Championships at Kahkwa
|Women's Western Open||1958||Patty Berg|
|U.S. Women's Open||1971||JoAnne Carner|
|Pennsylvania Women's State Amateur||1975||Carole Semple|
|Pennsylvania Women's Senior Amateur||1975||Phyllis Semple|
|Western Pennsylvania Men's Amateur||1987||Tim Dunlavey|
|Pennsylvania Women's State Amateur||1997||Carole Semple Thompson|
|Pennsylvania Women's Senior Amateur||1997||Connie Shorb|
|Western Pennsylvania Men's Amateur||1998||Sean Knapp|
|U.S. Women's Amateur||2004||Jane Park|
|Pennsylvania Women's State Amateur||2009||Margaret Pentrack|
|Pennsylvania Women's Senior Amateur||2009||Alexandra Frazier|
|Western Pennsylvania Men's Amateur||2012||Greg Podufal|
|U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur||2016||Julia Potter|
U.S. Women's Open
JoAnne Gunderson Carner won the 1971 U.S. Women's Open at The Kahkwa Club, posting a score of even-par 288; seven-stroke victory. Despite the challenging setup from the USGA with long, difficult rough and fast, undulating greens, Carner said "the minute I saw Kahkwa, I loved it."
The buildup to the 1971 Women's Open was mostly focused on two-time defending champion Donna Caponi and Kathy Whitworth. Caponi was on a quest to become the first to win three consecutive U.S. Women's Opens and Whitworth was the LPGA's leading money winner for the year and all time. In addition, everyone wondered if this would be the year to end Whitworth's quest for her first Women's Open Championship.
A crowd of 2,500 greeted players for Thursday's opening round where Caponi and Carner each shot a 2-under-par 70 to share the lead. Friday brought windy conditions and a very difficult test of golf. A crowd similar to the opening day saw Carner fire a 73 and grab a two-shot lead over Caponi. Testament to the challenge of the course was the 36-hole-cut score of 159, which ended the championship for 82 players.
The weekend belonged to Carner. Her third-round 72 gave her a five-shot lead and a strong start in Sunday's final round helped her widen the lead to 10 before completing her 73 and seven-stroke victory. Weekend crowds of more than 5,000 each day we're amazed at Carner's length off the tee. Although she hit only 29 fairways in the four rounds, her prodigious length left her with short irons into most greens and allowed her to negotiate Kahkwa's deep rough.
Mrs. Carner has never forgotten that week in June of 1971 and her love affair with Donald Ross' masterpiece. Years later she praised Kahkwa as "a fantastic golf course. It's truly beautiful and one of the greatest I've ever seen."
U.S. Women's Amateur Championship
Jane Park, 17, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., won the United States Women's Amateur Championship with a 2-up victory over Amanda McCurdy, 20, of El Dorado, Ark., in the 36-hole final at the 6,365-yard, par-72 course at The Kahkwa Club.
On a brilliant summer day, the Park-McCurdy contest lured more than 4,000 spectators to a match that went the distance. It was Park's first national title after having reached the final in three USGA championships; this championship, the 2003 Women's Amateur and the 2004 U.S. Girls' Junior.
Park became the first USA Curtis Cup competitor - she played on the 2004 team - to win the Women's Amateur since Kelli Kuehne in 1996. She also is the fourth player in Women's Amateur history to win after losing in the previous year's final match and the first since Cathy Sherk in 1978.
"Coming in second twice, that's pretty awesome, I think," said Park. "Coming in first is a whole new thing ... and to be able to finally break through. I can't even put into words how happy I am. I'm just not an emotional girl; it's all inside of me."
McCurdy was three holes down with four holes to play and made a valiant attempt to square the match. She captured two of the next three holes and was one hole down going into the 36th green. Then, with Park facing a birdie putt of 12 feet, McCurdy took three putts from 45 feet, made bogey, and saw her dream come to an end.
"Of course I wish I could have won," said McCurdy. "I'm a competitor and I hate to come this far and not come out on top, but second place isn't always that bad ... She's a great champion."
U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship
If the testing greens were the undoing of co-medalist Shannon Johnson in the championship final, they were fellow co-medalist Julia Potter’s salvation, as she one-putted eight times, including for the clinching par on No. 17, to give her a second victory in this championship, in her third trip to the final match in four years.
“I tried to be confident over every putt,” said Johnson, 33, of Norton, Mass., whose miss from 3 feet on the 17th green sealed a 2-and-1 victory for Potter, of Indianapolis, Ind., in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at The Kahkwa Club. “Donald Ross got me in the end.”
“When you get to the sixth day of championship play – the eighth day, counting practice rounds – you are starting to get tired,” said Potter. “That’s when you fall back on that short game. I was lucky enough to be able to do that.”
Victory in this 30th Women’s Mid-Amateur seemed anything but assured for Potter when Johnson rallied to win four consecutive holes (Nos. 12-15), all with pars, to square the match with three holes to play. Potter had built a 4-up lead through six holes as Johnson hit a couple of erratic approach shots and Potter made par saves and a birdie on the par-4 sixth.
On the decisive No. 17, Potter found the fairway, Johnson a bunker to the left, and both players missed the perplexing concave green to the left, creating another battle of up and downs. Potter wedged to 2½ feet, Johnson just outside of her, and after Johnson missed her par try, Potter converted.
Potter becomes just the fifth player to win multiple U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, joining Sarah LeBrun Ingram (1991, 1993, 1994), Ellen Port (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011), Meghan Stasi (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012) and Carol Semple Thompson (1990, 1997). She is the only female left-handed champion in USGA history and is now the only multiple left-handed champion.