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Port outlasts younger competitors, wins ninth women’s state championship

Father Time is not about to catch Ellen Port just yet.

Port, 52, won her ninth  Missouri Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship on Thursday at The Golf Club of Creekmoor in Raymore.

Port entered the final round of the 54-hole tournament challenged by her younger competitors. Port was tied with Oregon graduate Hanule Seo, of Chesterfield.

Port played par golf through the front nine.  Port’s only birdie was on No. 11 and it was followed by one bogey on the next hole.  Port amazingly hit all 18 greens, several times from deep rough approaches.

She finished with even par round of 72, giving her a 214 total.

Kansas State’s Gianna Misenhelter, of Overland Park, Kan., was only three shots back and began her day with a bang.  Facing the first approach shot of the day on the par four first hole, she promptly holed an 86-yard wedge for eagle, tightening things up a bit. Misenhelter tried to apply pressure, but was even on the back to finish one under for the day and two strokes behind Port with a 216.   Mizenhelter’s 1-under round of 71 landed her in second place and earned the Cassett Trophy for Amateur Runner Up.

Nebraska’s Jordan Chael, , of Overland Park, Kan., missed second place by one shot with another one under round, finishing in third with a total of 217.
Seo, an MICDS graduate, wasn’t able to mount a charge at the lead, apparently struggling with a sore back.  She shot 76 and finished tied for fourth with a 218 along with first-round leader and medalist Brooke Cusumano, of St. Louis; and Logan Otter, of St. Peter’s.

Otter, who will be a senior this fall at John Burroughs High School and recent Missouri Junior champion, appears ready for the next phase and has her sights set on Michigan State after next year after graduating.  Otter’s 1-under round Thusday earned her the Peg Ludlow Low Junior Trophy.

Defending champion Catherine Dolan, of Ballwin, found herself behind by 7 shots starting her day.  She rode a birdie train on the front, but a bogey and a double on 17 had her finish at 1-under for the day and in seventh place with a 220.  She appears focused on her next tournament, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Link Championship, which begins next week. Dolan also plans to attend the LPGA Qualifying School.

Audrey Judd, of Olathe (Kan.) Northwest High School, finished with a 73 to finish in eighth place with a 221.

Port’s win continues an already successful year in golf.  A victorious Curtis Cup Captain and recent Metropolitan Women’s Amateur Champion, she has her sights on defending her U.S. Senior Amateur title in September.

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