Shelly Stouffer was feeling a little fatigued on Wednesday night on the eve of the final match of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Golf Championship in Anchorage, Alaska.
But a little pep talk from her caddie — her 15-year-old son Brett — and a quick text from perhaps the greatest amateur golfer Canada has ever had, gave Stouffer that extra motivation needed as the Nanoose Bay resident cruised to a 4-and-3 victory over Sue Wooster of Australia on Thursday making Stouffer the first ever player from B.C. to claim one of America’s most prestigious golf crowns.
“I just kept playing my own game all week, and Brett kept saying the same thing, ‘why change now’, and it worked out really well,” Stouffer told USGA reporters following her victory at Anchorage Golf Course, that capped off a perfect five-match run for the Fairwinds Golf Club member.
Stouffer got a text from Canadian and World Golf Hall of Famer Marlene Streit after Wednesday’s semifinal round and the 11-time Canadian Women’s Amateur and three-time U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion had nothing but nice words for Stouffer.
“She said, ‘You’ve got this, good job, keep it going,’ ” said Stouffer, who qualified for this year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur by winning the Canadian Senior Women’s Amateur title last year.
“It was awesome to hear from her and I got texts from lots of people, but she’s won this thing how many times? I don’t know, lots,” laughed Stouffer.
Stouffer’s victory Thursday afternoon capped off a dominant performance by the Island resident. In all five of her matches she was never pushed past the 16th hole. And this was coming off a semifinal finish in last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
And she did it all with her son by her side.
“It was awesome to have [Brett] on the bag for this. We’re just in sync. He knows my game so well; we play a lot of golf together. He knows how I hit the ball, so that’s been such a bonus,” she told the USGA reporters.
Thursday’s victory also sets Stouffer up for some big tournaments in the future. She now gets an exemption into the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles and gains automatic entry into the next two U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championships — next year at Troon Country Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, and at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle in 2024.
“Pretty amazing week,” Stouffer said.
“A USGA event, just amazing. I won the Canadian Senior last year and was third at last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s so to do one better this year is just awesome.”