Back to all posts

Jackie Little among four Canadians to advance to U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Quarterfinals

PORTLAND, Ore. – Four Canadian players won two matches each Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the 56th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at Waverley Country Club. Hosting its seventh USGA championship, Waverley is set up at 5,836 yards and a par of 72.

Jackie Little plays her tee shot on the 14th hole during the third round of match play of the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.
(Copyright USGA/Steven Gibbons)

British Columbia native Jackie Little joins Quebec natives Judith Kyrinis, Mary Ann Hayward and Terrill Samuel to comprise half of the remaining field, which began with nine Canadians.

“We’re pretty proud Canadians. We play some really good golf up there, as you can see,” said Kyrinis, 53, the 2014 Senior Women’s Amateur runner-up. “PGA, LPGA, we’re all really coming on strong. It’s great to see everybody do well here. We all hang out pretty often when we’re here, and we keep in touch with each other through social media.”

The way the bracket played out, none of the Canadian players will face each other in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

“We couldn’t have planned it much better,” said Little, 59, before the Canadian quartet left to go to dinner together at a local Italian restaurant.

Marlene Stewart Streit is the most recent Canadian to win the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, doing so in 2003. Gayle Borthwick is the only other Canadian to win the championship, winning in 1996 and 1998. Hayward, the 2005 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, is the most recent USGA champion from Canada.

The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, open to female amateurs age 50 and older with a Handicap Index® not exceeding 18.4, consists of 36 holes of stroke play, with the low 64 players advancing to match play. The championship, scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

Kyrinis was one of two players to defeat two USGA champions on Tuesday. She first eliminated 2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up Martha Leach, 5 and 4, in the Round of 32, then won four of the final five holes to defeat 2009 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Sherry Herman, 2 up.

“It was a really tight, back-and-forth match,” said Kyrinis of her win against Herman. “I played so well against Martha, and it’s really hard to play like that back to back, but I held my own. I’ve been driving the ball really well and putting it well. If you can do those two things on this course, you’ll be in good stead.”

Hayward, 57, needed 20 holes to defeat fellow Canadian Marie-Therese Torti in the Round of 32, then cruised to a 7-and-6 win in the Round of 16 against Sherry Smith. Little led 2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Mina Hardin 3 up with four holes remaining, then held on to seal the match on No. 17 after Hardin won Nos. 15 and 16.

The winning Canadians then flocked to the 18th hole to watch the final match on the course, as Samuel sealed her victory with a conceded birdie against 2004 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Carolyn Creekmore.

Patricia Schremmer, 51, of Honolulu, Hawaii, joined Kyrinis in defeating a pair of USGA champions on Tuesday. She won holes 13, 14 and 16 in the Round of 32 to pull ahead of 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Corey Weworski, then knocked out defending champion and seven-time USGA champion Ellen Port, 6 and 5, in the Round of 16.

“I feel great. It’s amazing, really. I’m surprised with myself,” said Schremmer, who set the tone with back-to-back tap-in birdies to win the fifth and sixth holes against Port. “I knew it was going to be a tough day just to get through one match, so I came out with the attitude that I would play the course and do the best I could on each hole and stay in my own moment.”

Lisa McGill, 58, of Philadelphia, Pa., was the first player to earn a spot in the quarterfinals, the first time she has done so in the Senior Women’s Amateur. She outlasted Jane Fitzgerald in 19 holes in the morning’s Round of 32, then cruised in the Round of 16, defeating Lynne Cowan, 5 and 4.

McGill has developed a friendly relationship with Waverley caddie Jonah Pemberton, 19, whom she credits for helping her have a good time on the course. The two of them can be seen fist-bumping after good shots and smiling through both the ups and downs.

“He’s been huge for me, and it’s just nice having a friend out there,” said McGill, who has competed in more than 30 USGA championships. “I get distracted, and we have a good time. We enjoy ourselves.”

Tara Fleming, a member of the winning New Jersey team in the 2013 USGA Women’s State Team Championship, made five birdies in a 5-and-3 Round-of-16 triumph over Leigh Klasse. On the heels of a narrow 2-and-1 victory over Kim Eaton in the morning, Fleming reached new heights in USGA competition.

“This is the first time I’ve played in a USGA event and made it into the quarters, so I am absolutely ecstatic,” said Fleming, a former professional on the LPGA Tour. “I couldn’t be happier and more proud. I managed to eke through my first round where I played a lot of terrible golf and then put together a great round this afternoon. I stopped playing my opponent and started playing the golf course.”

Fleming birdied two par 3s, Nos. 6 and 14, nearly acing the 132-yard sixth with a 9-iron.

The oldest quarterfinalist is Patricia Cornett, 63, of Mill Valley, Calif., a veteran of more than 60 USGA championships who played on two USA Curtis Cup Teams and captained the 2012 team. A Stanford graduate and full-time hematologist, Cornett needed a late rally just to advance past the Round of 64. Trailing 3 down with three holes remaining on Monday, Cornett won four straight holes against Akemi Nakata Khaiat, of Japan.

The morning’s Round of 32 featured five extra-hole matches, including a 23-hole contest won by Herman over Julie Carmichael. That match tied the second-longest in championship history, one behind the record of 24. In 2003, Streit won her semifinal match in 24 holes, then won the championship in 23 holes at Barton Creek Resort & Club in Austin, Texas.

All quarterfinalists are exempt into the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach, Fla. The quarterfinals begin at 8 a.m. PDT Wednesday with McGill facing Kyrinis. The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 12:45 p.m

Click here for full scoring and click here for more information about this year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.