I hit my irons really well and then my putter just saved me. —Kelsey Chugg
The week didn’t exactly start off great for Utah’s Kelsey Chugg at the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur golf championships in Houston.
Chugg shot a first-round 85, which put her well back in the 132-golfer field and in poor position to make it to match play. However she rallied with a second-round 72 to make the 64-player match play bracket and she hasn’t slowed down since.
The 26-year-old former Weber State golfer won her fourth and fifth matches Wednesday at the Champions Golf Club to advance to the finals where she’ll meet Mary Jane Hiestand of Naples, Florida, Thursday morning in an 18-hole match. The Mid-Am is for non-collegiate amateur golfers 25-and-older.
In Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Chugg defeated Hayley Hammond of North Carolina 6 and 4, then came back in the afternoon to beat No. 3 seed Marissa Mar of San Francisco 3 and 1.
“I hit my irons really well and then my putter just saved me,” said Chugg, who has won four Utah Women’s State Amateurs, including this year's title. “I finally made some putts, which was awesome.”
Chugg, who works as the membership director at the Utah Golf Association, said she had nearly 50 text messages after winning two matches Tuesday and is appreciative of the support she’s getting from friends and family.
“Everybody is just so excited,” she said. “They're just like, Keep going, keep going, do it. So (I’m getting) a lot of encouragement.”
In her morning match, Chugg won the first hole with a birdie and by the turn was 3 up. Then she won holes 10, 12 and 14 to close out the match. Then in the afternoon, she also birdied the first hole and was 2 up by the turn. She birdied No. 10, lost 13 with a bogey and then birdied 13 to go back to 3 up.
In the round of 16 Tuesday, Chugg knocked off No. 2 seed and 2015 Mid-Amateur champion Lauren Greenlief 3 and 2.
The 58-year-old Hiestead is playing in her 22nd Mid-Amateur championship and she never got past the quarterfinals before. She defeated No. 4 seed Shannon Johnson, making a 48-foot putt on the 19th hole of their match.