U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S AMATEUR
5 Things to Watch: Round of 32 and Round of 16
September 12, 2017 | PORTLAND, Ore.
By Joey Flyntz, USGA
The 56th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship began Saturday with 132 players competing in stroke play through Sunday. After Monday’s Round of 64, 32 players remain in the hunt to win the title on Thursday. At the end of the day Tuesday, only eight quarterfinalists will remain at Waverley Country Club. Here are five things to watch during the double-round marathon.
Oh, Canada: Nine Canadian players were in the field at Waverley Country Club when play began on Saturday. Six are still playing in the Round of 32 after a 6-1 showing on Monday. Judith Kyrinis, the 2014 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up, started things off with a 6-and-4 triumph over Jen Holland. Mary Ann Hayward, the 2005 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, advanced with a 4-and-2 win, and 2017 co-medalist Helene Chartrand cruised to a 6-and-5 victory. That trio is joined by Marie-Therese Torti, Terrill Samuel and Jackie Little in the Round of 32. Sandra Turbide was the only player from Canada to lose her match on Monday. However, one of the Canadian sextuplet will be going home on Tuesday, as Torti and Hayward are playing each other in the Round of 32 at 8:35 a.m.
Marlene Stewart Streit is one of two Canadians to win the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and the most recent, doing so in 2003. Hayward is the most recent USGA champion from Canada, male or female.
Behind the 8-Ball: Eight is the target for Ellen Port, 55, of St. Louis, Mo. She needs two wins to stand among the final eight players in this championship, and five more victories to win her eighth USGA championship. The defending Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Port also won the 2012 and 2013 Senior Women’s Amateurs and the 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs. With one more national championship, Port would tie JoAnne Gunderson Carner for the most USGA titles by a female competitor. Eighteen-time major champion Jack Nicklaus also has won eight USGA championships. Only Bob Jones and Tiger Woods have won more, with nine apiece. Port’s path begins in the Round of 32 at 9:55 a.m. PDT against Kathy Kurata.
Return Champions: In addition to Ellen Port and Mary Ann Hayward, six more USGA champions remain in contention to add another trophy to their collection. By the numbers, 25 percent of the remaining field is a USGA champion, and eight of the 13 who began play on Saturday are still playing.
Senior Women’s Amateur winners still in the hunt include: Carolyn Creekmore (2004), Mina Hardin (2010), Sherry Herman (2009), Diane Lang (2005, 2006, 2008) and Port (2012, 2013, 2016). Those five are joined by Hayward (2005 Women’s Mid-Amateur), Corey Weworski (2004 Women’s Mid-Amateur) and Martha Leach (2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur).
Chalk or Red Pen? The match-play portions of USGA championships are known for their unpredictability, as seeding rarely holds much to form. That being said, the Round of 64 heavily favored the better seeds, with a few exceptions. No. 64 seed Courtney Myhrum, who earned the last spot in match play via a 65-foot par putt on the second playoff hole on Sunday evening, upended co-medalist and Waverley Country Club member Lara Tennant, 1 up. Going by the seeding, however, only three more decisions could be considered significant upsets: No. 61 Sherry Smith over No. 4 Laura Coble, No. 59 Andrea Kraus over No. 6 Mary Jane Hiestand, and No. 47 Terrill Samuel over 2011 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion and No. 11 seed Terri Frohnmayer. Overall, the higher seeds won 25 of 32 matches on Monday.
Runner-Up Still in the Running: Andrea Kraus, 56, of Baltimore, Md., finished second to Ellen Port in last year’s Senior Women’s Amateur. This year, she has had to grind every step of the way, taking the stressful route to the Round of 32. Kraus needed to save par on the difficult par-5 18th on her last hole of stroke play on Sunday just to qualify for a 7-for-6 playoff. She advanced on the first playoff hole with a par to earn the No. 59 seed. She then trailed for much of her Round-of-64 match against Mary Jane Hiestand before winning 15 and 16 to take a 1-up lead, winning the match by the same margin. Kraus opposes Jackie Little at 10:05 a.m.
Joey Flyntz is an associate writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.