Defending champ Julia Potter advances at U.S. Women’s Mid-Am


Defending champion Julia Potter and qualifying medalist Margaret Shirley won first-round matches Monday in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

The 26-year-old Potter, from Granger, Indiana, beat Canada’s Audrey Akins 2 and 1 at Harbour Trees in the event for players 25 and older.

”I didn’t hit a green until six, but Audrey played great,” said Potter, a 19-hole winner over Shirley in the final last year. ”She made some clutch putts at the beginning.”

The 28-year-old Shirley, from Atlanta, beat Rachel Smith of Mansfield, Texas, 2 up.

”I just had a bad stretch,” Shirley said. ”That’s going to happen, especially on a golf course like this. You just have to make sure you don’t get too down on yourself.”

Connie Isler of Arlington, Virginia, topped second-seeded Dawn Woodard of Greer, South Carolina 2 up.

”I just tried to stay in the moment,” Isler said. ”Dawn hits it super far, so I just tried to play my own game. I always tried to play like I was down, even though I was never down.”