Lea Anne Brown has high expectations as she competes in her second U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur beginning Saturday at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club.
Brown, 52 and the membership director at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, made it to the round of 16 in the 2010 Senior Women’s Amateur at Fiddlesticks Country Club in Florida. And she has been playing well since earning co-medalist honors in qualifying last month at Sea Island, Ga.
“I get really pumped up for USGA (U.S. Golf Association) events. I don’t know why, but I play better and hopefully that will be the case this year,” said Brown, who is competing in her 10th USGA event. A field of 132 competitors age 50 and older will participate in 36 holes of qualifying Saturday and Sunday, with the top 64 advancing to match play beginning Monday.
Brown, who lives in Mount Pleasant, was inducted into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year. She has won the Charleston Women’s City Am 13 times, including nine in a row, and has won the Women’s SCGA stroke play and match play titles three times each.
Making it into the field at Hershey did not come easy, and not without a sense of déjà vu. Brown missed out in Senior Women’s Amateur qualifying at Sea Island a year ago when she hit her second shot on the first hole into the water and made a double bogey. During qualifying this year, she did exactly the same thing. And she missed a three-foot putt on the final hole to shoot 80, a score she thought would preclude her from advancing.
She said her front nine was “terrible,” with a double bogey and three bogeys. But Brown recovered to earn one of the three available qualifying spots.
The Senior Women’s Amateur will be played on Hershey Country Club’s West Course, which will play to a yardage of 6,220 yards and par of 74 with six par-5 holes. Brown said she has looked at the course online, particularly the length of the par-3 holes, and she has practiced from those distances.