It's a Dream Final at the Senior Women's Am -- Tennant vs. Port
September 14, 2021
POINT CLEAR, Ala. -- Match play tends to be better at producing drama than it is at identifying the best players. But that hasn't been the case at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur this week.
Sixty-two matches have been played, and the cream has risen to the top. The two players with the most impressive credentials -- Lara Tennant and Ellen Port -- have suvived five rounds of matches, and they will play each other for the title Wednesday morning on the Dogwood Course at The Lakewood Club.
Tennant, a 55-year-old from Eugene, Ore., was the medalist in this tournament four years ago, the first time she played in it. She lost in the Round of 64 that year, but she hasn't lost since. She won the Senior Women's Am title in 2018 and '19. Last year, the tournament was cancelled, a result of the Covid 19 pandemic, but it's back this year, and Tennant was one of the two co-medalists in the stroke-play qualifying.
On Tuesday, she defeated Susan Cohn, a former runner-up and the No. 4 seed, 2 up. It was her 17th consecutive victory in the Senior Women's Amateur.
Port, 59, has been described by Golf Digest as the greatest golf no one has ever heard of. She has won seven USGA championships (three Senior Women's Ams and four U.S. Women's Mid-Amateurs), and only four people have more than that -- Tiger Woods (9), Bobby Jones (9), Jack Nicklaus (8) and JoAnne Gunderson Carner (8).
In her semifinal, Port played Shelly Stouffer, the Canadian Women's Senior Amateur champ. The match went back and forth and was all square when Port and Stouffer arrived at the 18th tee. Stouffer hit her second shot into a bunker. Port hit hers to 8 feet and made the birdie putt for a 1-up victory.
U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
At The Lakewood Club -- Dogwood Course
Par 72, 5,719 yards
Point Clear, Ala.
Stroke-play results (the top 64 advance to match play)
1. Lara Tennant, Eugene, Ore. 72-71--143
2. Gigi Higgins, Cape Coral, Fla. 74-68--143
3. Ellen Port, St. Louis 73-72--145
4,. Susan Cohn, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 71-75--146
T5. Kathy Hartwiger, Birmingham, Ala. 69-78--147
T5. Amy Ellertson, Free Union, Va. 70-77-147
T50. Adele Peterson, Eden Prairie 76-84--160
What it took -- 163 (4 players for last 3 spots)
Brenda Williams, Minnetrista 84-83--167
Betsy Aldrich, Minnetonka 89-84--173
Round of 64
(1) Lara Tennant, Portland def. Tina Barker, Fairfield, Conn. 2&1
(2) Gigi Higgins, Cape Coral, Fla. def. Jennifer Hoyt, Horseshoe Bay, Texas 4&3
(3) Ellen Port, St. Louis def. Angie Whitley Coleman, Wilmington, Del. 5&4
(11) Karen Garcia, Cool, Calif. def. Adele Peterson, Eden Prairie 1 up
Round of 32
Tennat def. (33) Judith Kyrinis, Canada 19 holes
(4) Susan Cohn, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. def. (29) Kim Eaton, Mesa, Ariz. 2&1
(5) Kathy Hartwiger, Birmingham, Ala., def. Mary Jane Hiestand, Naples, Fla. 3&2
Higgins def. Maggie Leef, Pewaukee, Wis. 4&2
Port def. Marilyn Hardy, Magnolia, Texas 2&1
(22) Sylvie Van Molle, Belgium def. Garcia 1 up
Round of 16
Tennant def. Kelley Nittoli, San Antonio, Texas 2&1
(8) Sally Krueger, San Francisco def. Susan Curtin, Westwood, Mass. 3&2
Cohn def. (13) Tama Caldabaugh, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. 7&5
Hartwiger def. (21) Adrienne Maclean, Tequesta, Fla. 20 holes
Higgins def. Lynne Cowan, Rocklin, Calif. 3&2
(10) Shelly Stouffer, Canada def. Patricia Erhart,. Birmingham 3&1
Port def. herese Quinn, Jacksonville, Fla. 19 holes
Van Molle def. Tracy Welch, Winchester, Mass. 22 holes
Tennant def. Krueger 3&2
Cohn def. Hartwiger 3&2
Stouffer def. Higgins 1 up
Port def. Van Molle 4&2
Tennant def. Cohn 2 up
Port def. Stouffer 1 up