Diane Lang, 50, defeated four-time champion Carol Semple Thompson in the final of the USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship on Thursday, dispatching the seven-time USGA winner 1-up at The Apawamis Club.
Playing in her second career USGA championship, Lang defeated the 56-year-old Semple Thompson, who was appearing for the 102nd time in a USGA championship.
Lang went 2-up through four holes, but Semple Thompson won the next three holes to go 1-up. The four-time winner birdied the par-5 ninth at the Apawamis Club to move 2-up.
Lang cut the gap with a par at the 10th when Semple Thompson three-putted. The pair halved the next three holes, then Lang hit a wedge inside a foot for a conceded birdie at the 14th. Semple Thompson missed a 10-footer for a halve and the match was all-square.
Semple Thompson made a mess of the 15th and fell 1-down. She laid up short with her second at the par-5 17th, then hit her third to 22 feet. Lang reached the green in two and 30 feet for eagle. Lang left her eagle putt, which would have won the championship, 6 feet short. Semple Thompson rolled her birdie putt in and Lang missed so the match was even with one to go.
At the closing hole, Semple Thompson drove in the rough and could do no better than hit her second to 70 feet. Lang was in the fairway, then hit her approach to 12 feet. Semple Thompson came up 15 feet short of the stick with her birdie try and missed the par putt left.
Lang two-putted for par and her first USGA championship.
'I was dejected on the 18th tee,' said Lang. 'I convinced myself to stay calm. I was very nervous, believe me, but I hit the best wedge I could and kept my head down on my putts there at 18.'
'You'd think I'd have momentum after winning the 17th with such an unlikely putt, but then I hit that bad drive at 18 and I knew I was in trouble,' said Semple Thompson.