on Tuesday at the Women's
Amateur. David caddied for his sister at this championship, something
his sister has done for him on the PGA Tour on two occasions. (John
Super (formerly Herron) also has a brother who plays the PGA Tour (
Tim Herron ). Super works for a management company that represents Tim
Herron as well as Tom Lehman , Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford , Stephanie
Louden and 2003 Women’s Open champion Hilary Lunke . In fact, Super
spent $2,500 on an airline ticket to fly out to Portland for the 18-hole
playoff between Lunke, Stanford and Kelly Robbins.
was well worth it,” said Super, who rarely plays competitively anymore
due to her job responsibilities. Super captured the 1999 U.S. Women's
Mid-Amateur in Atlanta, Ga., with her brother on the bag.
Doyle , 23, often caddies for her famous father, Champions Tour star
Allen Doyle . She was on her dad’s bag when he won the Ford Senior Players
Championship in 2001. Her sister, Erin , has also caddied for her father.
Juli Wightman , of Chicopee , Mass. , has an older brother (Tele) who
competes regularly on the Canadian Tour.
Shefter is a staff writer for the USGA. He can be reached at email@example.com.