Diane Lang, 53, of Jamaica, claimed her third USGA Senior Women’s Amateur title in four years Thursday, beating Toni Wiesner, 61, of Fort Worth, Texas, 6 and 5, in the final match at Tulsa Country Club.
Lang, who also won in 2005 and 2006, took control of the match by winning five consecutive holes to stand 6 up after the 10th.
With her win, Lang, who now resides in Weston, Fla., becomes the sixth woman to win the Senior Women’s Amateur three or more times. She was also a semifinalist in 2007, making her 22-1 in four years of matches at this championship for women age 50 and older.
“I’m really, really happy,” said Lang, after holing a 16-foot putt for par on the 13th hole to close the match. “This is my most special one. This makes all the hard work worthwhile. I put in a lot of sweat and tears over the last year to get my name on that trophy again. For a little girl from Jamaica, that ain’t half bad.”
After Lang won the first two holes on the 5,760-yard, par-71 layout, she lost the fourth hole when she three-putted for bogey from 35 feet. Lang regrouped, however, and won holes six through 10. She made the only birdie in the match on the par-5 eighth, when she holed a putt from 27 feet. Lang was the equivalent of three over par (with concession) for the match.
Wiesner, a two-time finalist (1997 and 2000), was vying to become the first left-handed female USGA champion.
“I don’t seem to be able to put it together in the final,” said Wiesner. “Maybe I put too much pressure on myself. I just couldn’t get off the tee today. My tee shots killed me. I feel like I have done a lot. This would have just been icing on the cake.”
But instead, Wiesner was disappointed again. Lang, in fact, won the final by the largest margin in Senior Women’s Amateur history. Match play began in this championship in 1997.
“I don’t think I’m as good as I was in 2005 or 2006,” said Lang, who began playing golf at age 13 and came to Florida to attend Florida Atlantic University at age 20. “My driver is not as good, but mentally, I’m a lot tougher. I’ve been around the block a few times.”
Lang was the first woman from Jamaica to play on the LPGA Tour (1984). She made the cut at the 1985 U.S. Women’s Open and took home $1,037, but within four years she was reinstated as an amateur (1989) and quit playing competitive golf for 18 years to raise her two children. When she came back, she won her first national amateur competition, the 2005 Senior Women’s Amateur.
The Senior Women’s Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.