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LIVE SCORING and Players to Watch: U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
08 Sep 2021
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, Lakewood Golf Club, Ellen Port Rankings

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Ellen Port of St. Louis, Mo. is looking for her fourth U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles
Ellen Port of St. Louis, Mo. is looking for her fourth U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles

The 132 golfers competing in the 59th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship range in age from 50 to 77 and represent 36 stats and 10 foreign countries.

With 18 players who have combined to win 30 USGA championships, the championship pedigree is thick as the late summer air at the Lakewood Club in Point Clear, Ala.

Their backgrounds are fascinating.

Take Kimbra Benson, who is retired from the U.S. Army after having served nearly 15 years on active duty and more than five years with the Army National Guard. The two-time Maryland Senior Women's Amateur champion has also made approximately 700 skydives.

Former Curtis Cup captain Dr. Patricia Cornett is taking a break from her duties of overseeing the fourth-year medical school curriculum and all education activities in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco to compete in her 66th USGA championship.

Kay Daniel's daughter, Abbey, is a rising junior at Mississippi State who competed in the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, while Brenda Kuehn's daughter, Rachel, was the medalist in the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Westchester Country Club in August. Both Kuehns have the distinction of having secured the winning point for the United States in the Curtis Cup.

Joan Garner, a retired lawyer and government affairs executive, is competing in her first USGA championship since the 1972 U.S. Girls’ Junior, marking 49 years in between USGA championship appearances.

Seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port made history last month as the first women to win the Met Senior Amateur, the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association's premier senior men's championship, prevailing in a four-hole playoff. She also tied for low amateur at the U.S. Women's Senior Open.

World Golf Hall of Famer Carole Semple Thompson has won seven USGA championship titles in 117 USGA championships played, tied for second-most among all women in victories with Ellen Port, one behind JoAnne Carner.

Brenda Williams is graphic designer who runs her own business, Elliott Williams Design, created the logo for Erin Hills, the host site of the 2017 U.S. Open Championship, as well as Windsong Farm Golf Club in Minnesota.

Here's a further look at the players who will be competing at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur starting on Friday at the Lakewood Club in Point Clear, Ala.

Inside the Field

Oldest Competitors: Marianne Springer (77, born 12/30/1943), Robyn Puckett (74, born 5/4/1947), Beatriz Arenas (73, born 3/18/1948), Carol Semple Thompson (72, born 10/27/1948)

Youngest Competitors: Tracy Welch (50, born 8/30/1971), Loraine Jones (50, born 6/10/1971), Rosie Cook (50, born 4/1/1971), Kay Daniel (50, born 3/1/1971)

Average Age of Field: 58.2

Field Breakdown by Age:
Age 50-54: 38
Age 55-59: 48
Age 60-64: 31
Age 65-69: 9
Age 70-79: 6

U.S. States Represented:There are 36 states represented in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: California (17), Florida (17), Texas (7), Alabama (5), Massachusetts (5), Pennsylvania (5), Oregon (4), Virginia (4), Arizona (3), Georgia (3), Hawaii (3), North Carolina (3), Ohio (3), South Carolina (3), Arkansas (2), Colorado (2), Connecticut (2), Idaho (2), Illinois (2), Kentucky (2), Maryland (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (2), Missouri (2), Tennessee (2), Washington (2), Alaska (1), Delaware (1), Indiana (1), Iowa (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (1), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New York (1), Wisconsin (1)

International: There are 11 countries represented in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur: United States (116), Canada (4), Australia (2), Japan (2), Spain (2), Belgium (1), Colombia (1), France (1), Guatemala (1), Mexico (1), Peru (1)

U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champions (10): Carolyn Creekmore (2004), Terri Frohnmayer (2011), Karen Garcia (2015), Mina Hardin (2010), Sherry Herman (2009), Judith Kyrinis (2017), Ellen Port (2012, 2013, 2016), Anna Schultz (2007), Lara Tennant (2018, 2019), Carol Semple Thompson (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)

U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur runners-up (10): Susan Cohn (2013), Jane Fitzgerald (2012), Alexandra Frazier (2010), Mina Hardin (2011), Pamela Kuong (2015), Judith Kyrinis (2014), Terrill Samuel (2017), Anna Schultz (2006), Carol Semple Thompson (2005), Sue Wooster (2018, 2019)

