Steph Urban was a comfortable winner in semifinals 5 and 3 against Tara Thomas in the Erie District Women’s Golf Association match play championship on Saturday.

Anna Swan advanced even earlier on the back nine at Lawrence Park Golf Club. The Northeast star and former PIAA gold medalist knocked out Ari Capotis 7 and 5.

When Sunday’s final came around, however, both tournament seeds agreed that a full 18-hole round was more than likely.

Urban, the four-time defending champion and five-time overall champion, even went so far as to say regulation play won’t be enough to determine a winner once he tees off at 10:40 a.m.

“I went birdie-birdie to end the game (against Thomas), but (Saturday) was more like shooting for pars for me,” Urban said. “Anna had six consecutive birdies (against Capotis), so (on Sunday) I have to go chase the flag.”

If Urban wins by consistently attacking the pins, that outcome will further define his status in tournament lore. She would tie Georgiann “Turk” Hamilton as the only female golfers to win five straight Match Play titles.

Hamilton, as a member of the former Gospel Hill Golf Club, was the tournament medalist from 1981 to 1985. She previously served as president of the EDWGA and was inducted in 1992 into the Metropolitan Erie chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Famous.

Urban said Hamilton, as a member of Lawrence Park, had acknowledged his willingness to share the record.

“She’s been texting me good luck all week,” Urban said. “It would be bittersweet (to tie the record) because I play with her all the time. But getting to that record would mean a lot. I mean, a lot.

Urban, whose initial title took place in 2009, would also move into sole possession of third place (six) on Match Play’s all-time win list if she beat Swan.

The late Jean Forsyth was a 10-time winner between 1947 and 1966. Hamilton is second with seven.

Hamilton bracketed his record five-year run with titles in 1979 and 1988.

Anna Swan hits her tee off from Lawrence Park Golf Club's signature second tee during Saturday's semi-final match against Ari Capotis in the Erie District Women's Golf Association Championship match play.  Swan advanced to Sunday's final at 10:40 a.m. with a 7-5 win.

Hinder the story

Urban said after the 2021 Match Play that his chances of winning EDWGA events would drop soon.

Retaining an influx of talented players who are half his age or older was the basis of his assessment.

Anna Swan, who is about to start her junior season at North East, fits Urban’s description perfectly. She is already on the EDWGA title list, having been declared co-champion with her older sister Lydia Swan for last season’s Stroke Play tournament.

Anna Swan also recorded the low 1-under 71 for last Wednesday’s round that determined the seeds for this weekend’s tournament. Swan was seeded second because Urban was automatically No. 1 as the defending Match Play champion.

Swan’s calm and collected demeanor ahead of Sunday’s final should also get Urban’s attention.

“Honestly, I’m not too worried about it,” Swan said. “I know Steph can play and I know she’s very good at match play. She’s kind of expected to win because she’s won before, but I’m kind of expected to win. win because I have already won.

“I’m not nervous at all. It will be a good game. »

Older Swan still in action

Lydia Swan roamed the fairways and greens of Lawrence Park on Saturday, but not as a player. The recent Northeast graduate and former PIAA champion was the caddy of Anna Swan.

Lydia Swan had a valid reason not to take part in this weekend’s Match Play action. She left after Saturday’s semifinal for Lemont, Ill., where the 2022 Junior Women’s PGA Championship will be held.

Swan previously qualified for the national tournament, which begins Tuesday at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club. She’s also just weeks away from starting her college golf career at Division I Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tara Thomas hits her second shot on the third hole at Lawrence Park Golf Club during her semi-final against Steph Urban at the Erie District Women's Golf Association match play tournament on Saturday.

Surprise success for Thomas

If Lydia Swan wanted advice on what to expect as a freshman college golfer, she could have asked Thomas on Saturday.

The 2021 Villa Maria graduate, though best known for winning the PIAA Class 2A women’s doubles tournament three times, has accepted a women’s golf scholarship from Bucknell University. She concluded her first season as the No. 1 starter for the Bison.

His average round of 80 was the lowest of their 2021-22 season.

Thomas chuckled as she talked about these developments. Neither were given serious thought when she arrived at the Leiwsburg school last fall.

“I didn’t expect to get first place in freshman year. Ever,” Thomas said. “I just wanted to play. But playing every day made the difference.

Thomas simultaneously played for Villa’s golf and tennis teams, each a PIAA fall sport, late in his college athletic career. She qualified for the state women’s golf and tennis tournaments as a senior.

Contact Mike Copper at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ETNcopper.