U.S. SENIOR WOMEN'S AMATEUR
57th U.S. Senior Women's Amateur: Get to Know the Field
October 3, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J.
The average age of the 132 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur competitors is 57.59 years old.
Deb Pearson, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is the championship’s youngest competitor. She turns 51 on Oct. 18. Four players in the championship are in their 70s – Elizabeth Haines, 70, of Gladwyne, Pa.; Kathleen Westlund, 73, of Fort Myers, Fla.; Patsy Ehret, 74, of Stuart, Fla.; and Marianne Springer, 74, of Wellington, Fla. Kim Keyer-Scott, of Bonita Springs, Fla., will celebrate her 51st birthday during the championship (Oct. 9).
Field by age:
Age 50-54, 33 players
Age 55-59, 64 players
Age 60-64, 24 players
Age 65-69, 7 players
Age 70-74, 4 players
There are six countries represented in the championship: Australia, Canada, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico and the United States.
There are 34 states represented in the championship: Alabama (3), Alaska (1), Arizona (5), California (17), Colorado (6), Connecticut (3), Delaware (1), Florida (15), Georgia (5), Hawaii (4), Illinois (4), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (5), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), Missouri (3), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (4), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (2), Texas (7), Utah (1), Virginia (4), Washington (4) and Wisconsin (1).
There are 11 USGA champions in the field:
- Terri Frohnmayer, 62 of Salem, Ore. (2011 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Karen Garcia, 56, of Cool, Calif. (2015 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Mina Hardin, 58, of Mexico (2010 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Mary Ann Hayward, 58, of Canada (2005 Women’s Mid-Amateur, as Mary Ann Lapointe)
- Sherry Herman, 60, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (2009 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Judith Kyrinis, 54, of Canada (2017 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Diane Lang, 63, of Weston, Fla. (2005, 2006, 2008 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Martha Leach, 56, of Hebron, Ky. (2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur)
- Cindy McConnell, 58, of Malibu, Calif. (1987 Women’s Mid-Amateur, as Cindy Schofield)
- Ellen Port, 57, of St. Louis, Mo. (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur; 2012, 2013, 2016 Senior Women’s Amateur)
- Corey Weworski, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif. (2004 Women’s Mid-Amateur)
Two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur competitors have represented the USA in the Curtis Cup Match:
- Patricia Cornett, 64, of Mill Valley, Calif. (1978, 1988; captain 2012)
- Ellen Port, 57, of St. Louis, Mo. (1994, 1996; captain 2014)
Two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur competitors played in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship (Aug. 6-12) The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.
- Martha Leach, 56, of Hebron, Ky. (missed cut)
- Ellen Port, 57, of St. Louis, Mo. (reached Round of 64)
Twenty-one players competed in the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open: Laura Carson (MC), Helene Chartrand (MC), Patricia Ehrhart (T-23), Marilyn Hardy (MC), Mary Jane Hiestand (MC), Akemi Nakata Khaiat (T-44), Leigh Klasse (MC), Kathy Kurata (T-47), Judith Kyrinis (MC), Martha Leach (T-10), Cindy McConnell (MC), Janet Moore (MC), Kelley Nittoli (MC), Brenda Pictor (MC), Ellen Port (T-33), Terrill Samuel (MC), Lara Tennant (MC), Marie-Therese Torti (T-53), Liz Waynick (MC), Susan West (MC), Sue Wooster (T-40)
Mary Cabriele, 56, of Vienna, Va., was the first woman to play for the men’s golf team at Franklin and Marshall College (Lancaster, Pa.). In 1984, she became the first woman to qualify for and compete in the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship. She was the 2017 Virginia State Amateur champion and this May became the 2018 Women’s District of Columbia Golf Association (WDCGA) Keefer Cup champion.
Laura Carson, 62, of Vero Beach, Fla., was an early leader in the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey. Her group was the first off the tee, and she birdied the opening hole. She competed in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July, missing the cut. Her husband, Bruce, was the first Director of Golf at the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club.
