After losing to Julia Potter in last year's championship match, Margaret Shirley exacted some revenge Thursday, defeating Potter, 5 & 3, to claim the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur title.
Potter triumphed in 19 holes a year ago at Biltmore Forest Country Club, and the 26-year-old sought to become just the fourth player to successfully defend her Mid-Am title at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville, Ind., a short drive from her home in Granger, Ind. Instead, Shirley took command of the championship match from the start, winning two of the first three holes and carrying a 2-up lead into the back nine.
Shirley never trailed in the match and put things out of reach with wins on Nos. 10, 11 and 13 to boost her advantage to 5-up. While Potter won No. 14 to extend the match, Shirley closed things out with a par on the par-4 15th hole to claim her first USGA title.
Shirley, 28, played her college golf at Auburn and currently resides in Roswell, Ga. She is a three-time winner of the Georgia Women's Open and has previously served as an assistant golf coach at both Auburn and the University of Georgia.
Started in 1987, the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur is open to female golfers age 25 and older with a handicap index of 9.4 or lower.