Port Makes History, Wins 29th Metropolitan Senior Amateur Championship at Sunset CC

FINAL RESULTS | ELLEN PORT INTERVIEW

Sunset Hills, MO – Ellen Port made history on Wednesday, becoming the first woman to win the Metropolitan Senior Amateur Championship. The two-day championship was played at Sunset Country Club.

Port, a 7-time USGA champion and 16-time Metropolitan Women’s Amateur champion, will now have her name etched on the George F. Meyer trophy.

“That’s a beautiful trophy, and like I said in my speech, that trophy doesn’t know if it’s a man or a woman holding it, it just knows it’s someone who loves golf,” Port said. “I know that Rick Meyer’s father who donated it would be tickled because I love this game and the people who play it.”

Playing from the same tees as the men, the Sunset member shot even par during the first round and was five shots back of the lead heading into the final round. Port followed that up by shooting the low round of the day on Wednesday, a bogey-free 5-under 67, to make a playoff for the championship.

“Sometimes your home course is tough to play on, and I overcame that mentally and said, “Let’s turn it into an advantage.” I’m so comfortable here, we’ve been members here 30 years, we love Sunset—the people, the club—it’s just home.”

Port quickly got into red figures with back-to-back birdies on No.’s 3 and 4. She added another birdie on the par 5 7th and made the turn 3-under, and was just one shot back of the lead.

Back-to-back birdies on No.’s 12 and 13 with pars the rest of the day had her in the clubhouse at 5-under just one shot back at the time. Port played in the third-to-last group of the day.

“I didn’t know where I stood, I just knew I had a good round. I really didn’t expect to win this or be in a playoff at all, and I think that’s good, that’s a sign that you just stayed in the moment. My friends and family were here and they said, “Joe’s got a one-shot lead.” Well, then he bogeyed and I parred. I had a really good birdie chance and misread it on 18, but I was thankful to still be alive.”

Port and Joe Malench went into a playoff that lasted four holes (10-13-14-15). The pair parred the first four holes, which brought the playoff to the long par 3 15th. Port went first and knocked it 20 feet above the hole. Malench went to the right of the green and needed a good chip to save par.

He hit it within ten feet and the door was open for Port to win it. She stood over it and hit the ball dead center of the cup, hands in the air, to win the championship.

“We went quite a few holes and I knew one of us was going to make a putt, and I was really tickled to make that right-to-left breaker on 15.”

Port shot the third-lowest total score in Metropolitan Senior Amateur Championship history, going (72-67–139, -5). She tied for the championship lead in birdies with nine. She became the first woman to compete in the championship flight at MAGA’s senior amateur.

Her win on Sunday marks her third MAGA championship title at her home club. Port was champion of the 2006 and 2016 Metropolitan Women’s Amateur, both hosted at Sunset.

Joe Malench finished runner-up after going 70-69–139 over the two days. The Metropolitan eClub member tied for the championship lead in pars with 25 and knocked in eight birdies, tied for second-most in the championship.

Didier Villard moved into third place by himself after a a final round 2-under 70. The WingHaven member went 2-under for the championship (72-70–142).

Paul Neeman and Pat O’Neill tied for fourth, finishing in red figures at 1-under overall.

For general news and updates on tournaments, follow MAGA on Twitter @MetAmateurGA.

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