Coble advances to Mid-Am quarters

Laura Coble: Augusta native and former Lady Jaguars golf coach won two matches Tuesday to get to the U.S. Mid-Am quarterfinals.

Former Augusta State women's golf coach and Augusta native Laura Coble defeated Ellen Port 2 and 1 in the 23rd U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship Round of 16 at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club in Ocala, Fla.


After tying for 10th in the stroke play portion of the event, Coble defeated former a Lady Jaguars golfer, Patti Hogeboom, in the opening round of match play. Coble defeated Kim Eaton of Greeley, Colo., 2 and 1 to set up her match with Port, of St. Louis. Port beat Holly Bare of Clovis, Calif., (2 and 1) and Joan Higgins of Glendora, Calif., (3 and 1) to reach the Round of 16.

Coble and Port were all square through 15 holes. Coble then recorded pars on Nos. 16 and 17 to close out her opponent.

Coble will play Christy Schultz of Rochester, N.Y. in the quarterfinals at 8:35 a.m. today. The winner of that match advances to play either Meghan Stasi, Wendi Golden or Amber Marsh Elliott in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Golden and Marsh Elliott were all square through 19 holes when darkness fell.

GOLF'S OLYMPIC BID: After years of sales pitches and lobbying, the officials backing golf and rugby are days away from finding out whether those sports will return to the Olympic program.

The IOC executive board has recommended the sports' inclusion in the 2016 Olympics -- awarded last Friday to Rio de Janeiro -- but they still need majority approval in separate votes by the full IOC assembly of 106 members.

Each sport will make a 20-minute presentation Friday before the vote. Golf is proposing a 72-hole stroke-play competition for men and women, with 60 players in each field.

Michelle Wie is scheduled to arrive in Copenhagen today, and Friday's pitch will include a videotaped message from Tiger Woods and other top pros competing in this week's Presidents Cup.

Woods has previously indicated he would play in the 2016 Olympics if golf was added, and his star power was a major selling point.

PLAYING THROUGH PAIN: Phil Mickelson said a minor back injury that flared up last week during practice will not keep him out of the Presidents Cup matches this week at Harding Park.

Mickelson said his lower back tightened up Friday when he was chipping and putting. He played only nine holes Tuesday.

"It's not a big deal. I'm fine," Mickelson said after holing a 60-foot birdie putt to finish off a friendly match during practice. "This is being way overblown."

Mickelson said he is limited practice "just to be cautious until the inflammation goes down," and that he was able to swing freely without any pain or discomfort.



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