- U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
U.S. Senior Women's Amateur
The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur got off the ground in 1962 as a 54-hole stroke play competition played over three days for women golfers aged 50 and over. In 1997, the USGA decided to change the format, so competitors would now be involved in 36 holes of on-site stroke play qualifying (with a medal awarded to the player(s) with the lowest aggregate score) followed by match play ties for the leading 64 players.
There were 96 entries for the first event and this number has risen steadily over the years, averaging around 475 per annum in the new millennium. Starting in 2018, the reigning champion and runner-up, and the preceding year's champion, are eligible to participate in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.
The inaugural contest took place at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, with Maureen Orcutt winning by seven strokes from her nearest rival. There’s no name for the large, scroll-handled trophy she was presented with and all we know is that it was purchased by the Friends of Senior Golf and the USGA and it’s reckoned to have been made in Dublin, Ireland in 1897.
New York-born Carolyn Cudone, former Curtis Cup team member in 1956 and team captain in 1970, won the Senior Women’s Amateur five years in succession, starting in 1968. A long-time resident of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and a member of the Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Cudone also finished in the runner-up spot on another two occasions, in 1974 and 1975.
Another Curtis Cup player from the 1970 United States team, Alice Dye, also finished second in 1977 and 1981, but in between those two disappointments she had back-to-back victories at Rancho Bernardo Golf Club in San Diego, California (1978) and at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith, Arkansas (1979).
Three women have lifted the Senior silverware four times: the 1949 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Dorothy Porter (1977, 1980, 1981, 1983); the 3-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and winner of the 1973 U.S. Women’s Open, Anne Sander (1987, 1989, 1990, 1993); and the 1973 Women’s Amateur champion, Carole Semple Thompson, who claimed four in a row, starting in 1999.
In the match play era of the competition, the largest winning margin in a final is the 6&5 win for Diane Lang against Toni Wiesner at Tulsa Country Club, Oklahoma in 2008. A couple of early round ties have gone to 24 holes before reaching an outcome, while the longest final was the 2003 contest between Marlene Streit and Nancy Fitzderald at Barton Creek Country Club, which required an extra five holes to separate the two players.
Sea Island Golf Club in St Simons Island, Georgia has hosted six tournaments (1971, 1980, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006) and it’s been staged three times at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania (1962, 1972, 1987) and at Lakewood Golf Club (1974, 1986, 2021) in Point Clear, Alabama. Monterey Peninsula Country Club (1968, 1976) in Pebble Beach, California has held two editions of the competition.
The following venues where the championship has been held are not ranked in our Best in State listings so you will not find them listed below: Coral Ridge (1970), Del Rio (1990), Hillwood (2015), Kissing Camels (1982), Lakewood in New Orleans (1966), Lakewood, Alabama (1974, 1986, 2021), Preakness Hills (1993), Rancho Bernardo (1978), Ridgelea (1969), San Marcos (1973), Sheraton Savannah (1985), Sunriver (2007), Tucson (1992), Wellesley (2016).
U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Top 100 Leaderboard