Lara Tennant rode her home course advantage to co-medalist honors
PORTLAND, OR (September 10, 2017) - Lara Tennant, the first-round leader and a 23-year member at Waverley Country Club, and Helene Chartrand, of Canada, each recorded a 36-hole total of 2-over par 146 to earn co-medalist honors in the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Waverley, which is set up at 5,836 yards and a par of 72.
Tennant, who had a large gallery following her, including three of her five children and her husband, Bob, carded five bogeys and four birdies to match her Round 1 total of 1-over 73. Bob grew up in a house on Waverley’s 12th hole. Tennant’s father, George Mack Sr., an accomplished Oregon golfer who learned how to play on the course, carried her bag.
“It was so fun to have so many people out following me,” said Tennant, 50, who has had two shoulder surgeries over the last four years, and excluding the USGA’s Women’s State Team, hasn’t played in a USGA championship since the 2007 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. “It encourages me. This [earning co-medalist honors] is a bonus. Yes, I wanted to do really well, and I have played well so far, but this is about my family and all my friends here at Waverley. This is so fun and so great. The more people out there, the better.”
Chartrand, 61, bested her first-round score by four strokes Sunday, carding a 1-under par 71 that was highlighted by a 12-footer for birdie on the par-3 ninth hole, her final hole of the day. It was one of only two under-par rounds in the championship.
“I feel strange, happy, I don’t know where this is coming from because I haven’t been playing that great,” said Chartrand, the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur champion in 2014 and runner-up in 2016. “I took a couple putting lessons from my coach a few weeks ago and changed my setup, and have worked hard on pace and speed and trying to trust myself.
“Usually, I’m the queen of three-putts, and I had four yesterday, but only one today,” said Chartrand who is playing in her sixth consecutive U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and made a quarterfinal appearance in 2014, losing 1 down to champion Joan Higgins. “So, I stroked the ball really well today. I actually don’t think I can hit the ball any better than I have the last two days. I missed three greens yesterday and only two today.”
The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, open to female amateurs age 50 and older with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 18.4, consists of 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 64 players advancing to match play, which begins Monday. The championship, scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.
Corey Weworski, the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, fired a 2-under 70 Sunday to register the best round over two days of stroke play. Weworski, of Carlsbad, Calif., the 2016 and 2017 California Senior Women’s Amateur champion, carded her round’s fifth birdie on the par-3 ninth with a 9-iron tee shot that rolled 8 feet past the hole.
“My caddie told me right where to hit it,” said Weworski of her finishing-hole birdie. “I have the best caddie. He’s been helping me read the greens, and when they’re downhill, he says, ‘Here’s what we need to cover,’ and makes me think. I’m normally like, ‘Point, shoot, let’s go.’ He is so good.”
Weworski’s caddie, Del DeAngelo, is an Evans Scholar from Portland who has caddied for three summers at Waverley and will begin his first year at the University of Oregon next weekend. At 55, Weworski, who is playing in her fifth consecutive U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and has made it as far as the quarterfinals in 2013, believes course knowledge is the key to working your way around Waverley’s challenging greens. She plans to stick with DeAngelo for match play.
“She’s a phenomenal golfer and hits it really long,” said DeAngelo, one of 11 Waverley caddies working at the championship. “I know the course pretty well, but she’s always willing to listen and such a good player. She can execute a shot anytime she needs to.”
Defending champion Ellen Port returned a 79 and 76 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, to finish tied for 17th with an 11-over par 155. Port, 55, of St. Louis, Mo., has won seven USGA championships – four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and three U.S. Senior Women’s Amateurs – and is one of the most decorated amateur players in USGA history. Other USGA champions who qualified for match play include Carolyn Creekmore (2004 Senior Women’s Amateur), Terri Frohnmayer (2011 Senior Women’s Amateur), Mina Hardin (2010 Senior Women’s Amateur), Mary Ann Hayward (2005 Women’s Mid-Amateur), Sherry Herman (2009 Senior Women’s Amateur), Diane Lang (2005, 2006, 2008 Senior Women’s Amateur), Martha Leach (2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur) and Anna Schultz (2007 Senior Women’s Amateur).
The second round ended with a 7-for-6 playoff ay 19-over 163 that began at 7:15 p.m. PDT between Gigi Higgins, Andrea Kraus, Julie McMullin, Courtney Myhrum, Lisa Schlesinger, Nanette Seman and Sherry Smith. Higgins and Myhrum, who bogeyed the par-3 ninth hole, the first playoff hole, extended the playoff to a 2-for-1 opportunity on the par-4 10th. Myhrum clinched the final match-play spot by draining a 65-footer for par while Higgins was unable to convert her long putt.
Some of the notable players to miss the cut include Mary Budke, the 1972 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and an eight-time Oregon Golf Association champion; Karen Garcia, the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion; and Martha Lang, the 1988 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and a member of the USGA’s Executive Committee.
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