Joan Higgins tops Judith Kyrinis to win U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur


Joan Higgins won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur on Thursday at Hollywood Golf Club, hitting every fairway in regulation in a 1-up victory over Canada’s Judith Kyrinis.

The 58-year-old Higgins, a former University of Wisconsin tennis player who lives in Glendora, California, also won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

"I know what it means. I know that you’re the United States Senior Women’s Amateur champion, and no one can ever take that away from you," Higgins said. "It’s unbelievable. I never thought it would happen. As someone said, I play well on tough golf courses, because if you keep it in the fairway, it becomes your advantage."

Higgins took the lead with a par on the par-5 16th, matched Kyrinis with a bogey on the par-3 17th and a par — holing an 8-foot putt — on the par-4 18th.

"I was very happy to hit the putt first, because I knew if I made it, I won," Higgins said. "If she made it, it’s a tougher putt to make because I have got to make it on top (of her)."

The 50-year-old Kyrinis is a registered nurse in Toronto.

"There are lots of different times during the match to think where I could have taken advantage that I didn’t," Kyrinis said. "The greens were pretty slick. The pins were like every Sunday position I think they had out there. (I) felt like I was playing prevent defense."