The USGA holds the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship annually in August, September or October. Approximately 500 of the best female golfers in the world, age 50 and above, seek to qualify for the Championship at sites across the United States in the late summer. From these regional qualifiers, 132 women will come to the the 5,732-yard Par 72 Cedar Rapids Country Club (pictured above) for two practice rounds on August 22 and 23, followed by two qualifying stroke play rounds on August 24 and 25. The top 64 finishers from the qualifying rounds will compete in a series of single elimination, match play rounds from August 26-29.
The 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will be the first USGA championship to be hosted in the Hawkeye State since the 1999 U.S. Senior Open Championship, won by Dave Eichelberger, at Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Prior to that, Deane Beman defeated Richard H. Sikes, 2 and 1, in the 1963 U.S. Amateur Championship final at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines.
“It is a thrill for our state and the IGA that the USGA will be bringing a third national championship to Iowa,” stated Chad Pitts, IGA Executive Director. “We are also extremely excited for Cedar Rapids Country Club as they have done a terrific job with recent renovations that will showcase the state’s only Donald Ross-designed course. We are certain the players are going to love it.”
Founded in 1904 and opened for play in 1915, Cedar Rapids CC remains the only course in Iowa designed by renowned architect Ross. In 2011, the course began a restoration project led by Ron Prichard that returned signature Ross design elements that had been lost or obscured over time. The restoration, which concluded in the spring of 2016, included the reclamation of open vistas, reestablishment of original lines of play, delivery of watershed-driven infrastructure, and green complex improvements featuring the expansion and re-contouring of 12 greens and the complete redesign of three greens.
“We are honored to host this championship, and excited to share our recently restored Donald Ross golf course, club and friendly community with the world’s best senior female amateur golfers,” said Anne Parmley, club president.
The USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship was inaugurated in 1962 for women golfers age 50 and older.
By the late 1950s, a number of senior women’s golf organizations had been formed, principally to conduct tournaments, but there was no existing tournament to determine the national champion. The USGA was requested to step in, and in January 1962, the Executive Committee approved such a competition.
From 1962-1996, the Senior Women’s Amateur was a 54-hole, stroke-play competition. Since 1997, the championship has mirrored all of the other USGA amateur competitions, with 36 holes of on-site qualifying to determine the final 64 players for match play.
Carolyn Cudone claimed five consecutive titles from 1968-72, and Carol Semple Thompson won four straight from 1999-2001. Dorothy Porter and Anne Sander have also each won four championships, with Marlene Streit, Diane Lang and Ellen Port each capturing three titles.
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