WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — Ellen Port won her third U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur title and seventh USGA championship Thursday, beating Andrea Kraus 3 and 2 at Wellesley Country Club.
The 55-year-old Port, from St. Louis, also won the event for players 50-and-over in 2012 and 2013 and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2011. With seven USGA women’s titles, she’s tied for second place with Carol Semple Thompson and Anne Quast Sander, one behind JoAnne Gunderson Carner.
“Fantastic,” Port said. “It’s always great to win a USGA championship. You work so hard to get here and it’s just so special when you can finish it off.”
Port was 2-under par for 16 holes, with the usual match-play concessions.
“Ellen is amazing,” said the 55-year-old Kraus, from Baltimore. “She’s a lovely human being and I give her incredible kudos. She’s got a family, she does it all.”
In addition to Carner, only Bobby Jones and Tiger Woods with nine, and Jack Nicklaus with eight have won more USGA championships than Port. Port’s 7-1 record is the best among female players who have reached six or more USGA finals. Thompson is 7-3, Glenna Collett Vare 6-2, and Carner 6-3.
On Wednesday night, Port received a text of encouragement from Thompson.
“It’s mind-boggling,” Port said. “I’m definitely not in that league. (Anne and Carol) are both good friends of mine. Carol drummed me the first time I played in an event. She beat me 6 and 5 at the (Women’s) Western. She was a legend and we sat down and had lunch. I’ve learned a lot from her and respect her. It’s just a real honor.”
Port is the women’s golf coach at Washington University in St. Louis. She also still teaches at the John Burroughs School, a private high school.
“My team has been texting me and they’ve been having way more fun at practice since I’ve been gone,” Port said. “The captains have been in charge and they have a trick-shot video that they created. I would not be sitting here if both of my employers had not allowed me to play and continue to compete. So I am very grateful.”
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