Lara Tennant won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur on Thursday, defeating Sue Wooster, 3 and 2, in the final at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla.
Tennant, a 51-year-old Portland, Ore., resident and former University of Arizona golfer, trailed for only three holes in her six matches and responded by squaring the match on each occasion she fell behind.
She didn’t need that bounce-back strength against Wooster, a 56-year-old Australian. Tennant won the opening hole with a birdie and later extended her lead to 3 up with a winning par on No. 9 and a birdie on No. 11. The two finalists exchanged blows on Nos. 14 and 15, but Tennant closed out the match with a par on No. 16.
Although Tennant earned co-medalist honors in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, she lost in the first round of match play. This time around, Tennant qualified for match play as the 10th seed with rounds of 75-74. Tennant played at least 16 holes in all six of her matches but needed to play the 18th hole only once – she defeated Canada’s Terrill Samuel, 1 up, in the semifinals with a birdie on the last hole.
By virtue of winning, Tennant received an exemption into the 2019 and 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Opens, as well as next year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. Wooster received all of the same exemptions except for the 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.