Aussies impress, but Dame dominates

Sue Wooster
Australian amateur Sue Wooster held her own against some legendary names in women's professional golf.

Laura Davies still cuts a competitive figure on the LPGA Tour, so it was no surprise that she dominated the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open at Chicago Golf Club today.

Davies carded a closing five-under-par 68 to finish 16 under, 10 strokes clear of runner-up Juli Inkster with two Australians also faring well throughout the week.

South Australian legend Jane Crafter saved her best for last with an even-par 73 enabling her to nab a share of 28th at 14 over, while amateur Sue Wooster more than held her own against some of the sport’s greatest names.

Wooster, a member at The National on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, was fourth among the amateur contenders, finishing in a share of 40th overall at 19 over.

Crafter, known to many as one of the voices of women’s golf commentary, vowed on Twitter after her opening 82 to “go low tomorrow” and, true to her word, carded rounds of 74-77-73 to move through the field as the course became harder and faster.

Wooster, the reigning Australian senior golfer of the year who qualified courtesy of winning last year’s Canadian Senior Women’s Open, was equally gallant in closing in 76-78-76 after her opening 81 and finished only 10 behind amateur winner, American Martha Leach, who finished at six over.

Sydney's Jan Stephenson missed the cut by a stroke after rounds of 77-82.

But the day, and indeed week, belonged to Davies.

“The Dame” was in a league of her own as one of only four players to finish below par and her 10-shot gap back over seven-time major champion Inkster was testament to her dominance.

Davies won four majors in her LPGA Tour career, among 20 LGA Tour wins and 45 European victories. This one, in a first championship competing against her peers and women’s golf legends on a storied venue, meant a lot.

“My last win was in India in 2010, so there’s the pressure you’re playing under when you’re trying to prove to yourself you can still win,” said Davies, 54.

“So this ranks highly up there. And obviously because it’s a USGA event, it’s hard to compare tournaments, but this is very high on my list of achievements, I can assure you.”

The second US Senior Women’s Open is scheduled for 16-19 May next year at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the site of three US Women’s Opens, most recently in 2007.

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