They came to watch Jenny Chuasiriporn, but the appreciative gallery went away with words of praise not only for her but for the play of Mallory Crosland.
Crosland's win at the 17th hole led to a 1-up victory over Chuasiriporn in the semifinals of the Maryland State Golf Association Women's Division Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Maryland yesterday.
In this morning's championship match, Crosland will meet Leland Beckel, from Columbia CC, a 5-and-4 semifinal winner over Julie Russum of Chester River Yacht & CC. Two-down after three holes, Beckel, a quarterfinals loser against Crosland a year ago, turned 1-up and had five straight pars on the back nine, four for wins.
All even after 16 holes against Chuasiriporn, from Timonium and Hunt Valley GC, Crosland got a break when her tee shot at the par-3 17th caromed off a tree on the right, missed the hazard fronting the green and landed in the rough below the green.
She chipped and one-putted for par to the back right pin placement, whereas a bunkered Chuasiriporn came out to 20 feet from wet sand, then watched her par bid stop just short of the cup.
At the 18th, Chuasiriporn had a restricted (tree) second shot, put her third on the green, and missed her par putt from 25 feet. Crosland, hole-high in two, got a delicate downhill pitch shot to six feet, at which point Chuasiriporn conceded.
"My hands were shaking so, all I wanted to do was get the ball on the green," Crosland, from the Chevy Chase Club, said of her final shot.
On a cool, rainy afternoon with enough breeze to make club selection a factor, it appeared a final-round appearance was only minutes away after Chuasiriporn, a Duke University junior, struck superb iron shots to set up three successive birdie putts from inside 10 feet to go 3-up after 12 holes.
Then it was time for Crosland, a junior at Vanderbilt, to rally.
Pub Date: 7/25/97