By Claire Welsh
(STRATFORD, ON) – Two-time champion Mary Ann Hayward of Aurora is on track to earn her third Investors Group Ontario Senior Women’s Amateur title after widening her lead to seven shots heading into the final round at Stratford Country Club.
Hayward, the 2010 and 2012 champion, fired a second round 70 (-2), adding to her opening 68 for a 36-hole total score of 138, six-under par. She carded a mixed bag of five birdies and three bogeys, along with a double bogey on the 7th hole that was preceded by an eagle on number 6. With 18 holes left to play, the Canadian, Ontario and Quebec Golf Hall of Famer leads the field of the province’s best female amateurs age 50 and over.
Currently in second place is Kingston’s Andrea Blackwell, a member at Cataraqui Golf and Country Club. The former Olympic basketball player and Canada Basketball Hall of Fame member put together two solid rounds of 72 and 73 to sit in the runner-up position. Playing her first Ontario Senior, Blackwell carded five birdies, two bogeys and two doubles on Wednesday for a total score of 145, one-over par.
Another two-time champion is in the top three; Granite Golf Club member Ivy Steinberg of Stouffville. The 2008 and 2009 winner carded a solid one-under 71 Wednesday, going birdie-bogey-birdie on her first three holes before paring every hole through to the end of her round to move into third place with a total score of 146 (75-71), two-over.
Diane Dolan of Gatineau, QC sits in fourth place after delivering a four-over 76, adding to Tuesday’s 73 for a total score of 149, five-over par. Two golfers are tied for fifth place at 150 (+6); Essex resident Mary Lou Henderson and Kingston’s Allyson Harrison. Local favourite Margaret Matthews, who is playing her home course this week, remains tied for 10th place at 154 (+10).
Following the completion of play on Wednesday, the field was cut to the low 54 players and ties, with the cut falling at 173 (+29) and 55 players moving on to Thursday’s third and final round.
Just two other Tri-County golfers made the cut for the final round. They are Cheryll Damphouse (T9) and Karen Rockliff (39), both of Amherstburg.
Tee times get under way at 7:30 am with the lead group of Hayward, Blackwell and Steinberg set to tee off at 10:30 am. Spectators are welcomed at Stratford Country Club and live scoring will be available online.