Last summer, Ellen Port won her first Metropolitan Senior Women’s Amateur title. A year later, she has her first Met Senior Amateur victory.
Port made history Wednesday at Sunset Country Club in Sunset Hills, Missouri, defeating Joseph Malench in a four-hole playoff to become the first woman to win the Missouri Golf Association’s premier senior men’s championship.
“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 told the MGA as she held the George F. Meyer trophy. “I know that Rick Meyer’s father who donated it would be tickled because I love this game and the people who play it.”
The 59-year-old Port, a member at Sunset for three decades, has won seven USGA championships and 16 Metropolitan Women’s Amateur titles during her legendary amateur career, but Wednesday’s experience was unique. She opened in even-par 72 before firing a final-round 67, the low round of the day, to force extra holes against Malench, who bogeyed his final hole to finish at 5 under along with Port.
“I didn’t know where I stood, I just knew I had a good round,” said Port, who played in the third-to-last group. “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.”
After Port and Malench traded pars for three holes, Port drained a 20-foot birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole, the par-3 15th, to win.
“We went quite a few holes and I knew one of us was going to make a putt,” Port said, “and I was really tickled to make that.”