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Wendy Ward

Wendy Ward, 21, of San Antonio, Texas, won the last two holes and claimed a 2 and 1 victory over defending champion Jill McGill in the final match at the 1994 U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championship, played at the Homestead's Cascades Course, in Hot Springs, Va.

Ward, a senior at Arizona State University and the runner-up at the 1994 NCAA Championship, broke a deadlock when she sank a 10-foot putt for birdie 4 on the 34th hole of the 36-hole match. She then closed out the match on the next hole with a par 5 when McGill, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Southern California, from Denver, Colo., strayed into the trees with her 7-iron second shot and didn't reach the green until her fourth.

"That was one of my worst shots all week," said McGill. "That shot will haunt me. I just hit it thin."

In contrast, Ward has pleasant memories. "My putt on 16 was the turning point," she said. "I felt Jill would make her putt (for birdie) and I'd have to make mine to halve the hole. I had played that hole well all week."

"Winning the Amateur was something for me to chase," she continued. "What it means will probably not sink in until the long ride back to San Antonio. Or maybe when I start reading some of the names on the trophy."

Neither player held more than a 2-up advantage throughout. Ward jumped in front at the start by winning the first two holes of the morning round, and she held a 2 up advantage through 10 holes before McGill won holes 12 and 14 to pull the match back to all square.

McGill, who won the 1993 Women's Amateur, 1994 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links and was vying to become the first person to win three USGA championships in a year's time, took a 2 up lead by winning the first two holes of the afternoon round, but Ward rebounded by winning three straight holes to go 2 up after a birdie 4 on the ninth hole. McGill then won three holes compared to Ward's one through the 14th, setting the stage for Ward's rally down the stretch.

"My coach always has said I'm a back nine player," said Ward, the 1994 PAC 10 Player of the Year and a first-team All-America. A day before she proved it when it counted most. "And it helps to have a lot of confidence when you're coming in."

McGill had a string of 1 6 straight competitive match play victories snapped with the loss. She hadn't lost since the semifinal round of the 1993 Broadmoor Invitational, in Colorado Springs, Colo. She defeated Emilee Klein, of Studio City, Calif., in her semifinal match, 1 up.

Ward had an easier time in her semifinal match, defeating Andrea Baxter, of Eagle, Idaho, 7 and 5.

Of the semifinalists, all but Baxter was a member of the 1994 U.S. team for the Curtis Cup, which had been held just two weeks earlier. All eight members of the Great Britain and Ireland team played in the Women's Amateur and advanced to match play. The highest finisher among the group was Lisa Walton, of Berkshire, England, who lost to McGill in the third round, 2 and 1.

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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