Kathy Kurata takes California Senior Women's Amateur title
Kathy Kurata (NCGA photo)
Kathy Kurata (NCGA photo)

Pasadena resident Kathy Kurata came up north, took on a challenging course and tough field, and walked away as a California Amateur champion.

Kurata fired a final-round 4-over 76 Wednesday at San Jose Country Club to come in at 9-over 225 and polish off what became a wire-to-wire win. Along with simply being one of the biggest wins of her career, the victory sewed up Senior Women’s Player of the Year honors for the SCGA member. Kurata was also the SCGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year in 2018 and 2020.

“This is so huge because it’s a California Amateur event. It’s both the North and South,” said Kurata, who took early control of the championship thanks to an opening round of 73. “This is always such a great event. And to compete and win against this caliber of players. It’s very special.”

In winning, Kurata had to fend off among others defending champion Lara Tennant. A part-time Pebble Beach resident and the three-time defending champion of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, Tennant had entered the final round only four shots behind Kurata. Tennant would never get going, however, opening with four bogeys in her first five holes en route to a final round 75 that left her three shots behind the winner. Third place went to Itsuko Moridaira at 236 following a card-off with NCGA Hall of Famer Sally Krueger.

“The whole day I just didn’t play very well,” said Tennant, who was aiming to be the first repeat winner since Corey Weworski in 2016-17. “Kathy was very consistent every day. She played very well.”

Kurata’s steadiness showed. The 61-year-old administrator for her husband’s optometry practice never scored higher than a bogey over her 54 holes.

“Lara and I are good friends. We love the competition,” Kurata said. “Watching her beautiful game—it helps me.”

Super Senior Championship

In the Super Senior Championship (ages 65-plus), Anna Schultz of Heath, Texas shot a final round 84 to come in with a three-day total of 32-over 248, good enough for a five-shot win over runner-up Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz. Woodruff had a final round 85. Third place in the Super Senior went to NCGA Hall of Famer Marianne Towersey, who came in at 257 after an 85.

North-South Challenge

In the annual North/South Challenge, which pits three players from the NCGA against three from the SCGA (best 2-out-of-3), the SCGA took the title, 304-310. The SCGA won the second round, 148-152. Representing the SCGA were Kurata, Shelly Haywood (73) and Akemi Nakata Khaiat (75). The NCGA was represented by Tennant, Lynne Cowan (77) and Karen Garcia (82).

View results for California Senior Women's Amateur
ABOUT THE California Senior Women's Amateur

The California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship started in 1979 and has been played at Old Del Monte Golf Course, Laguna Seca, Carmel Valley Ranch, Bayonet and Black Horse, Poppy Hills, and Corral de Tierra Country Club. Age Limit: 50 and over (Super Senior’s Flight: 70 and over), with Gross and Net flights

Format is 36 holes of Stroke Play.

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