Hebron, Kentucky resident Martha Leach has played in the USGA Women's Mid-Amatuer Championship 22 times. In those 22 years she has reached the semi-finals on four different occasions but until Wednesday had never been able to make it over the hump to play in the final round. In her semi-final match Martha was up 1 in match play going into the 18th hole against Virginia Derby-Grimes. Leach was standing over a 36 foot par putt while her opponent Derby-Grimes had a 12 foot put for birdie. Martha nailed her miraculous 36 foot par putt to put the pressure on her opponent. Derby-Grimes, a past winner of this tournament, missed her putt for birdie which secured the win for Leach.
Martha is playing this morning in the final round against former college teammate Laura Coble from Augusta, GA. Coble is also playing in her first final round. Leach is getting help from her husband and caddy John Leach. John is the Golf Pro at Traditions Golf Club in Hebron, KY. He is also the head of the John Leach Golf Academy.
The US Mid-Amateur Championship is open to female amateur golfers who are over 25 and have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 9.4. A total of 411 contestants entered the 2009 championship. Only 132 players became eligible and competed in 36 holes of stroke play to determine 64 qualifiers for match play. The winner of the Championship will receive the Mildred Gardiner Prunaret Trophy along with a number of sectional USGA tournament exemptions.