Recommitted to golf, Wooster moves on at Sr. Women's Am
Sue Wooster (USGA photo)
Sue Wooster (USGA photo)

VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 8, 2018) – In her mid-20s, Sue Wooster had just enough time before starting a family to get wholly hooked on golf. She took up the game as a 25-year-old, found herself pregnant with twins three months later and golf took a back seat from there.

Now, Wooster’s husband Keith says, it’s back to the game his wife loves.

“She was doing all the home duties and looking after the kids and doing whatever so now it’s her turn,” he said.

Keith is walking alongside Sue this week at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, gently providing his wife with a second opinion when needed. He’s a caddie who doesn’t have to shoulder the bag, this being an event where golf carts are permitted.

Sue, 56, battled strong winds and intermittent showers at Orchid Island Golf & Country Club over the weekend to post rounds of 73-74. That left her with the No. 5 seed on the match-play bracket. Sue has a perfect record of qualifying for match play in USGA events. She has done so in all three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and all six U.S. Women’s Senior Amateurs in which she has played.

In Monday’s first round of match play, Sue ground out a close one against Susan West, eventually winning in 19 holes. Despite always making the bracket, Sue has never made it past the second round.

Give it time.

The Woosters owned and operated a plumbing business for years in Melbourne, Australia while raising their family. But with their four boys grown and out of the house – and now with six children of their own – it was time for Sue to recommit to the game. With two of their sons guiding Wooster Plumbing, Keith and Sue now set down part-time roots in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“We come over in your summer so we leave for our winter,” Keith said. “We’ve been without a winter for about five years.”

Having a home base in the U.S. has helped increase the number of tournaments that Sue can play – and she’s playing as well as ever. Sue qualified for the inaugural U.S. Women’s Senior Open at Chicago Golf Club and despite opening with 81, made the cut. Sue had been slumping up to that point of the summer, but when her youngest son Tyler, 24, flew over to caddie, he also provided a quick tune-up.

Tyler also brought Sue’s 88-year-old mother-in-law from Australia, who strode the sidelines with Keith for the week while Sue and Tyler got to work inside the ropes. Sue finished the weekend with rounds of 76-78-76 and was T-40.

Among Sue’s four sons, only Tyler showed a real affinity for the game. He and his mother share a swing coach in Andrew Pitt, whom Sue and Keith affectionately refer to as “Pitty.”

“I’ve been working with Andrew Pitt for the last couple of years and he’s really brought my game to another level,” Sue said. “He’s really got my ballstriking up to another standard that I’ve never been at.”

Pitt’s coaching has indeed been game-changing, but when she can’t get back to him in Melbourne, Tyler provides a helpful second eye. That generally involves placing a FaceTime phone call and positioning the phone so that Tyler can watch his mother swing. He’s been known to offer a swing fix even while multi-tasking.

“He’ll be driving to work and he’ll just look at her and say, ‘You’ve got too much weight on your left side,’ or whatever,” Keith said. “He’s got a really good eye. She wasn’t playing that good going into the (Senior Women’s) Open and he came over and helped her a bit.”

Tyler recently purchased a one-way ticket to Europe to see the sights, but his parents are already thinking about how they can get him back stateside for a repeat caddie gig at next year’s Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles.

After her Chicago tune-up, Sue really entered the grind. Victories at the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur and the North & South Senior Women’s Amateur followed. She had also won the New Zealand Senior Women’s Amateur in February.

“I’ve been playing now for the last few months so I’m feeling a lot more tournament toughened,” Sue said.

The record suggests she could go far this week at Orchid Island.

Notes from the Round of 64:

-Stroke-play medalist Pamela Kuong advanced with a 5-and-4 defeat of Sherry Herman. Kuong eagled the par-5 ninth to go 5 up.

-Patricia Cornett, the 2012 U.S. Curtis Cup captain and a veteran of more than 50 USGA championships, defeated Vero Beach local Laura Carson, 1 up.

-Martha Leach, first-round stroke-play leader, fell to Lea Anne Brown, 3 and 2.

-Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port defeated Fay Chen, 3 and 1. Port is looking for her fourth Senior Women’s Amateur title.

-Defending champion Judith Kyrinis of Canada needed 22 holes to take down Andrea Kraus of Baltimore, Md.

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ABOUT THE U.S. Senior Women's Amateur

The USGA Senior Women's Amateur is open to female golfers with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 14.4, who will have reached their 50th birthday on or before the first day of the championship. It is one of 14 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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