Patricia Cornett, 64, of Mill Valley, Calif., has played in more than 50 USGA championships, starting with the 1971 U.S. Girls’ Junior. She has competed in eight U.S. Women’s Open Championships and was the runner-up in the 1987 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and a semifinalist in that championship in 1992 and 1999. She also advanced to the semifinals of the 1976 and 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateurs. Last year, she was a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, falling to runner-up Terrill Samuel, 5 and 3. A member of the 1978 and 1988 USA Curtis Cup Teams, and captain in 2012, she also won the 1990 Women’s Western Amateur. A graduate of Stanford University and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, she continues to work full time in non-malignant hematology and serves as associate chair for the education department of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco.
Patsy Ehret, 74, of Stuart, Fla., has survived three different primary cancers. She qualified for the 2016 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur just 40 days after having her third blood transfusion due to radiation and chemotherapy. She helps coach the Martin County girls’ golf team and has won state titles in South Dakota, Hawaii, Georgia and Florida.
Patricia Ehrhart, 52, of Honolulu, Hawaii, finished tied for 23rd in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club earlier this year. Ehrhart, who works as the travel and event manager for the Margaritaville Surf Team, is the three-time winner of the Hawaii State Women’s Stroke Play (2015, 2016, 2017) and was a semifinalist in both the 2016 and 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Her three daughters; Scarlett, Lola, and Mason, all surf competitively and are members of the Margaritaville Surf Team, whose team captain is award-winning singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, and have won national and international surf championships.
Tara Fleming, 51, of Jersey City, N.J., was a semifinalist in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, falling to eventual champion Judith Kyrinis, 2 and 1. Fleming played in four U.S. Women’s Opens in the early ‘90s, and her former LPGA Tour caddie, Rick Kropf, has carried for her in all of her USGA championship appearances. A Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association board member, Fleming helped New Jersey win the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team Championship, and she won the 2015 and 2017 New Jersey State Golf Association Women’s Mid-Amateurs. Fleming was a member of the women’s golf team at the University of New Mexico and now works as a consultant.
Terri Frohnmayer, 62, of Salem, Ore., won the 1976 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Women’s Amateur Championship. A Rollins College Sports Hall of Fame member, she played golf through college, but stopped playing golf to pursue a business career. Approximately 24 years later in 2002, she decided to play again at the urging of her mother and husband. In 2010, she won the PNGA Senior Women’s Championship and followed that by winning the 2011 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Named the Oregon Golf Association Player of the Year and PNGA senior women’s player of the year in 2011, she works in commercial real estate at First Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC in Salem.
Cissye Gallagher, 51, of Greenwood, Miss., is married to 1993 USA Ryder Cup Team member Jim Gallagher Jr. She is a former LPGA professional and an 11-time Mississippi Women’s Amateur champion. In 2013, she played with her daughter, Kathleen, in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship.
Karen Garcia, 55, of Cool, Calif., is the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion. A high school guidance counselor, she lost 60 pounds by following a three-year golf fitness regimen before winning the 2015 championship. Born in Wheeler, Ore., Garcia, formerly Karen Vipond, attended the University of Oregon, where she played softball for two seasons. She started playing golf at the age of 21 after graduating from Portland State University.
Elizabeth Haines, 70, of Gladwyne, Pa., has played in USGA events the last five decades. Her late husband, George Haines, played in numerous USGA events, including 10 U.S. Amateurs and the 1968 U.S. Open. Haines played on the victorious Pennsylvania team with Carol Semple Thompson and July Oliver in the inaugural USGA Women’s State Team Championship in 1995 at Lake Buena Vista (Fla.) Club. She competed in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July.
Mina Hardin, 58, of Mexico, was the first Mexican woman to play on the LPGA Tour (1983-1989) and the first Mexican-born USGA champion when she won the 2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. A reinstated amateur since 1991, Hardin has played in 56 USGA championships, including six U.S. Women’s Opens. In 2012, she was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame.
