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U.S. Senior Women's Amateur: Stouffer vs. Wooster for the title
Shelly Stouffer (L) and Sue Wooster (USGA photo)
Shelly Stouffer (L) and Sue Wooster (USGA photo)

Sue Wooster and Shelly Stouffer each won two matches on Wednesday to earn their spots in the 18-hole championship match of the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Anchorage Golf Course.

Wooster authored a remarkable rally in her semifinal match against Christie Blasi, surging back from 3 down on the front nine to win, 3 and 2, to advance to the final for the third time in four years. Stouffer continued to cruise through the bracket, pulling away from Kathy Hartwiger in the semis with three straight winning pars (Nos. 12-14) to defeat the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, 4 and 3.

Prospects looked grim for Wooster, 60, of Australia, in the early going. She bogeyed four consecutive holes (Nos. 2-5), losing three of them, and seemingly faced a steep uphill climb against Blasi, who had made four birdies in her Wednesday morning quarterfinal victory over Sherry Wright.

How bad did things look for Wooster? No player in the entire championship had rallied from a 3-down deficit – and it had been 103 matches since it last happened in the Senior Women’s Amateur (Round of 64, 2021).

But in less than an hour, Blasi’s advantage had evaporated. Wooster took four straight holes, all with pars, to seize a 1-up lead. She dropped the 10th with a bogey but pulled ahead for good with a winning par on No. 13. She doubled her advantage with a birdie on the par-5 14th and closed the match with a par at the 16th.

“I think my experience paid off,” said Wooster. “My third final in the last four events, that's pretty cool. Yesterday I played really well, it felt easy. Today was not as easy. It was a grind. I didn't get the pace of the greens as well today. Hopefully, that comes back tomorrow.”

Stouffer exacted revenge for last year’s semifinal defeat at the hands of Ellen Port, when she lost, 1 down, at The Lakewood Club in Point Clear, Ala. This year, Stouffer left little doubt, dispatching her opponents thus far with relative ease. She has not been extended past the 16th hole in any of her five matches and at one point, from the sixth hole in her Round-of-32 match to the fourth hole against Hartwiger in the semifinals, she lost just one hole over a span of 41 holes.

“I haven't felt nerves really all week,” said Stouffer. “It just seems normal. I love the course, it really suits me. I feel like I'm ready for this. I just want to keep going.”

Stouffer didn’t lose a hole in her morning quarterfinal match against fellow countrywoman Judith Kyrinis, beating the 2017 champion, 3 and 2. In total, Stouffer has played just 72 holes in five matches, giving her an outside shot of challenging Port’s record mark of 85 (2012) for least holes played from a champion, with a dominant performance on Thursday.

Thursday’s 18-hole championship match will begin at 8:30 a.m. AKDT. Follow live scoring on usga.org.

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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