Dan Allan walked off the final green at Old Warson Country Club frustrated at having finished 14 over par in his first-ever U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. But his spirits brightened immediately when told that his sister, Judith Kyrinis, was the likely medalist in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur being played concurrently at Wellesley (Mass.) Country Club.
“That is awesome,” said Allan, 56, of Cedarburg, Wis. “We’ve been texting back and forth before our rounds. I expect her to win. She expects to win, too. I hope she holds up her end of the bargain since I didn’t hold up mine.”
Although he finished second in both the 2015 Wisconsin State Senior Amateur and the 2016 Wisconsin State Senior Match Play, Allan found playing in his first USGA championship a much different experience.
“You know the whole field at this level is really good,” said Allan, who grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. “In state events, half the field is really good. There’s golf, there’s tournament golf and there’s spotlight national golf. I didn’t fare so well but I belong here. I know that I can play with these guys. But I have to work on a few things like everyone else. I was very pleased to qualify but very disappointed not to make match play.”
His younger sister did that and more when she reached the final of the 2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J., where she lost, 1 up, to Joan Higgins. Kyrinis, who has played in four other USGA championships and last month swept the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur titles in Alberta, had given her older brother one word of advice before he traveled to Old Warson Country Club: patience. “That’s all she told me,” Allan said. “Just be patient. You’re not going to win it on the first hole.”
Two years ago Allan took a late-night flight and slept in his rental car at Hollywood Golf Club just to support his sister during that final. “I walked the entire course but unfortunately she lost,” he said. “It was the first time I saw her play in a national event and it was a very inspiring experience.”
Because Allan lives in Wisconsin and his sister lives in Toronto, they don’t see each other that much. But they might later this week. Allan says he will be watching his sister’s matches closely and checking airfares. “If she makes it to the finals on Thursday, I might just fly there to see it. And hopefully get a hotel room this time.”
Arizona resident Tom Mackin is a frequent contributor to USGA websites.