The Women’s Executive Division is down to the final four, and the field followed the script as all four of the top seeds remain.
Defending champion Jodi Sullivan was on her game from the get-go on Wednesday as she cruised into the semifinals. Second-seeded Betsy Aldrich was pushed by Molly Baker but won late, and Nancy Syverson and Pam Marlow are next in line in trying to knock off the last two champs in Sullivan and Aldrich.
Here is a look at how all four players got to this point.
Sullivan def. Caver, 7-5
Alexandria’s Jen Cavers led after a win on No. 2 against Sullivan in the quarterfinals, but a stretch of five holes covering both nines allowed Sullivan to run away with the 7-5 win.
Sullivan grabbed her first lead on No. 4 and went 2-up with a birdie on No. 6. That lead stretched to three with a par win on nine.
She carried that momentum right into the turn. Sullivan’s win on hole nine was the first of five straight holes she would take. She played at 1-under through the shortened back by parring Nos. 10, 12 and 13 with a birdie win at 11.
Syverson def. Beckendorf, 2-1
Alexandria’s Nancy Syverson was in a back-and-forth battle all afternoon with Andover’s Heidi Beckendorf before a couple wins on Nos. 14 and 15 helped secure a 2-1 win.
Beckendorf pulled things all square with a par win at 13 after she trailed by one at the turn. The momentum didn’t last, though, as a couple of bogeys opened the door for Syverson on 14 and 15 as she capitalized with par wins. Both players bogeyed No. 16 before pars on 17 secured the win for Syverson.
Aldrich def. Baker, 4-3
Aldrich said her qualifying round early this week when she shot a 71 with five birdies felt almost effortless.
Her driver was working well that day and it set her up with plenty of quality looks at the green. She played well again on Wednesday in the match-play quarterfinals, but Molly Baker of Arizona pushed her before Aldrich pulled away a bit at the end for a 4-3 win.
“All four of the women in my group played really well,” Aldrich said. “All our matches went to at least 15 or 16. Molly Baker played great. We had a really fun group.”
Aldrich’s summer on the golf course has included playing in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina in May.
She carried the momentum of her solid play right into Resorters week. Aldrich and Baker were all square after a par win on No. 6 by Baker, but Aldrich responded from there. She parred Nos. 7 and 9 to go 2-up at the turn and birdie wins at Nos. 10 and 12 put her in the driver’s seat.
Baker got her lone birdie of the day at 13 to cut her deficit back to three. There was no comeback left in her, though, as Aldrich put the match away with a par on No. 15 to finish her round at 1-over par.
By this point in her career, Aldrich knows the Alexandria Golf Club like the back of her hand. She’s been coming here for years and has a complete comfort with the course and how she needs to attack it.
“You really feel like you know all the greens, and you know where to be careful,” she said. “You know where you have to be below the hole, so my comfort level here is 100 percent. It’s super fun, and it never gets boring because the course is always in such great shape and it’s such a fun course.”
The familiarity with AGC has served the multi-time champion well over the years, but she continues to go into each match by not taking anything for granted.
“You can’t overlook anybody,” Aldrich said. “Look at Molly Baker. She took me to the 15th hole today and I was only 1-over. You can’t ever let up here. It’s fun. There’s so many nice people and it’s nice to have the execs and not be playing with the young kids who hit it 40 yards by you. I would never look beyond anybody at all.”
Marlow def. Johnson, 3-2
Pam Marlow will be the next in line to try to knock Aldrich off after she used a solid start to her round on Wednesday to beat Tiffany Johnson of Maple Grove.
Marlow had back-to-back birdies on holes two and three and then got a bogey win to go 3-up after five. The lone hole Johnson took came on No. 8 with a birdie, but Marlow’s third birdie of the round at 10 moved her to 3-up.
Neither player could create any separation from there as they halved the next six holes to end things after 16.