Part-time Coloradan Marilyn Hardy rallies once again for victory, this time advancing to quarterfinals of U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur
By Gary Baines – 10/3/2023
Call her the comeback kid.
Marilyn Hardy, who splits her time between Gunnison and Magnolia, Texas, has trailed her opponent after nine holes in each of her first three matches at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in Scottsdale, including two on Tuesday. But in each case, it was the two-time CGA Senior Stroke Play champion who prevailed.
The result is that Hardy will be going to the quarterfinals of this national championship for the first time since 2013. She made it to the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 1987.
And, mind you, this week started off with Hardy shooting an 82 in the first round of stroke play at Troon Country Club.
On Tuesday, in the second of her comeback wins that day, Hardy was 2 down through 11 holes of her round-of-16 match against Sylvie Van Molle of Belgium. But Hardy rallied to score a victory on the 19th hole, where her par bested Van Molle’s bogey.
Hardy, winner of both the CGA Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Stroke Play in 2023, won four of the last eight holes of her afternoon match, including two with birdies. She was 1 down after 16, but won 17 with a birdie. After the players tied 18 with pars, Hardy’s par on the first extra hole allowed her to advance.
For the match, the veteran of more than 45 USGA championships was 5 over par.
In her morning round-of-32 matchup, Hardy defeated Christie Blasi of Ozark, Mo., 2 and 1. After being 1 down through 10, Hardy won four of the last seven holes of the match, capping things off with a clinching eagle on No. 17.
For that match, Hardy went 2 over par for 17 holes.
“It’s a marathon,” said Hardy, at 62 the oldest of the quarterfinalists. “It was an ebb-and-flow kind of thing,” she said. “I hit the ball well, I hit a lot of greens, missed a few putts, and just kept grinding. That’s all. It’s all about grinding.”
In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Hardy will face 27th-seeded Kim Keyer-Scott of Bonita Springs, Fla., who has won each of her three matches by 2-and-1 margins. Whoever prevails in that match will play in the semifinals on Wednesday afternoon.
None of the top six seeds remain in the running for the title.
How golfers with strong Colorado ties are faring at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur:
MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 16 TUESDAY
Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison, def. Sylvie Van Molle, Belgium, 19 holes
MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 32 TUESDAY
Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison, def. Christie Blasi, Ozark, Mo., 2 and 1
MATCH PLAY ROUND OF 64 MONDAY
Kathy Kurata, Pasadena, Calif., def. Stacey Arnold, Westminster, 1 up
Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison, def. Tina Barker, Fairfield, Calif., 5 and 3
Martha Linscott, Mission Hills, Kan., def. Colorado Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton, 2 and 1
STROKE PLAY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Advance to Match Play
5. CO Golf Hall of Famer Kim Eaton 74-78–152
9. Marilyn Hardy, Gunnison 82-72–154
49. Stacey Arnold, Westminster 82-82–164
Failed to Advance to Match Play
Joanna Ringsby, Englewood 91-85–176
Laura Wetzel, Firestone 97-100—197
For all the scores from the Senior Women’s Am, CLICK HERE.
About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com