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Stouffer joins Canadian Club of U.S. Senior Women's Am champs
Shelly Stouffer (L) and her son Brett (USGA/Steven Gibbons)
Shelly Stouffer (L) and her son Brett (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

In one of the most dominant performances in championship history, Shelly Stouffer breezed through the bracket to win the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Anchorage Golf Course. Stouffer put an exclamation point on the week with a resounding 4-and-3 victory over Sue Wooster in the 18-hole final to become the fourth Canadian to win the title.

Moments after Wooster missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 15th, Stouffer, 52, of Nanoose Bay in the province of British Columbia, calmly rolled in a 3-footer for par to end the match. She raised her arms in celebration and hugged her 15-year-old son, Brett, who caddied for her throughout the championship in Alaska. It was an emotional end to a fulfilling week, the winning moment made all the more special because they could share it together.

“He knows my game because we play a lot together,” said Stouffer. “He was helping with reading the greens. He knows my clubs. He was awesome. He kept me calm.”

Stouffer sprinted out to an early advantage against Wooster and never looked back. She birdied the first hole to take a 1-up lead and doubled the lead with a winning par on the fourth. Stouffer moved three ahead when Wooster double-bogeyed the par-5 sixth, and followed with wins on Nos. 8 and 9, the latter with a birdie, to take a commanding 5-up lead at the turn.

“I’ve been feeling really good about my game, and I didn't really have a lot of nerves,” said Stouffer. “We kept to our game plan. I’m like, ‘Why change it now?’ And it totally worked in my favor, I think.”

Few would have guessed that Stouffer would raise the trophy after her inauspicious start on Saturday. She made five bogeys and two double bogeys in round one of stroke play, needing 37 putts in a 9-over-par 81 that left her T-45.

But the next day, Stouffer was a completely different player. She rebounded with a 4-under 68 in Round 2 – the lowest in the championship by five strokes – to earn the No. 2 seed in match play. Stouffer never looked back, winning 37 holes and losing just eight over the course of her six matches.

Just how dominant was Stouffer this week at Anchorage Golf Course? She did not play the 17th or 18th holes in any of her six matches totaling just 87 holes, which ties Carol Semple Thompson (2001) for the second-fewest match-play holes needed by a champion. Ellen Port played just 85 in 2012 .

For Wooster, it was another disappointing defeat in a U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championship match – her third in the last four years. Her 15 match-play victories since 2018 are second only to three-time champion Lara Tennant in that span, but the 60-year-old Australian has no hardware to show for it.

A day after coming back from a 3-hole deficit against Christie Blasi in the semifinals, Wooster could not turn the tide against Stouffer. She managed to win only one hole on the day – with a par on the 14th – but it was too little, too late.

“I’m so proud of myself for making three finals in four years,” said Wooster. “I’m not going to give up on winning this trophy one day. It didn’t happen today, but things happen in funny ways. I think my day will come.”

Stouffer is the eighth Canadian to win a USGA championship and joins Marlene Streit (1985, 1994, 2003), Gayle Borthwick (1996, 1998) and Judith Kyrinis (2017) as Canadian winners of the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

• • • • •

Notebook

Sue Wooster received a silver medal and a three-year exemption into this championship as well as exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, 2023 U.S. Women's Amateur and 2023 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

Wooster is the sixth player to go 0-for-3 in USGA finals, and fourth to have it happen in the same championship. The others are Margaret Gavin (1915, 1919, 1922 Women’s Amateur), Bob Lewis Jr. (1980 Amateur; 1981, 1984 Mid-Amateur), Toni Wiesner (1997, 2000, 2008 Senior Women’s Amateur), Kerry Postillion (1996, 2005, 2007 Women’s Mid-Amateur) and Jillian Bourdage (2019 Girls’ Junior; 2019, 2021 Women’s Amateur Four-Ball).

Stouffer’s title comes in just her fourth USGA championship start. She advanced to the semifinals in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, lost in the Round of 32 in the 2015 Women’s Mid-Amateur and missed the cut in the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open.

Stouffer is a reinstated amateur as of June 1, 2011. She had a 14-year career as a professional golfer (1997-2011) and played in six major championships.

Approximately 200 fans followed the final match, including several competitors from the championship field. Among them were seven-time USGA champion Port and 2005 Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Mary Ann Hayward.

by Mike 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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