Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rockwall Senior Defies Youth Movement at USWAPL

The U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship is taking place now in Kentucky. Today is the second day of stroke play, and when it's complete the field will be cut to 64 and match play will begin on Wednesday.

The field at the USWAPL has an average age of around 20, kept so low because of the huge increase in recent years of teen girls who are competitive at USGA adult championships. Not just competitive, but victorious - Kimberly Kim won the U.S. Women's Amateur last year at age 14. She's at the USWAPL this week, and so is an 11-year-old.

Then there's Anna Schultz of Rockwall, who at age 51 is one of four seniors in the USWAPL this week. She is featured in an article on the tournament Web site:

"I just love the competition," said Schultz. "I don’t care how young or how old the players are, I just love to compete. It doesn’t bother me in the least that they’re hitting 7-iron into the green and I’m hitting 7-wood."

Schultz, a mother of three and a self-employed CPA (certified public accountant), was exempt into the field via her runner-up finish at last year’s USGA Senior Women’s Amateur. She was also the 2000 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up and a semifinalist at that event in 2001.

Frustrated by her opening-round 82, Schultz grounded her clubs by leaving all but one in the trunk of her car overnight. She took her 6-iron back to her room, stood in front of a mirror and worked through a swing glitch.

Schultz came back today with a 72. As I write this, play is suspended due to rain, but Schultz does have a chance - probably slim - to make it into match play. The second-round results will be posted here.

"I see a lot of young kids get really flustered out there at times when things start to go bad," she said. "You have to remember it’s just a game, there are going to be goods and bads; that there are a lot more dire things going on in the world."

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