While the majority of the attention that is paid to USGA Championship tournaments is focused on the U.S. Open (for men), the U.S. Women’s Open, and U.S. Amateur, the USGA conducts sixteen national championships, for golfers of all ages, every year. The competitors who qualify for and compete in these national championships are all dedicated to their sport, whether as professionals, prep or college competitors, or amateurs. A field of these dedicated amateurs is coming to CordeValle Resort in San Martin, CA, this weekend for the 2013 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, September 21-26.
The championship will begin on Sept. 21 and 22 with 36 holes of stroke play, after which the field will be reduced to the low 64 scorers. There will be six rounds of match play, starting Sept. 23. The quarterfinals and semifinals are slated for Sept. 25. The championship is scheduled to conclude with an 18-hole final on Thursday, Sept. 26, starting at 8 a.m. PDT. The championship is open to the public, and admission is free.
If the phrase “senior women’s golf championship” conjures up images of the ladies-club golfers at your local municipal golf course or country club, you have a surprise in store if you come out to CordeValle to watch this tournament – and if you are at all interested in seeing quality golf being played, you should come out.
The women who are competing in the 2013 USGA Sr Women’s Amateur Championship include a past U.S. Girls’ Junior Champion, and several past Women’s Amateur, Women’s Mid-Am and Sr Women’s Amateur champions. Their ages range from 50 (the minimum age for the USGA’s Senior championships) to 79 – and the maximum handicap requirement is 18.4.
Many of the competitors are women of great accomplishments in professional fields, who somehow find the time to maintain a standard of skill in the game such that they can compete at the national championship level. Among the 132 women who will tee up on Saturday at CordeValle, there are five Northern California golfers who are typical of the accomplished women who make up the field in this year’s championship:
Dr. Patricia Cornett, 59, of Mill Valley, Calif., is competing in her 60th USGA championship. Dr Cornett is the Associate Chair of Education in the department of medicine at UCSF and does clinical work in oncology at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. She was the runner-up in the 1987 U.S. Mid-Amateur and advanced to the semifinals in 1992 and 1999. She was also a semifinalist in the 1976 and 1992 U.S. Women’s Amateurs and a quarterfinalist in the 2009 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur.
Cornett captained the 2012 United States team for the Curtis Cup, the team match-play event matching top amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland, and played on the 1978 and 1988 Curtis Cup Teams. A native of Salinas, Dr. Cornett is a 1972 graduate of North Salinas High School, where she competed on the Boy’s golf team, and was the 1971 NCGA Junior Girls’ champion.
Sandy Woodruff, 64, of Santa Cruz, was a quarterfinalist in the 1999 and 2004 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships. She is a three-time California Women’s Senior champion (2001, ’03, ’12). Woodruff owns and operates a nine-hole golf course in Scotts Valley, Calif.
Marianne Towersey, 62, of Pebble Beach, was a semifinalist in the 2003 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, losing to eventual champion Marlene Stewart Streit in 24 holes. She was also a quarterfinalist in the Senior Women’s Amateur four times (2001, ’04, ’05, ’06), and was a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1967 and the U.S. Girls’ Junior in 1968. Towersey is an avid surfer and friend of 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Lisa Cobler, 55, of Pleasanton, Calif., is competing in her first USGA Senior Women’s Amateur and her ninth USGA championship. She was a quarterfinalist in the 1974 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
Lynne Cowan, 50, of Rocklin, won the Women’s Golf Association of Northern California’s match play, stroke play, and Champion of Champions tournament in 2011, becoming the only player to win all three events in a single year. Cowan is also a four-time California Women’s Amateur champion and represented California in the USGA Women’s State Team championship in 2001, 2011 and 2013.