U.S. Women’s Amateur champions (1): Carol Semple Thompson (1973)

U.S. Women’s Amateur runners-up (2): Sarah Ingram (1993), Carol Semple Thompson (1974)

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champions (7): Kathy Hartwiger (2002), Sarah Ingram (1991, 1993, 1994), Martha Leach (2009), Amber Marsh Elliott (2003), Ellen Port (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011), Carol Semple Thompson (1990, 1997), Corey Weworski (2004)

U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runners-up (9): Laura Coble (2009), Patricia Cornett (1987), Mina Hardin (2001), Mary Jane Hiestand (2017), Brenda Kuehn (1995), Martha Leach (2011), Ellen Port (2002), Anna Schultz (2000), Carol Semple Thompson (1992)

Curtis Cup Players (5): Patricia Cornett (USA: 1978, 1988), Sarah Ingram (USA: 1992, 1994, 1996), Brenda Kuehn (USA: 1996, 1998), Ellen Port (USA: 1994, 1996), Carol Semple Thompson (USA: 1974, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002)

Curtis Cup Captains (4): Patricia Cornett (USA: 2012), Sarah Ingram (USA: 2021, 2022), Ellen Port (USA: 2014), Carol Semple Thompson (USA: 2006, 2008)

Players from Alabama (5): Patricia Ehrhart (Birmingham), Lea Green (McCalla), Kathy Hartwiger (Birmingham), Theresa Mahlik (Madison), Susan West (Tuscaloosa)

Played in 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur (1): Lara Tennant (MC)

Played in 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open (21): Tina Barker (MC), Nancy Beck (MC), Laura Coble (46), Susan Cohn (MC), Lynne Cowan (T36), Kay Daniel (MC), Patricia Ehrhart (MC), Gigi Higgins (MC), Sarah Ingram (MC), Amy Kennedy (MC), Sally Krueger (MC), Judith Kyrinis (MC), Martha Leach (T20), Danielle Lee (MC), Janet Moore (MC), Ellen Port (T20), Lara Tennant (T29), Carol Semple Thompson (MC), Corey Weworski (T36), Sue Wooster (T47), Sherry Wright (MC)

Sisters in the field: Lara Tennant and Cappy Mack

Sisters-in-Law in field: Jennifer Friedrich and Lydia Shell

Player Notes

Kimbra Benson, 56, of Leonardtown, Md., is retired from the U.S. Army, having served nearly 15 years on active duty and more than five years in the Army National Guard. She is an eight-time All-Army women’s champion and a six-time Armed Forces women’s champion. She has made about 700 skydives. Benson, who is competing in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, won the 2020 and 2021 Maryland State Women’s Senior Amateurs.

Patricia Cornett, 67, of Mill Valley, Calif., has competed in 65 USGA championships, including eight U.S. Women’s Opens. She was runner-up in the 1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and a member of the 1978 and 1988 USA Curtis Cup Teams, as well as captain in 2012. She is a member of The Olympic Club in San Francisco, the host of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open. Cornett continues to work full time at the University of California, San Francisco, overseeing the fourth-year medical school curriculum and all education activities in the Department of Medicine.

Kay Daniel, 50, of Covington, La., is competing in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Daniel, an orthodontist who has competed in 24 USGA championships, won the 2005 Louisiana Women’s State Amateur. Her daughter Abbey is a rising junior at Mississippi State University (Kay’s alma mater) who competed in the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. In 2019, Kay and Abbey became the first mother-daughter duo to make match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

Sarah Ingram, 55, of Nashville, Tenn., captained the USA Curtis Cup Team to a 12½-7½ victory over Great Britain & Ireland last month in Wales. Ingram will return as USA captain for the 2022 Curtis Cup Match at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. Ingram, a three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and a Tennessee Sports Hall of Famer, competed in three Curtis Cup Matches in the 1990s. She recently began playing competitively again and won the 2020 Tennessee Women’s Senior Amateur and the inaugural LNGA Senior Amateur title in April.

