Howson, Marchand lead women’s amateur championship

Delaney Howson of Newmarket remains at the top of the leader board at the Investors Group Ontario Women’s Amateur, sharing the lead with Team Canada’s Brittany Marchand of Orangeville following the second round of competition at Loyalist Country Club.

Howson, a member of the Murray State University women’s golf team, got off to a shaky start with two bogeys and a double on her front nine, but found her stride down the stretch carding five birdies and a single bogey to close out the round with an even-par 72. The Station Creek Golf Club member sits with a total score of 142, two-under par.

Brittany Marchand moved up the leader board from a tie for fourth to share the top spot with Howson heading into Thursday’s third and final round. The Brampton Golf Club member added a three-under 69 to her opening round 73 to sit at two-under for the tournament.

Two-time champion (1991, 2004) Terrill Samuel of Etobicoke slipped to third place, a single stroke off the pace with a total score of 143 (70-73), one-under par. The reigning Ontario Senior Women’s champion will have 18 holes tomorrow to catch up with the pair of 20-year-olds that hold the lead.

Tied for fourth place is hometown favourite and defending champion Augusta James of Bath, who carded an even par 72 Wednesday for a tournament score of one-over alongside Thornhill resident Elizabeth Tong. Alina Rogers of Richmond Hill is tied for sixth with Vivian Tsui of Markham, followed by 2011 runner-up Taylor Schmidt of Kincardine who shares eighth place with Peterborough’s Katlyn Elliott and Stratford’s Natalie Gleadall, who fired the tournament low round with an eight-under par 66.

From the Golden Horseshoe, Stefani Markovich of Welland and Lookout Point CC, is tied for 24th after rounds of 77 and 79 for a 156 two-round total. Tied at 31st are Kaitlin Marrin, Oakville, public player, 80 – 78, and Laura Hildebrandt, Ancaster, Brantford G&CC, 80 – 78, 158s; sharing 36th is Jenna Hague, Burlington, Burlington G&CC, 85, 74 – 159; sharing 39th is Alanna Haynes, Oakville, Wyldewood G&CC, 80, 80 – 160; tied at 43rd is Samantha Spencer, Georgetown, The Club at North Halton, 82, 80 – 162; and tied for 54th is Madison Easterbrook, Burlington, Beverly G&CC, 83. 83 – 166.

Not making the cut were Lorelle Weavers, Burlington, Glendale Golf & CC; Kathryn Swierzewski, Burlington, Hidden Lake GC; Nadia Ayoub, Niagara Falls, public player; Kennedy Bodfield, St Catharines, Rockway Glen GC; Kendra Bishop, Niagara Falls, Rolling Meadows G&CC; Linda Burroughsford, Fort Erie, Cherry Hill Club; and Annika Haynes, Oakville, Wyldewood G&CC.

First played in 1904, the Ontario Women’s Amateur is being contested for the 97th time this summer, and for the first time at Loyalist. Past winners of the Investors Group Ontario Women’s Amateur Championship include 1968 LPGA Championship winner Sandra Post (1964), LPGA player Alena Sharp (1989), Team Canada members Jennifer Kirby (2009, 2010) and Augusta James (2011), and Marlene Stewart Streit, who holds the record for the most titles with 11 (’51, ’56, ’57, ’58, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77).