- Golfer Benefits
DORNOCH, Scotland – Those familiar with golf in Massachusetts will recognize a few names in the field at the Men’s and Women’s British Senior Amateur Championships this week. Among those competing at Scotland’s Royal Dornoch are Sue Curtin, Pam Kuong and Natalie Galligan on the women’s side, as well as Doug Clapp and Keith Smith on the men’s.
Golfers must be 50 years or older to be eligible for the championship, where they compete in up to four rounds of stroke play to vie for the title. The field is cut after the first two rounds, and golfers who score at or below the cutline compete in the final two rounds for the championship trophy.
Advancing to rounds 3 and 4 in the women’s championship were Kuong and Curtin, who moved on with a 19-over 162 and a 20-over 163, respectively. Following the third round, Curtin ranks fifth among U.S. women in the championship. In the men’s competition, Clapp progressed to the championship rounds with a 3-over 143, finishing the first two rounds tied for seventh place. Galligan and Smith both competed in the first two rounds of stroke play.
“It’s been great seeing our fellow Mass Golfers out here all the way across the pond,” Curtin said. “And meeting and competing with women from all over has been an exceptional experience. We are all here for the same love of the game and love for competition. Royal Dornoch is standing up to the challenge and testing every inch of our games. It’s been such a fun experience.”
Kuong was also pleased to represent Massachusetts and the United States at the championship.
“I’m traveling with my friends from Pennsylvania and New York, friends I’ve made from playing the Griscom Cup and USGA events,” Kuong said. “We did the same trip in 2018. When they announce your name on first tee and say ‘representing USA,’ it really gives you chills.”
She will again represent the Bay State against international competition at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship later this month, though she’ll play on U.S. greens in Anchorage, Alaska.
Kuong also spoke positively about her experience competing overseas with Clapp, a long-time friend and colleague of hers with whom she won the 2020 Massachusetts Mixed Four-Ball Championship.
“Finally playing in the same tournament as Doug has been so special,” Kuong said of their experience in Scotland. “My friends and I have had dinner with Doug’s family twice, we played a fun round at Brora together before the tournament and Doug came to first tee to see me tee off. I’ve gone out to see him play whenever possible. We are just supporting each other, it’s such a special friendship.”
All five of the Massachusetts golfers have had to make adjustments to account for challenging conditions at Royal Dornoch, including inclement weather on the second day that led rules officials to deem the course unplayable.
“Playing a links course in the conditions we have encountered so far has been challenging to say the least,” Kuong said. “I’ve been trying to use different shots that I would never use back home. But it forces you to be more creative and it’s fun.”
“Everything you can imagine in terms of weather, so getting the full experience,” Curtin added. “Patience is key and just grinding through is helping move up the leaderboard.”
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The British Senior Women’s Amateur returns to Royal Dornoch for the first time since 2014, while the course is hosting the men’s championship for the first time. 2022 also marks the first time that the men’s and women’s senior amateur championships have been conducted concurrently at one course.
The British Senior Amateur Championship was first contested in 1969 at Formby Golf Club in Liverpool, England. The British Senior Women’s Amateur Championship was introduced 12 years later. The two championships are run by the R&A.
Scotland’s Charlie Green holds the record for the most titles in the men’s championship with six, which he won in a seven-year period from 1988 to 1994. The most recent winner is Gene Elliot, a Bettendorf, Iowa native who won his first USGA Championship in 2021 at the U.S. Senior Amateur.
On the women’s side, English golfer Angela Uzielli won a record six titles during the 1990s. The most recent champion is Sussex native Aileen Greenfield, who forced a playoff on her final hole to defeat previous winner Rawthore. 2021 U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur Champion Lara Tennant is also among the players who have won the British Senior Women’s Amateur, where she captured the 2019 title.
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