Corrie Kuehn Knocks off Tennant as High Seeds Fall in Sr. Women's Am

October 4, 2023 | 7 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ten of the top 12 seeds, and 12 of the top 15, made it through the first round of matches (the Round of 64) at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship on Monday. Tuesday was a different story. The Round of 32 eliminated six of the top 15 seeds, leaving six to continue, and by the time the Round of 16 was done late Tuesday afternoon, only No. 7 Sarah Gallagher and No. 14 Marilyn Hardy remained.

There were notable casualties all over the place, but the most notable of them was the No. 1 seed, Lara Tennant. The 56-year-old three-time winner of this tournament, earned medalist honors for the third time over the weekend, by three shots, by shooting a pair of 1-over-par 73s at Troon Country Club, and she was even par for the 33 holes she played while winning her first two matches. But on Tuesday afternoon, she was 5 over for 15 holes, and she lost 4&3 to 58-year-old Brenda Corrie Kuehn, who was 1 under.

This wasn't that much of an upset. Corrie Kuehn, who shot 75-80--155 in the stroke-play qualifying portion of the tournament, and was the No. 17 seed, has impressive credentials. Among other things, she has played in more than 45 USGA championships, including nine U.S. Opens. As a matter of fact, she played in one of them -- the 201 Open -- while eight months pregnant. She felt a contraction on the 11th tee during the first round, and her daughter Rachel Kuehn was born eight days later. Rachel won a state tennis championship while she was a teenager, but decided to concentrate on golf and became a two-time All-American at Wake Forest. She is currently No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Brenda, who was an All-American at Wake Forest during the 1990s, and is in the school's Hall of Fame, won the first hole against Tennant with a par, and she went 2 up with a birdie at the 469-yard, par-5 third. Tennant birdied the par-3 fifth, but that was as close as she got. Corrie Kuehn responded with a birdiie at the par-4 sixth to go 2 up again, and she went 3 up with a conceded birdie at the par-5 eighth (463 yards), after Tennant made a double bogey on the hole. A bogey cost Corrie Kuehn the ninth hole, but she came right back with a birdie at the par-4 10th, and she won the par-3 13th with a birdie, which got her to 4 up.

Both players bogeyed the 14th, and Corrie Kuehn closed Tennant out by halviing the 15th hole with a par.

The No. 2 seed, Ellen Port, who, like Tennant, is a. three-time former Senior Am champion, lost earlier in the day, 4&3 to Nadene Gole. Gole, the No. 34 seed, fell behind early, when she lost the third hole to Port's birdie, but she won the fourth and sixth with birdies. Both players birdied the par-5 eighth, but Gole's bogey at the ninth was good enough to increase her lead to 2 up. She went 3 up with a birdie at the par-5 11th, and lost the 12th to Port's birdie, but secured her victory by making birdies on both of the back-nine par 3s at Troon, the 95-yard 13th and the 124-yard 15th. 

Leigh Klasse was the only one of four Minnesota qualifiers for this tournament to make it to match play. She was the No. 30 seed, after shooting 82-77--159 in stroke play, but she lost in the Round of 64, 3&1 to No. 35 Sylvie Van Molle. Van Molle then eliminated the defending champion -- and No. 3 seed -- Shelly Stouffer in the Round of 32. Stouffer got off to a slow start, losing the second and fourth holes to Van Molle's pars, but she battled back with birdies at the par-3 seventh and par-5 eighth. After they swapped the next two holes, Van Molle winning the ninth with a par and Stouffer doing the same at the 10th, Van Molle took the lead for good with a birdie at the 11th. She went 2 up thanks to a birdie at the shortl, par-3 13th, but lost the 14th to Stouffer's par. They both parred the next three holes, and Van Molle sealed her 2-up victory by winning the 18th with a par.

Van Molle was beaten, in turn, by the No. 14 seed, Marilyn Hardy, in the. Round of 16. Hardy was 1 down after losing the 15th to Van Molle's par, but she squared the match by winning the 17th with a birdie, and she won it with a par on the 19th hole (No. 1, 352 yards, par 4).

Other than Hardy and Corrie Kuehn, the only top-20 seed left is No. 7 Sarah Gallagher. Gallagher, who turned 50 just in time to play in the U.S. Women's Open this summer (she tied for 38th), is a sixth-grade social studies teacher in Canton, Ga., and her caddie this week is Erin Packer, the daughter of two-time U.S. Senior Open winner Allen Doyle. On Tuesday morning, Gallagher was 2 up on No. 39 Corey Weworski early, but she didn't take the lead for good until she won the 14th hole with a par. She held on from there for a 1-up victory.  In her afternoon (Round of 16) match, she grabbed the lead early once again, never surrendered it and defeated No. 10 Mary Ann Hayward 4&3.         

U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship

At Troon Country Club

Par 72, 5,761 yards

Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Stoke-play qualifying (the top 64 earn spots in match play)

1. Lara Tennant                        73-73--146 (+2)

2. Ellen Port                              77-72--149

T3. Tara Joy Connelly               72-78--150

T3. Shelly Stouffer                    75-75--150

T5. Kim Eaton                           74-78--152

T5. Kathy Hartwiger                   74-78--152

T7. Gigi Higgins                          72-81--153

T7. Sarah Gallager                     75-78--153

T30. Leigh Klasse                     82-77--159

Missed cut -- 166 (7-for-2 playoff will take place Monday morning) 

Lynn Anderson                         86-88--174

Claudia Pilot                              91-86--177

Alissa Super                              94-86--180

Match play

Round of 64

(1) Tennant def. (64) Tama Caldabaugh 3&2

(2) Ellen Port def. (63) Kay Daniel 4&3

(3) Shelly Stouffer def. (62) Susan Cohn 19 holes

(4) Connelly def. (61) Kathia Gonzalez 4&3

(5) Kathy Hartwiger def. Wendy Ohlmeyer 8&7

(59) Martha Linscott def. (6) Kim Eaton 2&1

(7)  Gallagher def. ((58) Giuliana Colavito 3&1

(57) Martha Leach def. (8) Higgins 4&3

(35) Sylvie Van Molle def. (30) Leigh Klasse 3&1

Round of 32

(1) Tennant def. 33 Karin Luxon 3&1

(34) Nadene Gold def. (2) Port 4&3

(35) Van Molle def. (3) Stouffer 2 up

(36) Sarah Lebrun Ingram def. (4) Connelly 8&6

(5) Hartigan def. 28 Jayne Pardus 4&2

(27) Kim Keyer-Scott def. (59) Linscott 2&1

(7) Gallagher def. (39) Corey Weworski 1 up

(57) Leach def. (25) Pamela Kuong 5&3

Round of 16

(17) Brenda Corrie Kuehn def. (1) Tennant 4&3

(34) Gole def. (18) Judith Kyrinis 19 holes

(14) Marilyn Hardy def. (35) Van Molle 19 holes

(36) Ingram def. (20) Jackie Foster 7&6

(21) Linda Jeffery def. Hartiger 2&1

(27) Keyer-Scott def. (22) Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll 2&1

(7) Gallagher def. (10) Macy Ann Hayward 4&3

(57) Leach def. (9) Stacy Dennis 2&1



Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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