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Potter, Shirley each US Women’s Mid-Amateur final

October 10, 2013

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Stroke-play medalist Julia Potter and Margaret Shirley advanced to final Wednesday in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur at Biltmore Forest.

The 25-year-old Potter, a recently reinstated amateur from Granger, Ind., beat Tara Joy-Connelly of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 3 and 2 in the morning quarterfinals, and topped Canada’s Stefi Markovich 3 and 2 in the afternoon semifinals.

“I came in with the goal of giving myself a chance of winning this championship and now I’ve done it,” Potter said. “It just hit me right now that I’ve gotten to this place and how rare that is for a golfer. That’s huge for me.”

The 27-year-old Shirley, from Roswell, Ga., beat Andrea Kraus of Baltimore 5 and 4 in the quarterfinals, and rallied to edge four-time champion Meghan Stasi of Oakland Park, Fla., in 19 holes in the semifinals. Against Stasi, Shirley took Nos. 17 and 18 with pars and won with a conceded birdie on the first extra hole.

“I hate that Meghan finished that way because she played so well all day, but that’s match play,” said Shirley, a manager of rules and competitions for Atlanta Junior Golf. “There’s a reason she’s won four of these. She’s got one of the best short games I’ve ever seen. I’m just lucky to come away with the win today.”

Stasi’s approach at the 19th found the creek in front of the green. With Shirley safely on the green in two, Stasi’s putt for bogey came up short, and the four-time champion conceded the victory.

“I beat myself up today on a few shots,” said Stasi, 34-4 in Women’s Mid-Amateur match play. “Just really stupid mistakes and I know better. It’s a shame, but she played solid and she did what she needed to do.”

The tournament is limited to players 25 and older.

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