By Claire Welsh
(STRATFORD, ON) – Defending champion Mary Ann Hayward of Aurora opened the 2013 Investors Group Ontario Senior Women’s Amateur with a four-under 68 to take the early lead in the 54-hole competition hosted by Stratford Country Club.
Hayward laid down the only sub-par performance of the first round, opening with a bogey before carding a string of four birdies on holes 3 through 7. She then managed two more birdies after making the turn on 12 and 13, before giving back a bogey on 15 and closing with three straight pars.
With her 68, the Canadian, Ontario and Quebec Hall of Fame member and two time Canadian Senior Women’s champion (2010, 2011) has a four shot lead over the field of Ontario’s best female amateurs age 50 and over heading into Wednesday’s second round.
Kingston’s Andrea Blackwell, a newcomer to the senior ranks, is currently in second place after delivering an even-par 72 on Tuesday. The Cataraqui Golf and Country Club member posted a solid performance with birdies on 9 and 11 before a double bogey on 17 put her back to square to finish the round. The former Olympic basketball player will have two more rounds to catch up to Hayward before the trophy is awarded on Thursday afternoon.
Currently in third place is Gatineau, QC resident Diane Dolan. The recent Ottawa Valley Golf Association Women’s City & District champion is five strokes back after carding a one-over par 73.
Strathroy resident Jane Hedges-McKinnon is tied for fourth place at 75 (+3) alongside two-time champion (2008, 2009) Ivy Steinberg of Stouffville, while Ridgeville resident Sandra Billyard matched Theresa deLuis of Brockville to share sixth place at 76 (+4).
Stratford Country Club member Marg Matthews, who is playing her home course, is currently tied for 10th place after carding a seven-over 79.
Second round action gets under way at 7:30 am on Wednesday, with the field set to be cut to the low 54 players and ties following 36 holes of play. The 2013 champion will be crowned Thursday afternoon after completion of the final round.
Local Tri-County golfers are represented well at the Ontario Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
- Sandra Billyard, Ridgeville, 76, +4, T6
- Mary Lou Henderson, Essex, 77, +5, T8
- Cheryll Damphouse, Amherstburg, 79, +7, T13
- Karen Rockliff, Amherstburg, 86, +14, T50
- Kim Rutherford, Windsor, 87, +15, T52
- Debra Kennedy-Snider, Kingsville, 95, +23, T87
The Investors Group Ontario Senior Women’s Amateur Championship is contested annually and features the province’s best female amateurs age 50 and over. Past champions of the event include Ada Mackenzie, Kay Helleur, Gayle Borthwick and World Golf Hall of Fame member Marlene Stewart Streit.