By Mark Hayes, Golf Australia.
IT’S been a season for the ages, so it was only fitting that Sue Wooster added one more missing trophy to her bulging cabinet.
Wooster, 56, held off a gallant Tammy Hall 2&1 to win her first Australian Women’s Senior Amateur crown in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide.
After big wins in Canada and the United States in the past three months and a near miss in the coveted US Senior Women’s Amateur, the Victorian was desperate to add another national title to her four previous mid-amateur triumphs.
But it took almost an entire lap of the challenging Sandy Creek layout to quell the challenge of Hall, herself a previous mid-amateur champ.
“I’m thrilled to win the Australian Women’s Senior championship,” Wooster said.
“Tammy was a great opponent today and I thoroughly enjoyed the match. She played very well and kept the pressure on me.”
Wooster led early, but the match was all square at the turn as the Tasmanian piled the pressure on.
But Wooster, who has now won national senior championships in Canada, New Zealand and on home soil, regained the initiative and stood on the 14th tee 2-up.
Hall, however, would not lie down. After Wooster missed the green with her approach, par proved enough for the Prospect Vale member to halve her opponent’s lead.
But just as quickly, Hall three-putted the long 15th to suffer a bogey and go 2-down once more.
Wooster momentarily must have thought she’d won the title when she canned a 4m birdie putt on the 16th, but Hall showed great poise to answer with her own birdie from 3.5m to extend the match.
But she couldn’t maintain the rage and when both women parred the 17th, the hole was halved and the match won by the National Golf Club member.
“Sue only hit 2 `iffy’ shots for the day, she played really well all week,” a gracious Hall said before turning her attention to 2019.
“It was great to watch her today… but I’ll get her next year!” she said with a laugh.
The stage, though, belonged to Wooster, who was a beaten finalist in the prestigious US version of this event only a few weeks ago.
“Last year I lost in the quarter-finals, so it’s really great to win it,” she said.
“I came in full of expectation and felt there was some pressure on me and even though my form was probably not as good as it had been in the US, I played steadily through the week.”
Wooster, who won the North and South Amateur at Pinehurst and three national crowns in Canada on her recent trip, said she hoped to earn a start at the Vic Open next year to challenge herself against the world’s leading pros.
But in the meantime, she’s got her eyes firmly on representing Australia again.
“I’m really looking forward to the fun of a team event next week in the Women’s Senior Trans Tasman at The Grange (also in Adelaide),” she said.
In the other age divisions, Robyn Pullar beat fellow New Zealander Robyn Pellow 2&1 in the new age veterans, Maggie Hayes of New South Wales beat the ACT’s Pauline Jeffery 4&3 in the veterans, Nicky Moon beat Chris Taylor 3&1 in an all-ACT super veterans final, while Brenda Chalmers, of NSW, toppled Queenslander Lynette Barwick 4&2 in the super veterans plus category.