(WOOLWICH, ON) – Welland resident Stefani Markovich grabbed the early lead Wednesday at the Investors Group Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, firing an opening-round 70 to lead the field by six strokes at Elmira Golf Club in Woolwich, Ontario.
The Lookout Point Golf Club member’s day was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4, 345-yard 4th hole and also featured four birdies, four bogeys and a double as she worked her way around the course, which is playing at 5582 yards for competitors this week. Markovich closed out the day at even par, and will look to retain her lead through the remaining 36 holes of play.
Second place currently belongs to Cataraqui Golf and Country Club member Andrea Blackwell of Kingston. The former Olympic basketball player and member of the Canada Basketball Hall of Fame is coming off a T2 finish at the Ontario Senior Women’s Championship last week in Stratford, and turned in a six-over par 76 Wednesday to sit in runner-up position heading into Thursday’s second round.
Three golfers are tied for third place; Coatsworth resident and Kingsville Golf and Country Club member Margot Gillespie, LaSalle’s Audrey Akins, and Thornhill Golf and Country Club member Judith Kyrinis. The trio sit a stroke back of Blackwell and seven off the lead at 77 (+7).
Ancaster resident Jennifer Lochhead is in sixth place at 78 (+8), while Marion Reid of Etobicoke sits in seventh place at 79 (+9).
Second round action got underway at 7:30 am on Thursday, with the 2013 champion set to be crowned at approximately 2:00pm on Friday following the completion of the final 18 holes of competition.
The Investors Group Ontario Women’s Mid-Amateur championship is contested annually and is open to female golfers age 25 and over. First contested in 1989, the championship trophy is named after Canadian and Ontario Golf Hall of Fame member Mary Ann Hayward, who has captured the title fourteen times. 2013 marks the first time Elmira Golf Club has hosted the event, and is taking place during the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.