Sharon Hayes, 52, of Lexington, Mass., is competing in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. The former college athlete played basketball and softball at Harvard University and was a two-time Ivy League champion and eight-time All-Ivy Team member. After college, she played semi-professional basketball. She is an environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mary Ann Hayward, 58, of Canada, is the manager of sports performance for the Golf Association of Ontario. The four-time Canadian Women’s Amateur champion has been inducted into the Canada, Ontario and Quebec Golf Halls of Fame. In 2005, she won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur as Mary Ann Lapointe. An eight-time member of the Canadian team in the World Amateur Team Championship, she also served as the team’s captain in 2008. Hayward advanced to the Round of 16 in last year’s Senior Women’s Amateur.
Sherry Herman, 60, of Palm Beach Gardens, won the 2009 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, defeating Carolyn Creekmore, 4 and 3. Earlier that year, she won the North & South Senior Women’s Amateur. Herman is a five-time New Jersey State Women’s Amateur champion (1995-1998, 2009) and was a semifinalist in the 1994 and 2001 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. She graduated from the University of Georgia and owns her own marketing group.
Mary Jane Hiestand, 59, of Naples, Fla., has competed in 45 USGA championships, including nine Senior Women Amateurs. She was the runner-up in last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Champions Golf Club. Hiestand, who was inducted into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, struck the first tee shot in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Bandon Dunes in 2015, and also played in this year’s inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club, marking her fourth appearance in a USGA inaugural championship – 1987 Women’s Mid-Amateur, the 1995 USGA Women’s State Team Championship, the 2015 Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and the 2018 Senior Women’s Open.
Debbie Johnson, 55, of Stamford, Conn., was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2016 and spent the majority of 2017 undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She manages the treatments just like golf: one shot at a time and one day at a time. When she’s not playing golf or volunteering her time as a Rules official for the Connecticut State Golf Association, she works in IT for A+E Networks in New York City.
Susan Keane, 54, of Orlando, Fla., was ranked the No. 1 junior tennis player in the world in 1980 and turned pro at 16 years old. She competed on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour for eight years, reaching a career high singles ranking of No. 32 in 1986. She has been inducted into three halls of fame for tennis, including the 2014 Platform Tennis Hall of Fame after winning six national platform tennis titles in an eight-year span. The former UCLA tennis coach is a breast cancer survivor since 2014.
Andrea Kraus, 57, of Baltimore, Md., played on the Yale University men’s golf team until a women’s program started her junior year and she captained the team. She later earned a law degree from Columbia University. Kraus has volunteered at a domestic violence legal clinic, and currently volunteers for an organization that provides free loans to people in need. She won the Maryland Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, she was selected by Golf Magazine as a Local Legend in the annual amateur edition of the magazine. She recorded a hole-in-one the day before she delivered her oldest son in 1989.
Pamela Kuong, 57, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., was the runner-up in the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, losing to Karen Garcia, 1 up, in the finals. She won the 2008 and 2010 Massachusetts Women’s Amateur championships and the 2011 New England Women’s Amateur champion. Kuong, who works as a senior vice president of commercial lending, has been on the board of directors for the ESSCO-MGH Breast Cancer Research Fund for 24 years and has helped raise more than $6 million for breast cancer research. She was named Massachusetts’s Player of the Year in 2012.
Judith Kyrinis, 54, of Canada, won the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship by defeating Terrill Samuel, 4 and 3, in the final at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore. Kyrinis is a registered nurse at Toronto General Hospital and primarily preps cancer patients for surgery. She has competed in 14 USGA championships, including four Senior Women’s Amateurs. Her brother, Dan Allan, qualified for the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. In September, she reached the Round of 32 in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis.
