Meghan Stasi knows the routine at the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur as well as anyone. Carol Robertson couldn't be happier experiencing it after a two-year run in professional golf.
Stasi, a two-time champion, and Robertson, now an assistant men's and women's golf coach at Old Dominion, advanced to today's Women's Mid-Amateur championship match at Wichita Country Club. Both posted quarterfinal and semifinal victories Wednesday to emerge from a field of 130 that started play Saturday in the U.S. Golf Association championship for women 25 and older.
Their 18-hole final is scheduled for 9 a.m.
"The chances are a lot better now," Stasi, 32, of Oakland Park, Fla., said of the possibility of joining Ellen Port and Sarah LeBrun Ingram as three-time winners of the championship, which was first played in 1987. "It's still not over, though."
Stasi, who won the 2006 and 2007 Women's Mid-Ams as Meghan Bolger, defeated Fort Worth's Brooke Williams 4 and 3 in Wednesday afternoon's semifinals. Earlier in the day, Stasi won the final two holes to slip past 2009 runner-up Laura Coble of Augusta, Ga., 1 up in the quarterfinals.
Robertson, 27, of Virginia Beach, Va., eliminated Houston's Robin Burke 5 and 4 in the semifinals, hours after a 4-and-3 quarterfinal victory over Sydney Wells of Menominee, Mich.
Robertson, who turned pro in November 2007 after playing collegiately at James Madison, spent two years on the Futures Tour. She regained her amateur status on Sept. 5, then qualified for the Women's Mid-Am two days later.
"The Futures Tour made me a much better player than I ever thought I could be," Robertson said. "But after two years on tour, my heart wasn't in it. My heart is in this and I want to be out here, where on the Futures Tour, I always wanted to be home."
Robertson, whose husband, Jason, missed the cut after qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur this week in Bridgehampton, N.Y., never trailed against Burke. After taking a 2-up lead to the back nine, Robertson pulled away by winning the 10th and 13th holes, then rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt at the par-4 14th to end the match.
"I can't really say I had a plan in mind," Robertson said of her semifinal victory. "I kept telling myself the same things I tell my (players) at school. If something goes wrong, it's OK, Carol. It's not life or death."
None of Robertson's five match-play victories has gone past 16 holes. In defeating Burke, she knocked out a golfer who also reached the Women's Mid-Am semifinals five years ago.
Stasi, who played on the winning U.S. Curtis Cup team against Great Britain and Ireland two years ago at St. Andrews in Scotland, hasn't lost in a Women's Mid-Am final. She defeated Sri Lanka's Thuhashini Sevaratnam 5 and 4 in the 2006 championship at Old Waverly in Mississippi, then defended her title with a 1-up victory over Kerry Postillion in 2007 at Desert Forest in Arizona.
After her late heroics against Coble, Stasi never trailed against Williams. She took control of the match with a 25-foot birdie putt to win the par-4 fifth, then won the ninth, 10th and 11th holes to build a four-hole cushion.
Stasi had never played Williams, a former All-American at LSU who was playing in her first Women's Mid-Am. And while Stasi was winning her two consecutive Women's Mid-Ams, Robertson was embarking on her pro career.
"I'm not familiar with Carol," Stasi said. "But she's played well if she's played at that level."
U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
At Wichita C.C.
No. 16 Robin Burke, Houston def. No. 24 Corey Weworski, Carlsbad, Calif. 4 and 3; No. 5 Carol Robertson, Virginia Beach, Va. 4 and 3; No. 50 Brooke Williams, Fort Worth def. No. 7 Carolyn Creekmore, Dallas 6 and 4; No. 3 Meghan Stasi, Oakland Park, Fla. def. No. 11 Laura Coble, Augusta, Ga. 1 up.
No. 5 Carol Robertson, Virginia Beach, Va. def. No. 16 Robin Burke, Houston 5 and 4; No. 3 Meghan Stasi, Oakland Park, Fla. def. No. 50 Brooke Williams, Fort Worth 4 and 3.
9 a.m.— No. 5 Carol Robertson, Virginia Beach, Va. vs. No. 3 Meghan Stasi, Oakland Park, Fla.