Cowan edges Stouffer for medalist honors in Anchorage
Lynne Cowan (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
Lynne Cowan (Steven Gibbons/USGA)

Lynne Cowan is a golf lifer. She has been a mainstay in USGA championships for nearly 40 years and is practically royalty in Northern California circuits, having won dozens of titles in the state. On Sunday she added one more accolade – medalist honors in the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur – bringing her one step closer to the prize she covets most: a USGA championship title.

The 59-year-old from Rocklin, Calif., shot a 1-over-par 73 in Round 2 to earn the No. 1 seed in match play. Her 147 total was two strokes better than 2021 semifinalist Shelly Stouffer, whose second-round 68 tied for third lowest in championship history. Three-time defending champion Lara Tennant, Sherry Wright and Kay Daniel were another shot back at 150.

Cowan used her length to her advantage at the 5,684-yard Anchorage Golf Course. The 2019 quarterfinalist led the field with seven birdies through 36 holes – five of them on par 5s. And she feels right at home on the narrow layout in Alaska’s largest city.

“I'm used to playing courses with a lot of trees,” said Cowan. “I live near Tahoe, so the tree-lined fairways here seem normal to me.”

Stouffer wasn’t just the only player to break par during stroke play, her 68 was five strokes better than any of the 263 other rounds played. It also set the competitive course record at Anchorage Golf Course.

The 52-year-old Canadian birdied four of her first seven holes – a polar opposite start to Saturday, when she was 4 over par through four holes. She played even par the rest of the way on Sunday, offsetting a bogey at No. 12 with a birdie at the par-4 15th.

“Everything was really working well today,” said Stouffer. “I was hitting the ball off the tee really well. I putted well; I don't think I had one 3-putt today. I had 37 putts yesterday, not sure about today, but a lot less.”

Tennant, who is eyeing her fourth consecutive title, headlined the trio at 6 over after a 76 in Round 2. Wright shot a second consecutive 75 on Sunday capped by eight consecutive pars. She birdied the par-3 eighth and par-5 ninth in both rounds. Daniel, an 11-time Louisiana Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, birdied the 18th, the hardest hole during stroke play, to join them at 150.

A 3-for-1 playoff to determine the final spot in match play was won by Leigh Klasse of Cumberland, Wis., with a par on the first playoff hole (No. 10) to oust Ulrika Belline and Shelly White, who bogeyed. Klasse will take on Cowan, with whom she was grouped during stroke play, in the Round of 64.

Other notable players to advance to match play include 2017 champion Judith Kyrinis (153), seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port (154) and USA Curtis Cup Team Captain Sarah Ingram (158). Four-time U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Carol Semple Thompson (168) failed to qualify.

by Michael Trostel, USGA

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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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