Diane Lang, 63, of Jamaica, is a three-time USGA champion, winning the Senior Women’s Amateur in 2005, 2006 and 2008. She won in 2008 by the largest margin of victory in championship history, 6 and 5, when she defeated Toni Weisner. This will be her 21st USGA championship. Lang, who grew up in Jamaica before moving to Florida for college, also competed in a U.S. Women’s Open, making the cut in 1985. She played for Florida Atlantic’s first women’s golf team. Her father, Eddie Aris, was a Jamaican tennis champion and Davis Cup participant. She qualified for the LPGA Tour in 1983, competing for two years before losing her card and having her amateur status reinstated in 1989. Lang works as a realtor with Coldwell Banking.
Martha Leach, 56, of Hebron, Ky., earned a special exemption into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship after earning low-amateur honors in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club, where she tied for 10th at 6-over 297. Leach is no stranger to USGA championships as she has competed in 29 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, winning in 2009, and has competed in six other U.S. Senior Women's Amateurs. Leach was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2018. Her sister is World Golf Hall of Famer and six-time USGA champion Hollis Stacy. Leach and Stacy are one of two sister tandems to be USGA champions, joining Harriot and Margaret Curtis.
Adrienne MacLean, 53, of Tequesta, Fla. is married to John MacLean, who played for the New Jersey Devils when they won the Stanley Cup in 1995 and served as the team’s assistant coach when they won in 2003. MacLean played professionally on the Futures Tour in the early 1990s before being reinstated as an amateur in 1996. She is playing in her 17th USGA championship and second Senior Women’s Amateur.
Cindy McConnell, 58, of Malibu, Calif., won the inaugural U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 1987, defeating Pat Cornett-Iker, 6 and 5, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. She was a member of the 1988 USA Curtis Cup Team that competed at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England. McConnell, who played college golf at UCLA, has competed in three U.S. Women’s Open and seven U.S. Women’s Amateurs, and was a quarterfinalist in the 1987 Women’s Amateur. McConnell is the boys’ golf coach at Malibu High School. She has also hiked the Everest Base Camp, Mountain Whitney, White Mountain Peak and John Muir Trail.
Courtney Myhrum, 56, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is vice-chair of the USGA Women’s Committee and previously served as chairman of the Girls’ Junior Committee. This will be her 14th USGA championship and seventh-straight Senior Women’s Amateur appearance.
Kelley Nittoli, 55, of San Antonio, Texas, is the assistant golf coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In her first season with the Roadrunners, she helped lead the team to a Conference USA team title and the program's fourth NCAA appearance. She qualified for the Inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open earlier this year at Chicago Golf Club. Nittoli captured the Greater San Antonio Senior Women’s Championship title in 2014 and 2016, while being named the San Antonio Senior Women’s Player of the Year and Women’s Southern Golf Association Senior Champion in 2014. She advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2012 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, losing to four-time champion Meghan Stasi, 2 up.
Claudia Pilot, 61, of Lake Shore, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Player of the Year seven times and Senior Player of the Year three times. She was a member of the winning Minnesota team in the 2001 USGA Women’s State Team Championship, where she was also an individual medalist. Pilot is a two-time Minnesota Women’s State Amateur champion, five-time Minnesota Women’s Senior Amateur champion and two-time Minnesota Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. The retired teacher and Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame inductee played on the boys’ golf team in high school. In 2017, she battled Lyme disease and breast cancer.
Gail Pimm, 58, of Canada, was a professional squash player for 10 years and competed in three world championships as a member of the Canadian team. Pimm was a teacher for 20 years and started playing golf in 2003.
