Gallagher Withstands Corrie Kuehn's Comeback, Wins Senior Women's Am

October 6, 2023 | 8 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In June, Sarah Gallagher tied her friend Erin Packer for first place in the inaugural Georgia State Women's Mid-Amateur Championship. Gallagher then won the title by making a birdie on the first extra hole. 

On Thursday, Gallagher won the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur by defeating her long-time friend Bonnie Corrie Kuehn 1 up in the final. Her caddie for every one of the eight rounds that she played in the tournament was Packer.

Gallagher is 50 years old, which means this was the first time she was eligible to play in the Senior Women's Am, and she gave much of the credit for her victory to Packer, who is the daughter of two-time former U.S. Senior Open champion Allen Doyle, and the wife of Golf Channel producer Brandt Packer. 

"I hit the ball really, really well and putted quite well," Gallagher said. "Having a lot of confidence in the number (yardage) I had into the green -- because Erin is so good at providing all that information -- allowed me to make good club choices. My misses were in the right spots, too, which was important."

Gallagher, who shot 75-78--153 in stroke-play qualifying and was the No. 7 seed, needed 104 holes to get through her six matches on the way to the crown, and she trailed for only three of them. Two of those three holes where she faced a deficit came Wednesday at the start of her semifinal match against the No. 27 seed, Kim Keyer-Scott. Keyer-Scott won the first hole with a par, but Gallagher levled the match by winning the par-5 third with a birdie. Gallagher and Keyer-Scott then halved the next 10 holes in a row with pars, and they halved the two after that with bogeys.

A par at the 16th was good enough for Gallagher to grab her first lead of the match, but she lost the 18th to Geyer's par. Gallagher settled the matter with a birdie on the first extra hole -- No. 1, a 355-yard par 4 -- the same hole she had lost to Keyer-Scott's par to start the match.

Her victory over Corrie Kuehn was nothing like that. Gallagher won the par-4 second hole and the par-5 third with pars, and she went 4 up thanks to birdies at the par-4 fourth and the par-3 fifth. Corrie Kuehn was the No. 17 seed, and it was. she who knocked out the No. 1 seed, Lara Tennant, a three-time champion of the Senior Women's Am who who earned medalist honors this year -- for the third time -- with a 146 (73-73).

After the final, Gallagher said she was sure Corrie Kuehn would battle back from her early deficit.

"Brenda is such an incredible putter," she noted, "I probably would have rather been 12 up to feel like I had a safe lead on her. I knew she was going to start making putts, and making birdies." 

And she did, although it took a while. Corrie Kuehn won the ninth hole with a birdie; so she was 3 down at the turn. Gallagher went 4 up once again with a. birdie of her own at the 12th, but Corrie Kuehn won the 141-yard, par-3 13th with a birdie, and the par-4 14th witih a par.

It was Gallagher whose birdie won the 15th, and that got her to 3 up with three holes to play. But Corrie Kuehn won the 16th with a par and the 510-yard, par-5 17th with another birdie. And she had a chance to win the 18th, a 365-yard par 4, because Gallagher was over the green in two, stubbed her first chip shot, leaving it short of the green, and hit her second chip 5 feet past the cup.

Corrie Kuehn was on the green in two, but barely. She left her lengthy first putt short of the hole, and her par putt slid off to the right. So Gallagher now had a 5-footer for bogey to win the tournament -- and she made it.

Kuehn, who has played in more than 45 USGA championships, was gracious in defeat. 

"She played like a true champion today," she said of Gallagher. "I'm so proud of her and the friendship we have."

In addition to custody of the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Trophy for one year, Gallagher gets a 10-year exemption into the the Senior Women's Am, and an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Women's Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. 

Corrie Kuehn is now exempt for that one, too. Also likely to be in the field at Southern Hills is her daughter Rachel. Rachel Kuehn, a two-time All-American at Wake Forest, is exempt into the Women's Open by virtue of having been on the U.S. Curtis Cup team in 2021 and '22 -- and for having been on the USA squad in the 2022 and '23 Women's World Amateur Team Championships. Beyond that, she's currently No. 10 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and the top 50 from those rankings are exempt into the Women's Am.

"Oh, I would love to take her down," Corrie Kuehn said of the prospective competition with her daughter at next year's Women's Amateur. "The problem is that there is so much trash talking at our house that if one person wins, I mean, it would go on forever, and I have a feeling it's not going to be me. It would be her, and I don't really want to give her that opportunity to trash talk me for the rest of my life."  

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) Lebrun 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


(17) Corrie Kuehn def. (57) Leach 3&2

(7) Gallagher def. (34) Gole 2&1

(27) Keyer-Scott def. (14) Hardy 2&1

(21) Jeffery def. (36) Lebrun Ingram 2&1


(17) Corrie Kuehn def. (21) Jeffery 3&2

(7) Gallagher def. (27) Keyer-Scott 19 holes


(7) Gallagher def. (17) Corrie Kuehn 1 up



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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