Lara Tennant of the United States of America won the R&A Women’s Senior Amateur Championship after a dramatic three-hole play-off at Royal St David’s today.
In glorious sunshine on the west coast of Wales, the American from Portland, Oregon started the final round two shots behind playing partner Alison Taylor.
They went on to play out a ding-dong battle to finish tied on a three-under-par total of 222 with Sylvie van Molle, who carded five birdies in a 71, the low round of the day. There was a five-shot gap back to the player in fourth place, Spain’s Maria Castillo Dolagaray.
At the first play-off hole, Taylor bunkered her tee shot and made par but was knocked out of the sudden death contest when both Tennant and van Mollee two-putted for birdie fours.
The remaining contenders made par on the long 13th hole and moved onto the 18th hole, which proved to be the decider. Van Molle hit a glorious tee shot to 18 feet, while Tennant was on the edge of the left hand bunker.
However, the 52-year-old American who got up and down for a three and when van Molle missed two putts, it was Tennant who prevailed to win the title and add to the US Senior Women’s Championship she won at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Iowa last month.
It was only Tennant’s second visit to the UK – her first was a college trip to Scotland with the University of Arizona that was organised by Solheim Cup player Kathryn Imrie – and she hopes to be back to defend the title next year.
Tennant said, “This is incredible and it’s an amazing feeling to win both the British and US titles in the same year. I hope to be back in the UK next year to defend the title at Ashridge.
“I have had a great week and the weather could not be better. I decided to return to the sport after raising five children and I am having a great time playing golf.”
A disappointed Taylor had led outright from the first round right up until the latter stages of the final round only to be matched by Tennant after she made birdies on the 16th and 17th holes today, while Van Molle was pleased with her final round score despite losing out in the play-off.
“It was all down to the putts today. They all fell for Lara,” said Taylor. “To be beaten in a play-off at my first attempt in the championship isn’t too bad. I’ll absolutely be back next year to have another go.”
The 2020 R&A Women’s Senior Amateur Championship will take place at Ashridge Golf Club from 19-21 August.