Karen Garcia of Cool, California, defeated Pamela Kuong of Wellesley Hills, Mass.,
1-up in the 2015 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Final held at Hillwood Country Club.
The Championship was held September 26-October 1, 2015. The event began with two
rounds of stroke play, with HCC's 5,857-yard, par-72 course yielding only three rounds
of par or better. Canada's Mary Ann Hayward shot a two-day total of 1-over 145 to earn
medalist honors. The initial field of 132 players was cut to 64 after stroke play concluded.
The first round of match play saw several lower seeds win, including #64 seed Maria de
Orueta defeating Hayward in a 21-hole marathon. The upset marked only the third time
in Senior Women's Amateur history (since match play began in 1997) the medalist was
beaten in the first round. Six of the top 10 seeds were knocked out in the round of 64.
The final three days of match play featured several rain delays, and the women played
through light showers at other times. The semifinal matches were pushed back a day,
setting up a 36-hole finale on Thursday, October 1st. Garcia edged Sue Cohn of Palm
Beach Gardens, Fla., on the 18th hole to win 1-up in one semifinal match, while Kuong
outlasted Tama Caldabaugh of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in 21 holes, to set up the Final.
Garcia held a 3-up lead after 10 holes, but Kuong rallied to win four of the next six holes
to take a 1-up lead heading to the 17th tee. Kuong found the water hazard on her second
shot, allowing Garcia to even the match heading into #18. After easily outdriving Kuong
and seeing her miss a long par putt, Garcia clinched the Championship with a 4-foot putt.
The Senior Women's Amateur was only the 14th USGA championship held in the state
of Tennessee, and the first at Hillwood Country Club. HCC had previously hosted U.S.
Senior Open sectional qualifying for three consecutive years and five times since 2002.
The Club's 2002 qualifier produced the lone player to win the U.S. Senior Open as a
sectional qualifier, when Don Pooley won at Caves Valley Golf Club in Maryland.
For full coverage from the event, including many feature stories about the players
and photos from each day, visit the USGA's Senior Women's Amateur webpage.