FORT MYERS, Florida – For most of the 132 ladies participating in the 35th U.S. Women’s Amateur at Fiddlesticks Country Club, memories were created that will last a lifetime, but none will match the week 27-year old Krissy Carman had along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Krissy Carman beat Aliea Clark 2 & 1 in the 18-hole final and will have plenty of stories, photos, articles and videos to share with her family that includes husband Mitch, who served as caddy, her two-year old son, Conrad, and her 67-year old mother, Suzanne Peterson.
She became the first mother to win this title since Ellen Port in 2011. Conrad was born just days before COVID-19 shut down the country in March 2020.
“I’m in disbelief, feels amazing, we’re going to Disney World,” said Carman with a smile. “Obviously I planned out our outfits for the week. I was just hoping that we would be able to wear all the matching ones, and it happened.”
The victory earns Carman a spot in the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at iconic Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links where she can create more happy memories.
“My siblings, everyone was just like, do it, do it, do it,” said Carman. “It’s incredible. I just had so much support the past couple weeks and past couple months playing in events again.”
That showed up this week in her first U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur start when she earned the No. 5 seed in stroke play and proceeded to plow her way through the bracket. She trailed for the first time in 62 match-play holes when medalist Jennifer Peng grabbed an early 1-up lead in their semifinal encounter on Wednesday. It was short-lived as Carman rallied for a 3-and-2 win.
Aliea Clark, 26, a third-year graduate student at New York University, saw her dreams of a title dashed for a second consecutive year. The Carlsbad, Calif., native, who reached the final in 2021 as a Cinderella No. 64 seed, joins Page Marsh Lea (1988-89) as the only players to lose consecutive championship matches in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
“I was exhausted, but I did my best,” said Clark. “I just felt like all week I didn’t even think twice about 5-footers. I had the line, put a good roll on it; and today I thought I had the line, I kept my head down, and I was just really shocked they weren’t in the hole. That’s not a great feeling.”
The Long Mean course at Fiddlesticks Country Club, designed by renowned architect Ron Garl, who has designed or renovated 250 courses around the world, lived up to it’s reputation by presenting golfers with challenges reserved for the very best.
After 36-holes of stroke play to qualify for the field of 64, three players from Massachusetts made the cut. Tracy Martin (Vesper GC) 74-72-146 was seeded 12th with Megan Buck (Thorny Lea GC) 75-73-148 seeded 23rd and Mary Mulcahy (Hatherty GC) 80-73-153 seeded 45th.
In the match play portion of the event both Buck and Mulcahy lost in the first match. Tracy Martin, Wakefield, Mass. (146) def. Leanne Smith, Norwalk, Iowa (154), 1 up in the field of 64 and moved on to the field of 32 Monday afternoon. Ana Alicia Malagon Perez, Mexico (147) def. Martin 3 & 2 and eliminated the last Massachusetts golfer from the competition.
WHAT THE CHAMPION RECEIVES
A gold medal
Custody of the Mildred Gardiner Prunaret Trophy for one year
Exemptions into the next 10 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships
Exemptions into 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles
Exemptions into 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa
Exemption into the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
The 2023 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will be contested on the North Course at Stonewall in Elverson, Pennsylvania Sept. 9-14.