ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Julia Potter had a pair of hard-fought victories on Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.
The event was at the par-71 Biltmore Forest Country Club.
Potter trailed 2 down after two holes in her morning match with Marilyn Hardy, but was able to draw even by the seventh hole. She won three consecutive holes on the inward nine to take control of the match and advance to the round of 16.
Potter was 5 up after five holes in her third-round match with Kate Hildahl. Her newfound success on the outward nine — Potter had not held a lead prior to making the turn in her two previous matches — did creep into the back of her mind.
"I honestly started thinking about it. Man, I'm starting off on fire on that front side," said Potter, who is trying to become the first stroke-play medalist since Ellen Port in 2000 to win the championship. "Mind you, I felt like I had something to prove on that side and I did."
Hildahl pulled back into the match on the inward nine, cutting the lead to 2 up with birdies at the par-4 14th and 16th. Potter then found water off the tee at the par-4 17th and made bogey, allowing Hildahl to pull within one hole with one to play.
"I still made it an interesting hole, but I couldn't believe I hit it in the water," said Potter, who secured the 1-up victory when the players swapped pars at the par-4 18th.
Potter will face Tara Joy-Connelly in the quarterfinal round. Joy-Connelly dispatched 2007 USGA Senior Women's Amateur champion Anna Schultz, 5 and 3, to reach the quarterfinals.
Four-time and defending Meghan Stasi earned a comeback 1-up victory in the round of 16. She dropped the first three holes to Renata Young for her first deficit of the championship.
"You can't three-putt and think you're going to win every match," said Stasi, who could join Joanne Gunderson Carner, Carolyn Cudone, Bob Jones and Glenna Collett Vare as the only golfers to win the same USGA championship at least five times. "I had to come back and make some birdies and I did."