Despite trailing for much of the day Thursday, 25-year-old Julia Potter completed a comeback against Margaret Shirley in the final of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, winning on the 19th hole to claim her first USGA title.
A native of Granger, Ind., Potter capped a career week by hoisting the trophy after earning medalist honors during the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the event at Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, N.C. After squaring the match with a par on No. 17, Potter's par on the first extra hole was enough to secure victory.
Shirley, 27, took a 1-up lead on the fifth hole Thursday and did not trail from that point until the final hole of the day, though her lead was greater than 1-up at only one point in the match. After winning her semifinal match Wednesday when defending champion Meghan Stasi found the creek short of the first green in sudden death, Shirley suffered the same fate on the first extra hole Thursday to hand the title to Potter.
A recent graduate from the University of Missouri, Potter was playing in her first Women's Mid-Amateur and just her second USGA championship overall.
First conducted in 1987, the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur is open to female amateur golfers age 25 or older with a USGA handicap index of 9.4 or lower.