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Semple Thompson Wins Fourth Straight

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SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -- Carol Semple Thompson won her fourth consecutive U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Championship Thursday when she defeated Barbara Berkmeyer 3-and-1 at Mid-Pines Inn & Golf Club.
 
Thompson extended her record for consecutive match victories at a single USGA event to 24 with her win in the final match. She tied Carolyn Cudone's Senior Women's Amateur record for consecutive titles won with four and Thompson became the first stroke-play medalist to win the title since the format changed from stroke to match play in 1997.
 
'It's been quite a year. I feel quite blessed,' said Thompson, who advanced to the sweet 16 at the U.S. Women's Amateur and was part of the victorious U.S. Curtis Cup team. 'I can't put it into words because I'm amazed at how it developed. I didn't think I'd get through any of the rounds. I guess it validates my game for me.'
 
Thompson bested Anne Carr 1-up in Thursday morning's semifinal match and stuck to the strategy of making pars. Thompson parred seven of her first nine holes to grab a 1-up lead over Berkmeyer at the turn.
 
Berkmeyer, who handled Marsha Butler 3-and-1 in the semifinals, knocked her approach within inches at the 10th to square the match. At the 12th, Berkmeyer failed to save par, falling 1-down to Thompson.
 
Heavy rainfall drowned the course and at 14, Berkmeyer missed an eight-foot par save while Thompson holed a two-footer to go 2-up. At the 15th, Berkmeyer missed a five-footer to fall 3-down.
 
'I was playing an experienced player,' said Berkmeyer. 'Whether it's rainy, sunny, she's going to win the match. I shouldn't let the match get to 3-down.'
 
Berkmeyer failed to get up and down at the 17th and conceded the match and title to Thompson.
 
'She doesn't make many mistakes,' said Berkmeyer. 'Sometimes going in you try to make perfect shots instead of good shots. Anytime you get here it's a plus. Here I was the underdog. I wasn't supposed to win.'
 
Now the trophy goes back to Allegheny Country Club in Pennsylvania for the fourth time in as many years.
 
'A funny story, but when the trophy was shipped here, the person at Allegheny put a message in with the package, said Thompson. 'It said, 'Please return with care to Allegheny Country Club.''