Australia’s Sue Wooster has surged into the final of the US Senior Women’s Amateur at Anchorage Golf Course in Alaska courtesy of a stunning semi-final resurgence.
Wooster’s back was firmly against the wall when her American opponent Christie Blasi jumped out to a 3-up lead after five holes – a deficit no player had come back from to win during this year’s event – on Wednesday afternoon (Alaskan time), but from then on the 60-year-old could not be stopped.
The Victorian, who is a regular club champion at The National Golf Club and three-time Australian Golf Digest Senior Player of the Year, immediately responded with four consecutive hole-winning pars to head to the turn with the lead off the back of some superb ball-striking and steady putting.
The contest flipped suddenly and it was balanced on a knife edge when Blasi’s par at the tenth levelled things up again.
They were unable to break the deadlock as the pair traded pars at the 11th and 12th, before Wooster finally broke free with a par to win the par-3 13th and she doubled her advantage with a birdie at the par-5 14th.
From that point, there was no way she was letting the chance to return to the final slip from her grasp and a par at the 16th – her third winning hole in four – secured her 3&2 triumph.
“I think my experience paid off,” Wooster told the USGA. “My third final in the last four events, that’s pretty cool. Yesterday I played really well, it felt easy. Today was not as easy. It was a grind. I didn’t get the pace of the greens as well today. Hopefully that comes back tomorrow.
“When you finish, you give yourself a pat on the back for hanging in there and not giving up. It doesn’t feel like it when you’re out there, but when you’re done, it’s definitely rewarding.”
Earlier in the day, Wooster won her quarter-final clash against American Terri Frohnmayer with a similar surge.
Frohnmayer held a one-hole lead for majority of the front nine until Wooster birdied the ninth to level things up and she did not look back from there.
She won three more holes, including a birdie at the 16th, to earn the 2&1 win.
Wooster will now face Canadian Shelly Stouffer – they have not played together previously, but they did stay together during the 2015 US Women’s Mid-Amateur – for a third shot at a maiden US Senior Women’s Amateur crown.
Three-time reigning champion Lara Tennant, who was eliminated in this year’s Round of 16, defeated Wooster in the final in 2018 and 2019, but the former world No.1 has arguably never been more well-placed to bring the trophy home. She is in stunning form this year with wins at the European Seniors’ Championship, the Cobram Barooga Senior Amateur and the Western Australian Senior Amateur and she is brimming with confidence as a result.
The final will be an 18-hole match, like the other matchplay rounds of the event, and it will begin at 2:30am AEST on Friday morning.