Semple Thompson Advances to Finals


Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, Penn., will be going for three straight when she faces Anne Carr of Renton, Wash., in the 40th USGA Senior Womens Amateur Championship final Thursday at Allegheny Country Club.
After winning the first three holes of her semifinal match Wednesday against Elizabeth Haines of Gladwyne, Penn., Semple Thompson won four straight holes starting at the par-5, 9th hole to take control en route to a 6-and-4 victory.
I was hitting good shots into the greens, and that was really the key, Semple Thompson said. I put myself in a good position to make putts on each of those holes.
It is the second opportunity for Semple Thompson to win a national championship at her home course. In 1990, she captured the U.S. Womens Mid-Amateur at Allegheny. She also won the 1973 U.S. Womens Amateur and 1997 Womens Mid-Amateur titles, and was runner-up at both the 1974 U.S. Womens Amateur and the 1992 Womens Mid-Amateur.
This is the first USGA Senior Womens Amateur for Carr, who qualified a year ago but had to withdraw when she threw her back out the day before she was due to leave for the championship. Despite the impressive resume of her opponent Thursday, Carr insists she wont be intimidated.
Im ready, she said. I never dreamed Id be up to playing somebody of her caliber, but it looks like I might be.
The opportunity to face Semple Thompson in the final became a reality when she sank a long putt on the par-5, 18th hole to earn a 2-up victory over Karen Ferree of Hilton Head, S.C.
I just couldnt believe what I had done, Carr said. I was overwhelmed with awe that this body could play the kind of golf that it had just played. I feel like something just took over my body and hit these fantastic golf shots today.
In the mornings quarterfinal matches, Semple Thompson advanced with a 5-and-4 victory over Taffy Brower of Boynton Beach, Fla., while Carrs 2-up victory over medalist Marianne Towersey of Newport Beach, Calif., allowed her to advance.
Haines advanced to afternoon action with a 1-up victory over 2000 runner-up Toni Wiesner of Fort Worth, Texas and Ferree moved on with a 2-and-1 win over Marylou Henderson of Canada.
A day after Tuesdays tragic events around the nation, Semple Thompson said the decision to play was the right one.
The USGA had a discussion with all eight players as to how we felt about playing today, and I think the prevailing opinion was that there wasnt a thing we could do about what was going on in New York or Washington, and we probably should try to get back to some sort of normalcy, if there is going to be such a thing in our lives again, Semple Thompson said. If the president had said there was going to be a day of mourning, we certainly werent going to play.
A moment of silence will be observed prior to Thursdays championship final, which is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. EDT.