Ellen Port fired a 2-under-par 71 Sunday for a 36-hole total of 2-under 144 to earn stroke-play medalist honors at the 2014 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, held at the 6,109-yard, par-73 Hollywood Golf Club.
St. Louis native Port, 52, the two-time defending U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion, bettered four players by nine shots and became the fifth player since 2002 to win medalist by three or more strokes.
“This game doesn’t owe you anything, you have to work for everything you get,” said Port, who went back to the basics in practice after missing the cut at this year U.S. Women’s Amateur. “The score (144) reflected the work and that doesn’t always happen.”
Port, who was a USGA medalist for the fifth time, previously accomplishing that feat at four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs, birdied five of six holes, including four consecutively, on the outward nine. She flipped a wedge to within 6 inches at the par-5 10th, her second hole, to ignite the run. Port set up another birdie with a 5-wood approach at the 350-yard, par-4 11th and made putts of 8 and 18 feet, respectively, on the next two holes
“I negotiated the golf course well,” said Port, a six-time USGA champion with four U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs titles and two Senior Women’s Amateur victories to her credit. “I hit a lot of 5-woods off the tees, even though it would mean a longer approach shot.”
Port, who was pleased with her swing tempo throughout the two rounds of stroke-play qualifying, made a 10-foot downhill birdie putt at No. 15 and added her sixth birdie of the day at the par-5 seventh.
“[I am] finishing my backswing and not being so eager to hit the ball,” said Port, who captained the USA Curtis Cup Team to victory over Great Britain and Ireland earlier this year. “I have that type-a personality where I want to get to the ball too quick.”
The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship consists of 36 holes of stroke play followed by six rounds of match play, with the championship scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, Sept. 18, starting at 7:30 a.m. CDT.
Port will face No. 64 Kimberly Briele, of New Bern, N.C. at 8 a.m. Bern shot a 167 to earn the final spot in match play.