Joan Garner, 66, of Alexandria, Va., is competing in her first USGA championship since the 1972 U.S. Girls’ Junior, marking 49 years in between USGA championship appearances. Garner, a retired lawyer and government affairs executive, was the 2020 VSGA Senior Women’s Golfer of the Year and winner of the 1971 Oklahoma Junior Girls Championship. She has visited and played golf on every continent except Antarctica.

Judith Kyrinis, 57, of Canada, won her fourth Ontario Senior Women’s Championship last month at Spring Lakes Golf Club. Kyrinis, a 2019 Ontario Golf Hall of Fame inductee, won the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship by defeating Terrill Samuel at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore. She tied Sally Krueger for low amateur in the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. Kyrinis is a two-time Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur & Senior champion (2016, 2019).

Brenda Kuehn, 56, of Asheville, N.C., has competed in over 45 USGA championships, including nine U.S. Women’s Opens. Kuehn, a two-time Curtis Cup competitor, was the runner-up in the 1995 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. She secured the winning point for the USA in the 1998 Curtis Cup Match at The Minikahda Club in Minnesota, and watched her daughter, Rachel, achieve the same distinction at the 2021 Curtis Cup in Wales last month. Rachel, a rising junior at Wake Forest University, was the medalist in the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Westchester Country Club in August. Brenda and Rachel’s golf bond dates to the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open, when Brenda competed in the championship while eight months pregnant with Rachel. She is competing in her second U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

Martha Leach, 59, of Hebron, Ky., was co-low amateur in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn C.C. last month, where she tied for 20th, and also earned low-amateur honors in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2019. Leach is no stranger to USGA championships as she has competed in 29 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, winning in 2009, and has competed in eight U.S. Senior Women's Amateurs among 74 total USGA events. She was medalist in the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur before falling in the Round of 16 at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) C.C. Leach was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2018. Her sister is World Golf Hall of Famer and six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy. Leach and Stacy are one of two sister tandems to win USGA championships, joining Harriot and Margaret Curtis.

Lisa Morrissett, 54, of Indianapolis, Ind., is competing in her second U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Morrissett competed in 15 USGA championships between 1982 and 2000. She qualified for the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur after taking nearly two decades away from competitive golf. Morrissett is the daughter of Joe and Marcia Luigs, two longtime USGA officials who are both in the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame. Marcia is a former chair of the USGA Women’s Committee. Joe was the 2010 Joe Dey Award recipient and a former member of the USGA Green Section Committee.

Ellen Port, 59, of St. Louis, Mo., made history last month, becoming the first woman to win the Met Senior Amateur, the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association's premier senior men's championship, prevailing in a four-hole playoff. She was co-low amateur and finished in a tie for 20th in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn C.C. in Fairfield, Conn. Port is a seven-time USGA champion, including three U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur titles, with the last coming in 2016. She is tied with Carol Semple Thompson for second among female USGA champions, trailing only JoAnne Carner (eight).

Lara Tennant, 54, of Portland, Ore., won the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and successfully defended her title in 2019, defeating Sue Wooster of Australia in both finals to become the ninth player to win back-to-back U.S. Senior Women’s Amateurs. Tennant is a four-time Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur champion and winner of the 2020 California Senior Women’s Amateur and 2019 R&A Women’s Senior Amateur Championship. She was one of seven amateurs to make the cut in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open and finished in a tie for 29th. She made the first hole-in-one in U.S. Senior Women’s Open history in the inaugural championship at Chicago Golf Club on the 163-yard 7th hole.

Carol Semple Thompson, 72, of Sewickley, Pa., is a World Golf Hall of Famer with seven USGA championship titles in 117 USGA championships played, tied for second-most among all women in victories with Ellen Port, one behind JoAnne Carner. Thompson has competed on a record 12 USA Curtis Cup Teams and has captained another two teams. Thompson competed in the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., and is competing in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur since 2014 at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J.

Brenda Williams, 61, of Hopkins, Minn., holds the Guinness world record for the most holes-in-one at different courses during a one-year period, making four during an 11-month, three-day span in 2016 and 2017. Williams, a graphic designer who runs her own business, Elliott Williams Design, created the logo for Erin Hills, the host site of the 2017 U.S. Open Championship, as well as Windsong Farm Golf Club in Minnesota.

Joey Geske of the USGA contributed to this report

View results for U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
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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