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Port wins first round of match play in 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship

By: Warren Mayes

Defending champion Ellen Port has advanced in match play at the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.

Port 55, of St. Louis, never trailed in defeating Leeann Lewis, 2 and 1 in the tournament being held at the Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore. Waverley is set up at 5,836 yards and a par of 72.

Port now will advance to the Round of 32 for the sixth consecutive year. Lewis, however, didn’t make it easy and chipped in from 30 yards on the par-3 16th hole to cut Port’s lead to 1 up.

“It was a classic match, lots of really good golf on both sides,” said Port, who is one of the most decorated amateur players in USGA history with four U.S. Mid-Amateur and three U.S. Senior Amateur titles. “This is a great match-play course, the greens are very complex, and I have not quite figured it out yet.

“She played great, and I’m just really proud that I didn’t get frustrated when things didn’t go my way, especially after 16. I could have lost my cool, but I kept it together.”

In her Round of 32 match, Port will meet Kathy Kurata, of Pasadena, Calif.

There was a huge upset in the first round of match play. No. 64 Courtney Myhrum defeated co-medalist Lara Tennant, a longtime member at host site Waverley Country Club 1-up in the first round of match play. Myhrum sank a 65-foot par putt on the second playoff hole to clinch the 64th and final match-play spot. Myhrum, who at 55 is playing in her sixth consecutive U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, previously making it as far as the Round of 64 in both 2012 and 2014.

On the other side of the bracket, Helene Chartrand, who finished co-medalist with Tennant, won the first four holes and never trailed in her 6-and-5 win over Nanette Seman.

Another USGA champion headed to the second round of match play is Martha Leach, 55, of Hebron, Ky., who defeated Beatriz Arenas, of Guatemala, in 21 holes. Arenas, who at 69 was the oldest remaining player in the field, battled back from a 2-down deficit by winning holes 16 and 17 to square the match.

Eight USGA champions advanced to the Round of 32: Carolyn Creekmore (2004 Senior Women’s Amateur); Mina Hardin (2010 Senior Women’s Amateur); Hayward (2005 Women’s Mid-Amateur); Sherry Herman (2009 Senior Women’s Amateur); Diane Lang (2005, 2006, 2008 Senior Women’s Amateur); Leach (2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur), Port (1995, 1996, 2000, 2011 Women’s Mid-Amateur; 2012, 2013, 2016 Senior Women’s Amateur); and Corey Weworski (2004 Women’s Mid-Amateur).

Last year’s runner up, Andrea Kraus, 56, of Baltimore, Md., reached the Round of 32, advancing through a 7-for-6 playoff on Sunday and then rallying late for a 1-up victory over No. 6 seed Mary Jane Hiestand on Monday.


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