Port wins record fourth Women's Mid-Am
Virginia Beach, VA (Sports Network) - Ellen Port made history on Thursday by defeating Martha Leach to win her record fourth U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.
Port defeated Leach, 2 & 1, at Bayville Golf Club to win the title for the first time since 2000. With victories in 1995 and 1996 as well, she surpassed Meghan Bolger Stasi's and Sarah LeBrun Ingram's three titles to set a new mark.
"I didn't once think about winning," Port said. "I had to come back from behind once. But I was thinking about how many good shots I hit, and I don't know if I remember a tournament where I consistently hit as many pure irons and good tee shots. I've struggled with my driver for years. I think I got over the hump with that, and that was a big difference in my confidence."
The recently-turned 50-year-old Port advanced to the final earlier Thursday with a 3 & 2 victory over Helene Beat. Leach reached the final with a 19-hole win over Tara Joy-Connelly. Thursday is normally reserved for the final only, but bad weather forced a change of schedule.
Port never trailed in the final against the 2009 champ Leach, winning the first two holes before Leach won the fourth and sixth to square the match for the first, and last time.
Port rebounded with a par at the seventh to take the lead for good, increasing her advantage to 2-up with a par at the 10th. It became 3-up after a par at the 12th, though Leach made a last ditch effort with a birdie at the 13th to get back within two.
From there, however, Port matched whatever Leach did, even with both making birdie at the par-five 15th. Port was 2-up with two holes to play and bogeyed the 17th, but Leach also bogeyed the hole to allow Port to take the title again.
Port also never trailed in her semifinal battle with Beat, winning the first hole and four of the first six. Beat never got within 1-down again. Leach, meanwhile, trailed most of her match against Joy-Connelly, erasing a 2-down deficit with four to play and posting birdie on the first playoff hole for her only lead of the day in either match.
09/22 22:49:35 ET