Cool’s Karen Garcia wins U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur

Cool’s Karen Garcia won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur on Thursday, beating Pamela Kuong of Wellesley, Mass., 1 up in the championship match at Hillwood Country Club in Nashville, Tenn.

Garcia, 53, a counselor at Placer High School, was the 55th seed among the 64 players who qualified for match play. She was 3 up through 10 holes of the title match before Kuong went on a birdie spree to take a 1-up lead through 16 holes. Garcia won the last two holes with pars.

The title-match win was the sixth victory of the week for Garcia, who beat Sue Cohn of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 1 up in a semifinal match earlier Thursday.

With the win in her first Senior Women’s Amateur, Garcia earned an exemption into next year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur and next week’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

Steve Pajak