Sue Wooster yesterday won a historic third consecutive Australian Senior Amateur while another Victorian, James Lavender, took out his first at Launceston Golf Club. Wooster’s hat-trick followed wins in 2018 and 2019 and was interrupted by two years of pandemic-related absence of the national senior championship.
She was rock solid in a closing with a one-under par 72 to first catch the 36-hole leader, Victorian Nadene Gole, then surge ahead to win by three shots.
Gole, who defeated Wooster in the Victorian Senior Amateur and also won the South Australian Senior Amateur this year, led by two shots entering the final day but shot a closing 77 to finish runner-up.
Wooster, three times a runner-up in the US Senior Amateur and a prolific winner at all levels, shot rounds of 75-78-72 to post six-over par overall.
She becomes just the third woman in the Senior Amateur’s history to win three times in succession.
“After travelling around the world throughout the winter, it is really special to come home and win my national title,” Wooster said.
“I have a lot of friends in the senior ranks so it’s great to be able to share this with them.”
Lavender’s elevation to national senior champion comes after a storied career at Northern Golf Club where he has been club champion more than 20 times.
The Melburnian had to survive a four-hole playoff against Drouin’s Mark Allen after the pair were locked together at four-over through the three rounds, but Lavender came out on top. He had also bogeyed two of the last three holes to lose an opportunity to close it out, finishing up with rounds of 67-77-76.
“It’s an honour to win this event,” Lavender said.
“I am truly shocked. It was a great battle with Mark; he could easily be up here.”
Kiwis Brent Paterson and Tony Chettelburgh were next best at five-over, just a shot out of the playoff.
The Victorian team of Lavender, Gole, Greg Rhodes and Helen Pascoe took out the senior teams event by an impressive 33 shots from Tasmania.
The event was also the conclusion to the 2022 National Senior Order of Merit with Wooster and Rhodes crowned champions.