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GOLF: MINA HARDIN IS WOMEN’S USGA SENIOR AMATEUR CHAMPION

GOLF: MINA HARDIN IS WOMEN’S USGA SENIOR AMATEUR CHAMPION

Mina Hardin Wins 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship-
story courtesy of lpga-

Fort Myers, Fla. – Mina Hardin, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas, defeated Alexandra Frazier, 52, of Haverford, Pa., 2 and 1, to win the 49th USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course of Fiddlesticks Country Club.


Playing conservatively from the tee and hitting fine approach shots, Hardin outlasted Frazier, the 64th of 64 qualifiers to get into match play. Hardin is the first female citizen of Mexico to win a USGA national championship.

Hardin was 1 up when she stroked a curling 60-foot putt with a 12-foot break to within a foot of the 17th hole. She was conceded a par. Frazier had been rolling in putts of considerable length throughout the round but missed her 8-footer to tie the hole, giving Hardin her first national title.
“This morning when I woke up I thought I could be the first woman Mexican citizen to ever win a USGA event,” Hardin said. “This is a dream come true.”

Hardin played conservatively and hit her driver on only three holes. She teed off on 11 holes with hybrid clubs.
Hardin was 2 up at the turn but the momentum shifted toward Frazier at the par-5 11th hole. Frazier was on the green in four strokes, 2 feet from the hole. Hardin was just 20 yards short of the green after two wood shots, but then stubbed her chip. Faced with having to get up and down for a par, Hardin left her next chip 10 feet short of the hole. She missed the putt for a par and Frazier made her 2-footer to win the hole.

“Mid-swing, I just doubted my distance,” Hardin said of her first flubbed chip shot. “It kind off rattled me a little bit.”
“Each day I’ve won that hole from long hitters because they try to go for it in two and then they’re in a funny spot,” Frazier said.

The 12th was another key hole to the outcome. With Hardin 1 up, Frazier got down in two strokes from the front bunker, holing a 25-foot putt for a par. Hardin faced an 8-foot putt to tie the hole.
“I was still thinking, ‘Okay, you can do this,’“ said Hardin. “It’s okay. Not a big problem.”

She made the 8-footer to remain 1 up.
With both players scrambling valiantly for pars, the margin held until the 17th when Hardin’s fine lag-putt stopped near the hole and she was conceded the par that would win the match and the championship.

Frazier’s appearance in the final was a surprise. As the last qualifier to make match play, she had upset the medalist and the defending champion earlier in the week. The gallery of about 200 spectators cheered her on as an underdog. As she advanced and scored upset after upset, she was referred to as “Number 64.”
At the trophy presentation ceremony, Hardin set the record straight. Turning toward Frazier, Hardin announced, “You’re not number 64. You’re number one.”

“This was never a dream of mine because it seemed so far away and unattainable,” Frazier said after the match ended. “I’m just shocked I’m here and delighted and proud.”
In 2001, Hardin was runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Frazier’s biggest title was the 2009 Pennsylvania Senior Women’s Amateur.

The Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 10 national championships conducted by the United States Golf Association. 10 are strictly for amateurs.
Fort Myers, Fla. – Final results of the 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course of Fiddlesticks Country Club.
Final
8:00 a.m. Mina Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas, (149) def. Alexandra Frazier, Haverford, Pa., (165) 2 and 1

*******************************************************************************************************************

Frazier, Hardin Advance to Final of USGA Senior Women’s Amateur

Fort Myers, Fla. – Alexandra Frazier, 52, of Haverford, Pa., will meet Mina Hardin, 50, of Fort Worth, Texas in Thursday’s final of the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course of Fiddlesticks Country Club.

Alexandra Frazier continued her improbable run at the Senior Women's Amateur by ousting defending champion Sherry Herman in the quarterfinals on Wednesday morning. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

Frazier defeated Patty Moore, 60, of Charlotte, N.C., in Wednesday’s semifinals, 2 and 1. Hardin defeated 2005 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Mary Ann Hayward, 50, of Canada, 1 up.

Frazier enters the match as the most surprising of finalists. In a field of 64 for match play, she qualified 64th and then became the giant-killer when she upset medalist Leigh Klasse in the first round and defending champion Sherry Herman in the quarterfinals. If Frazier wins, she would be the first 64th seeded player to win a USGA championship.

