Date: August 31, 2018
Author: Mark Hayes

Wooster’s trophy cabinet bulges

Sue Wooster is rapidly becoming one of Australian golf’s most prolific winners.

The Victorian has made several successful North American raids, including more than holding her own in the inaugural US Senior Women’s Open won by Laura Davies with a share of 40th place among the who’s who of the sport.

But in subsequent weeks, back among her amateur peers, she’s taken her results to a new level.

Wooster successfully defended her Canadian Senior title today, just the eighth player to do so, at Lookout Point Country Club in Ontario.

But there’s more. Way more.

Wooster, a member at The National Golf Club on the Mornington Peninsula, won the Canadian Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master titles simultaneously, becoming just the third person to achieve the remarkable feat.

“I played pretty good today,” said Wooster, whose rounds of 77-74-75 gave her a pulsating one-shot win over Canadian legend Mary Ann Hayward in the Senior and Mid-Master divisions.

“I got off to a rough start, I was three over (through three), so it felt hard to finish at that score so I’m really happy with my performance under pressure.”

When Wooster, 56, doubled the par-three second hole, she had fallen four shots adrift of Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Hayward, 58.

But after another bogey on the sixth, the Australian rallied with birdies on the 9th, 12th and 15th holes to storm back into contention.

A string of back-nine bogeys proved costly for Hayward and a par up the last was good enough for Wooster to prevail.

But despite two titles having been locked away, Wooster was then required to go back out and take on another Canadian, 35-year-old Christina Proteau, in a playoff for the Mid-Amateur crown.

The playoff went four thrilling holes as the pair matched each other shot for shot in front of an appreciative gallery.

With Proteau short of the fourth playoff green in two, she could not get up and down and Wooster’s two-putt par proved enough to seal the hat-trick.

“I haven’t had a playoff ever that long,” Wooster said with a laugh.

“It was just a matter of playing it straight hoping that I got the distance right.

“We were having fun. Who can ask for more? Playing golf and people cheering you, we’re very privileged.”

Proteau was graciously full of Wooster’s praise.

“It doesn’t get any better than that, that’s what you practise for. There’s always going to be someone that loses, and I just pushed it a hair on the last playoff hole and not a great lie but that’s just the way she goes,” she said.

“Sue played awesome, it was a super enjoyable day and to play with Mary Ann Hayward in there, it was an awesome day. “

In winning the Mid-Amateur, Mid-Master and Senior titles, Wooster joined Terrill Samuel (2015) and Judith Kyrinis (2016) as the only players to complete the treble.

“I’m overwhelmed. I just can’t believe it,” the humble Wooster said.

“I think if I can do it, anyone can. You just need a bit of luck. I played pretty good today.”

But again, that’s only another leg of her stunning North American assault.

Earlier this month, Wooster played the North and South Senior Championship at fabled Pinehurst and, for the second time in five years, emerged victorious.

On courses No.6 (even par) and No.2 (one over), Wooster hit an incredible 31 of 36 greens in building a two-stroke lead for the final round with eigning US Senior Women’s Amateur champion Judith Kyrinis in hot pursuit.

“I know Judith well and she is a formidable player, so suffice it to say I had a few nerves with Judith on my tail all day,” said Wooster, who maintained her lead until she found the water with her approach to the 11th hole on the No.5 course.

“But I regained my lead with a long sloping putt for birdie on the 12th and with a par on the 13th as Judith (took bogey).

“I dropped one more shot on the 16th hole, but managed to par the last two holes for a (75) and a two-shot win.  

“I knew Judith was eager to win as she won in 2015, 2016 and was runner-up last year in a playoff. The event is steeped in history, so it was an absolute honour to win for the second time.”

Wooster will take a couple of weeks off the tournament scene before two more huge events on her tour.

She will next play the British Senior Women’s Amateur at Crail Golf Club near St Andrews, then it’s back across the Atlantic for the US Senior Women’s Amateur at Vero Beach, Florida.

It’s then home briefly before heading to Adelaide for the Australian Women’s Senior and then another big event on her calendar.

“A few days after that, I am excited to be playing in the inaugural Australian senior women’s team selected to play in the Tasman Cup against New Zealand.”

A legendary schedule for a rapidly emerging legend of Australian golf.