45th California Senior Women's Amateur Championship
October 6, 2023 / by Jerry Stewart
October 11, 2023
Following her departure as the head women's coach at the University of Arizona in 2010, Shelly Haywood literally didn't touch a golf club for eight years.
Five years later, the Laguna Beach resident is a California Amateur champion.
Haywood, 56, won the California Senior Women's Amateur Championship on Wednesday at par-72 San Luis Obispo CC, carding a final round 77 in blustery winds to finish with a three-day total of 6-over 222. Lara Tennant of Pebble Beach was runner-up at 227 following a final round 79.
"It feels amazing to win it," Haywood said. "The first and second rounds my ball-striking was fantastic. And I did a great job of staying below the hole. Making putts out here is challenging."
For Haywood, it was the second round that was key. She'd post a 1-under 71, the only score all week under par. The 71 gave her a three-shot cushion entering the final round, which would come in handy.
In the final round, she opened by going double-bogey-bogey-bogey. As a result, Tennant instantly became a threat, as did 2022 NCGA Senior Women's Player of the Year Karen Garcia.
Haywood, however, got back into a groove. She'd birdie No.5 and later tacked on back-to-back birdies on holes Nos. 9 and 10 to again open up a big lead.
Tennant, the medalist at last week's U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, was stung by consecutive bogeys on holes Nos. 12 and 13. Garcia fell back after playing her final four holes on the front-nine at 6-over.
"I was just out of sorts starting out the round," Haywood said. "But I pulled it back together. Lara doesn't make many mistakes. I knew if I just kept my head down and played my game that I'd have a good shot."
With Garcia faltering late, Evelyn Orley slipped into third place at 231. Orley was helped along by her caddie, 1988 U.S. Women's Open winner Liselotte Neumann.
In the Super Senior Championship (players 65-over), the title went to NCGA Hall of Famer Sally Krueger. Krueger, who was making her debut as a Super Senior, finished with a three-day total of 20-over 236.
"It's a new experience," said Krueger on her debut.
Anna Schultz of Texas was second at 251.
October 10, 2023
Huntington Beach resident Shelly Haywood has been close before at the California Senior Women's Amateur Championship.
Just as recently as last year, Haywood finished in fifth place in the annual event.
Now, she's on the cup of winning the title. On Tuesday at San Luis Obispo CC, Haywood moved into the lead with a second-round score of 71 to get to a two-day total of 1-over 145. Her next closest competitor is Monterey Peninsula CC member Lara Tennant, who is at 148 after a second-round 73.
The 2022 SCGA Senior Women's Player of the Yea, Haywood was the first player to shoot a score in red figures. She'd play the front-nine at 1-over with one bogey, and tacked on back-to-back birdies on holes Nos. 11 and 12 after making the turn.
Tennant, who won the title in 2020 and is coming off medalist honors at last week's U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, carded a back-nine 35 to stay within striking distance.
Karen Garcia, a member at Sierra View CC and the NCGA's 2023 Senior Women's Player of the Year, is alone in third place at 152 after a 77.
The three would finish first through third in the Flight A competition of the event (photo above).
First round leader Akemi Nakata Khaiat slipped into fifth place following an 81.
In the Flight B competition, Super Senior leader Sally Krueger took the title with a two-day total of 14-over 158. Angie Friedrich and Colette Rosenberg finished T-2 at 165.
The C Flight title went to Jessie Chen at 173 (pictured, below) after a final round 86. Lynette Branch was second at 174. Mami Chang was third at 179.
In the North/South Challenge (best three scores from each Association), the SCGA won the title, 448-454. In the second round, the SCGA outscored the NCGA, 222-227.
October 9. 2023
Akemi Nakata Khaiat is the player to chase after opening day of this week's 45th California Senior Women's Amateur at San Luis Obispo CC.
Khaiat, an SCGA member out of Los Angeles, posted a first-round 1-over 73. On the back-nine, Khaiat, the medalist at the 2013 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur at CordeValle, was solid posting a 1-under 35.
Shelly Haywood, the former women's head coach at the University of Arizona, is alone in second place at 74.
Tied for third at 75 are Lara Tennant and Karen Garcia. Tennant is coming off medalist honors at last week's U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship. Garcia, meanwhile, is the 2022-2023 NCGA Senior Women's Player of the Year.
Defending champion Lynne Cowan is T-14 after an opening 82.
Following Tuesday's second round, the field will be cut to the low 30 players and ties – regardless of flight.
In the Super Senior Flight (ages 65-over), NCGA Hall of Famer Sally Krueger is the leader after an opening 81. Anna Schultz of Texas is in second place at 85.
In the North/South competition, the SCGA leads the NCGA, 226-227. In the North/South competition, the top three scores from each Association are used as points. The NCGA was represented by Garcia, Tennant and Kelly Wilson (77).