“I’m the underdog, so I have nothing to lose,” Frazier said. “I feel like I’m the underdog every time. I’d obviously be delighted to win. I’m delighted to be in the finals. I’m shocked.”

The Frazier – Moore contest went to the last player standing as both hit some loose shots. Moore’s par won the first hole, but Frazier’s bogey won the second and squared the match. Frazier went 1 up after a birdie at the par-5 fourth hole and she won the fifth with a bogey for a 2-up margin.

Moore won the ninth with a bogey and grumbled as she walked off the green.  “I’ve got to figure out this putter,” Moore said. After a good week on the greens, Moore couldn’t rally her flat stick. She three-putted the 10th to lose it to Frazier’s par.

Frazier won on the 17th hole when both players bogeyed. With the usual match-play concessions, she was 10 over par.

“I’m completely unaware of the score,” Frazier said. “I’m playing every hole in itself. It’s match play…I just plod along. But I am a good match-play player. I’m scrappy. I figure out a way to get it in the hole.”

The Hardin-Hayward match pitted two former professionals and featured eight birdies, with Hardin making four of them on a brilliant stretch of eight holes.

There was never more than a two-hole margin between Hayward, a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, and Hardin, runner-up in the 2001 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Both are reinstated amateurs.

Hayward was 2 up at the turn, but Hardin holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 11th to cut the margin to 1 hole. At the 12th, Hardin hit a 107-yard wedge shot to within three feet of the hole for another birdie to square the match.

Hayward came back with a birdie on the par-3 13th to take a 1-up lead but Hardin’s winning par on the 14th again squared the match.

Both players displayed fine shot-making on the final two holes. Hardin hit a 9-iron to within inches of the hole on the 143-yard par-3 17th and took a 1 up lead when Hayward could only manage par.

With Hardin’s slim lead, both players took a risk on the par-5 18th hole where the green is surrounded by water. After fine tee shots, both went for the green on their second shots. Hardin hit a 5-iron to within 50 feet of the hole. Hayward was also on the green, some 60 feet away.

Hayward snuggled her putt to within tap-in range, setting the table for Hardin. But Hardin’s long putt came up seven feet short and she was faced with having to make it to win the match.

Hardin’s husband Gary, her caddie, said, “You’re going to make that putt.”

Hardin said, “You got it.”

She knocked in the birdie putt to win, 1 up, and raised her arms.

While Hardin was 1-under par on the card and will be the more experienced player in Thursday’s final, she isn’t discounting Frazier’s ability to win the big ones.

“You don’t ever count anybody out,” Hardin said. “It is golf. So I’m going to have the same plan of attack. Mind my own business. Hit my own shots. To me there’s nothing better than getting a USGA trophy.”

Frazier too said she would continue her own winning routine. “I’ll do the same thing I’ve been doing all week,” she said. “I’ll stretch, eat breakfast, come out, warm up and play.”

Fort Myers, Fla. – Results of Wednesday’s quarterfinal round of match play at the 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur being contested at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course at Fiddlesticks Country Club. (All times EDT)

Quarterfinals

Upper Bracket

8 a.m. – Alexandra Frazier, Haverford, Pa. (165) d. Sherry Herman, Farmingdale, N.J. (151), 1 up

8:10 a.m. – Patty Moore, Charlotte, N.C. (148) d. Deborah Anderson, Rancho Mirage, Calif., (163), 4 and 3

Lower Bracket

8:20 a.m. – Mary Jane Hayward, Canada (145) d. Claudia Pilot, Austin, Minn. (150), 4 and 2

8:30 a.m. – Mina Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas (149) d. Joan Higgins, Glendora, Calif. (148), 2 and 1

Fort Myers, Fla. – Results of Wednesday’s semifinal round of match play at the 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur being contested at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course at Fiddlesticks Country Club. (All times EDT)

Semifinals

Upper Bracket

Frazier d. Moore, 2 and 1

Lower Bracket

Hardin d. Hayward, 1 up

Fort Myers, Fla. – Pairings for Thursday’s final round match play at the 2010 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur being contested at the 5,862-yard, par-72 Long Mean Course at Fiddlesticks Country Club. (All times EDT)

Final

8:00 a.m. – Alexandra Frazier, Haverford, Pa. (165) vs. Mina Hardin, Fort Worth, Texas (149)

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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