Down by 5, Bethesda's Beckel rallies to Mid-Amateur final; Free State Seniors fall in Potomac Challenge; Golf


ATLANTA -- Leland Beckel, from Bethesda, rallied from 5-down at the turn to turn back Pat Cornett of Mill Valley, Calif., 1-up, and advance to the final of the 13th U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur championship at the Cherokee Country Club yesterday.

Beckel, a Columbia Country Club member who had put out Melanie Curtin of West Roxbury, Mass., 4 and 3, in the morning, then staged her comeback by playing the back nine in 2-under-par against Cornett, the finalist in the first championship in 1987, and a former Curtis Cup member.

Beckel, tied for fifth in Golfweek magazine's national rankings, will play Alissa Herron of Minneapolis in a scheduled 18-hole final this morning. Her brother is on the PGA Tour, and her father has played in the Chesapeake Cup at Caves Valley Golf Club.

Earlier, Beckel had sidetracked Andrea Kraus of Baltimore in the round of 16 for the second time in her five appearances, 2 and 1. In the previous three years, Beckel had reached the second round twice, then missed a playoff by a shot last year.

Potomac Challenge: Free State Senior players lost the aggregate matches, 4 1/2-1 1/2, and split the 12 singles matches, 6-6, in what became a 19 1/2-10 1/2 loss to the Northern Virginia Seniors in their sixth annual team competition at Cattail Creek Country Club.

MAPGA Pro-President: Mark Holyfield-Steve Gordon, from the Powerline Golf Center in Woodbridge, Va., shot a bogey-free 4-under-par 68, and won low gross in the annual event that attracted 52 teams at the Lowes Island Club.

Teams headed by pros Billy Bassler of Rolling Road GC, Tony Pancake of Baltimore CC and Mike Versuk of Chester River Y&CC; were the low area finishers with 71s.

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