Ellen Port, 56, of St. Louis, Mo., has won three U.S. Senior Women’s Amateurs (2012, 2013, 2016) and four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs (1996, 1996, 2000, 2011), and has represented the USA in the Curtis Cup twice (1994 and 1996) and captained the team to victory in 2014 at St. Louis Country Club, not far from her residence. Port is seeking an eighth USGA title, which would tie JoAnne Carner for the most by a female player and tie her with Jack Nicklaus. Only Bob Jones and Tiger Woods have won more USGA championships, with nine apiece. In August, she became the second-oldest player to make match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
Four-time #USWomensMidAm champion Ellen Port hit the first ball moments ago in her hometown of St. Louis. The 32nd playing of the championship is underway! https://t.co/ayp8g2VqIE pic.twitter.com/UaNYtd5HBl— USGA (@USGA) September 22, 2018
Terrill Samuel, 57, of Canada, was the runner-up in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, losing to fellow Canadian Judith Kyrinis, 4 and 3. It was the first time in USGA history that two Canadian players met in a final match. Samuel’s 80-year-old mother, Cam, served as her caddie for the 2017 Senior Women’s Amateur. Samuel, who is competing in her seventh Senior Women’s Amateur, played in the Inaugural Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club earlier this year. She was the 2010 Ontario Mid-Amateur Champion and the 2011 Ontario Senior Champion. Samuel is a two-time Canadian Senior Champion, winning in 2012 and 2015. Samuel is a teacher and a high school volleyball coach in the Toronto School District.
Lisa Schlesinger, 60, of Fort Myers, Fla., was a quarterfinalist in the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. The 2018 Southern Senior champion won the 2008, 2009 and 2016 Maryland Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. She was the medalist in the 2011 and 2012 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Schlesinger, who played basketball at the University of Maryland and in the Women’s Basketball League (WBL) with two teams, is a member of the Greater Washington, D.C. Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame.
Linda Segre, 58, of San Francisco, Calif., followed in the footsteps of her mother, former LPGA Tour player Carol Bowman, and played professional golf, winning several tournaments, including the Irish Open and Reno Open. The Stanford University graduate is a board member at Callaway Golf Company.
Suzi Spotleson, 51, of Canton, Ohio, won the Ohio Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur championships in 2017 and 2018. She played softball for Northwestern University and appeared in the College World Series in 1986.
Marie-Therese Torti, 55, of Canada, is the 2017 Quebec Senior Match Play champion and was a member of the Quebec Provincial Team for 12 consecutive years (1995-2006). A breast cancer survivor and member of Golf Canada’s board of governors from 2006-2012, she also won the 2010 Golf Canada Women’s Mid-Amateur and the 2013 Quebec Senior Women’s Amateur. She made the cut in the Inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open earlier this year. In 2012, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after undergoing surgery and radiotherapy, she is in remission.
Liz Waynick, 58, of Scottsdale, Ariz., played in her first USGA championship in 1976 when she was the youngest player in the U.S. Women’s Amateur field at age 16. She won the 1981 Virginia Women’s Amateur and in 2002 was inducted into the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame. The former director of golf at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, Ore., and a head golf professional in Arizona, she became the first player to win both the player of the year and senior player of the year from the Arizona Women’s Golf Association in 2012. Waynick played in the Inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July.
Susan West, 54, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., was a member of the University of Alabama's women's tennis team from 1982-1986. She is a United States Tennis Association national champion, ranking in the top two in doubles and the top 10 in singles. A torn ACL shifted West's focus to golf. West, who advanced to the quarterfinals in the 2014 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, was the first recipient of the Tuscaloosa PGA Professionals of Tuscaloosa County Player of the Year Award in 2010 and was also the inaugural recipient of the Alabama Golf Association Senior Golfer of the Year award in 2017. West is a retired CEO of the Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission.
Corey Weworski, 56, of Carlsbad, Calif., won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, posting a 5-and-3 victory over Virginia Grimes in the final. She has played in 39 USGA championships. Her son, Tyler, has competed on the Web.com Tour, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Just last week, Weworski advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, losing, 1 up, to four-time champion Meghan Stasi.
Caryn Wilson, 57 of Rancho Mirage, Calif., is one of only two women to compete in the U.S. Open in both golf and tennis, joining 11-time Grand Slam winner Althea Gibson. Wilson was a three-time tennis All-American at Stanford University and went on to play professionally. Following her tennis career, Wilson was introduced to the game of golf by her husband, Stan. She went on to play in the 1999 and 2009 U.S. Women’s Opens. She was a semifinalist in the 2013 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and a quarterfinalist in 2016.