Wiesner joins two-time champ Lang in Senior Women's Amateur finals
TULSA, Okla. -- Two-time champion Diane Lang and left-hander Toni Wiesner each won two matches Wednesday at Tulsa Country Club to advance to the USGA Senior Women's Amateur final.
The 53-year-old Lang, the 2005 and 2006 winner from Jamaica, beat U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur champion Joan Higgins of Glendora, Calif., 3 and 2 in the quarterfinals, and edged Claudia Pilot of Austin, Minn., 2-up in the semifinals.
The 61-year-old Wiesner, from Fort Worth, Texas, beat Boodie McGurn of Richmond, Va., 3 and 2 in the quarterfinals, and topped qualifying medallist Carolyn Creekmore of Dallas 2 and 1 in the semifinals.
Wiesner used a tremendous short game to eke out pars against Creekmore, who birdied five of her first eight holes in a 7-and-6 quarterfinal romp over Carol Semple Thompson. Creekmore faded down the stretch in the semifinals, finishing with four consecutive bogeys to squander a 1-up lead after 13 holes.
"I just kept making stupid shots," said Creekmore, the 2004 champion. "She kept plodding and I kept screwing up."
Wiesner was an escape artist. She rolled in a 35-foot par-saving putt on the par-4 seventh hole. After smothering a drive on 10, she was just attempting to lay up when her fairway wood rolled 218 yards to 20 feet below the hole.
On the 15th hole, her tee shot hit a tree and landed at its base, but the left-hander was able to take a full swing. She halved the hole with a bogey after Creekmore, who was 70 yards past her off the tee, missed the green and couldn't get up and down.
Wiesner took the lead on the 16th hole with an incredible break. Her second shot, heading left toward a stand of trees, hit the 2-inch tall 100-yard marker set in the center of the cart path and kicked back into play, leaving her an easy approach.
Creekmore, perhaps stunned, chunked her approach and made a bogey to fall one down, then bogeyed the par-3 17th as well.
Wiesner finished second in the event in 1997 and 2000 and lost to Lang in the semifinals in 2006.
"I really need to get this done tomorrow," Wiesner said. "I'm getting a little long in the tooth."
After pulling her drives early, Lang opened her stance and played a cut shot that helped her steady herself to edge Pilot.
"I want this more than anything," said Lang, who has employed a new swing coach and personal trainer since losing in the semifinals last year. "I've given up my job, practiced all day, worked out, swung in my garage at night. I've been a good girl and we'll find out tomorrow if it will pay off."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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