Mrs. Cathy Sherk, 28, of Fonthill, Ontario, Canada, became the first foreign
player to win the Women's Amateur Championship since Miss Catherine Lacoste,
of France, in 1969.
She defeated Mrs. Judith J. Oliver, of Sewickley, Pa., 4 and 3, in the scheduled
36-hole final at the Sunnybrook Golf Club, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Mrs. Sherk reached the final in 1977, but lost, 3 and 1, to Miss Beth Daniel,
who had also won the 1975 Championship. Mrs. Ian Robertson, of Glasgow, Scotland,
was the medalist with an even-par 72, but lost her first-round match.
The qualifying round reduced the starting field of 154 players to 64 for match
play. Twelve players had to compete for the final qualifying places in a playoff
that was delayed until the following morning because of darkness.
From the quarter-final round on, Mrs. Sherk defeated three members of the
1978 U.S. Curtis Cup Team to win the Championship-Pat Cornett, Cynthia Hill,
and finally Mrs. Oliver. Miss Hill, the 1974 Women's Amateur Champion, gave
Mrs. Sherk her closest match, taking her to the final hole. Mrs. Sherk, 1 up
going to the 18th hole, overshot the green with her approach.
She played a delicate pitch from the rough at the back of the green, then
holed a short par putt to preserve the victory. Miss Hill had eliminated Miss
Daniel the previous day, 1 up, in a quarter-final match. Mrs. Oliver also had
a scare in her semi-final match with Miss Mary Hafeman. She needed a five-foot
birdie putt on the first extra hole to win. When she holed the putt, it was
the first time she had been ahead all day.
In the final match, Mrs. Sherk birdied the eighth hole of the morning round,
which put her ahead to stay. She was 3 up at the lunch break. In the afternoon,
she increased her lead to 4 up after 24 holes. Mrs. Oliver cut the lead in half
by winning the next two holes.
Mrs. Sherk countered by winning three of the next four holes for a five-hole
lead, the largest of the match. She closed out the match with a par 3 on the
15th hole, the 33rd hole of the match.
Three other former Champions-Mrs. Mark A. Porter (1949), Miss Mary Budke (1972),
and Miss Carol Semple (1973)-also qualified for match play. Mrs. Porter and
Miss Semple lost in the second round.
Miss Budke lost her first round match. A first-round match between Miss Denise
Hermida and Mrs. Carole Caldwell, of the British Curtis Cup Team, went nine
extra holes before Miss Hermida won with a birdie.
The match tied the Women's Amateur record for most extra holes, set in the
1950 Championship when Miss Mae Murray defeated Miss Fay Crock in the fourth
round. The Championship received a record 207 entries, exceeding the previous
high of 201 in 1939.