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Cathy Sherk

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.

Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Old Warson Country Club will play at 6,422/6,468 yards and par of 35-36—71.

ARCHITECT: Old Warson Country Club was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1954.

COURSE SET-UP –The USGA Course Rating® for the Women’s Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club is 78.1 and USGA Slope Rating® is 140.

Tees and fairways, height of grass – 7/16 inch

Collars, height of grass – 0.2 inch

Putting greens, speed – 11.5-12 feet on USGA Stimpmeter

Intermediate Rough – 1.25 inches (3 feet width)

Primary Rough – 3 inches

FORMAT: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN PLAY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is open to female amateurs who have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: A total of 955 contestants entered the 2009 championship. The record of 969 was set in 2006.



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