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Tennant reaches final match at U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur

Lara Tennant of Portland, Ore. won her semifinal match against Susan Cohn of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 2-up and will advance to the final match in the 59th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, being held this week at The Lakewood Club in Point Clear, Ala.

Lara Tennant (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Tennant, the No. 1 seed in the match-play bracket, will face No. 3 seed Ellen Port of St. Louis, Mo. in the 18-hole final on Wednesday.

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In Tennant’s semifinal match this afternoon against Cohn, she held a slim 1-up lead standing on the 18th tee, but birdied the 324-yard par-4 to seal the win.

In this morning’s quarterfinal match, after 12 holes Tennant was down one to Sally Krueger of San Francisco. But Tennant won the next four holes in a row to close out the match on the 16th, 3 and 2.

Tennant won this championship in 2018 and 2019, and is trying for three in a row (it was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19). Only two other players have won at least three consecutive titles – Carolyn Cudone, who won five in a row (1968-1972), and Carol Semple Thompson, who won four in a row (1999-2002).

She will have her hands full in facing Port, who has won this championship three times (2012, 2013, 2016) and has also won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur four times (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011). Port’s seven USGA national titles is second only to the eight titles won by PNGA Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner.

Shelly Stouffer (Kathryn Riley/USGA)

Tennant was named the PNGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She also won the British Senior Women’s Amateur in 2019. Earlier this year Tennant competed in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and the U.S. Women’s Amateur, being exempted into these championships by virtue of her titles in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

Tennant has five children, and serves as the Junior Golf Chair on the executive committee of the Oregon Golf Association.

Shelly Stouffer of Nanoose Bay, B.C. made it as far as this afternoon’s semifinal matches, before bowing to Port, who birdied the par-4 18th to win the hole and the match, 1-up.

In this morning’s quarterfinal match, Stouffer, the No. 10 seed, defeated No. 2 seed Gigi Higgins of Cape Coral, Fla., 1-up. In that match, Stouffer had birdied the 18th hole for the win.

For Stouffer, this was her first appearance in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. She had turned professional at the age of 26 and played in several majors, including the 2001 U.S. Women’s Open. She regained her amateur status in 2011, and now works as a kinesiologist.

Stouffer was exempted into this championship by winning the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur last week. She won the 2012 PNGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.