James repeats in Isaly's WPGA Women's Amateur Championship
By Mike Dudurich • July 31, 2020
Mike is a freelance writer and host of The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan Saturday mornings from 7-8 AM. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDudurich.
VERONA – Apparently Katie James really likes playing in the West Penn Women’s Amateur.
A year ago, she won the event at her home club, Fox Chapel Golf Club. She shot 73 in that round, defeating Madison McDaniel by a shot.
Thursday, James won the 13th edition of the event, this time smoking the field at Green Oaks Country Club with a round of 67, six under par for the championship.
That was six strokes better than Katie Miller, a new member at Green Oaks, and Jessica Meyers of Oakmont. The result was never in doubt as James got to eight under through 13 and then concentrated on finishing it off.
“I have to admit it got a little nervous out there,” she said. “I knew I had a pretty good round going and I just had to focus to finish it off.”
James posted six birdies, an eagle and bogeyed the last two holes. If the result was at all in doubt, James eliminated that by going birdie, birdie, par, eagle to start the back nine.
“Katie was really solid today and got on a roll,” said Miller. “On No. 6, she had about 50-60 footer for birdie she rolled it in. She made every 15-foot putt she looked at. I got to know her last year in this event. She just played great today.”
The amazing part of James’ performance is that, since she has gone to Southern Methodist University, she’s spent a lot of time injured. She’s had surgery on both of her knees and has spent a lot of time rehabbing.
Her best-ever round Thursday gives her confidence as she prepares to return to deep in the heart of Texas Aug. 8. She’ll make one more big golf stop before heading south, playing in the State Amateur at historic Lancaster Country Club, Monday through Wednesday next week.
“I hadn’t seen this course until two days ago and I was trying to learn where to be on the holes, when I could be aggressive off the tees and when I needed to back off,” James said.
Miller will join James at Lancaster, even though her game may not be exactly where she’d like it to be.
“I haven’t been playing all that much,” she said. “Today was kind of a marginal round for me. I didn’t do anything really poorly, but I just didn’t finish.”
Kristine Hnat of Butler’s Golf Course won the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship with a round of 78; Rosie Studer won the Super-Senior category with a score of 85.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.