- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

DEAL, N.J. (AP) - Joan Higgins won the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur on Thursday at Hollywood Golf Club, hitting every fairway in regulation in a 1-up victory over Canada’s Judith Kyrinis.

The 58-year-old Higgins, a former University of Wisconsin tennis player who lives in Glendora, California, also won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

“I know what it means. I know that you’re the United States Senior Women’s Amateur champion, and no one can ever take that away from you,” Higgins said. “It’s unbelievable. I never thought it would happen. As someone said, I play well on tough golf courses, because if you keep it in the fairway, it becomes your advantage.”

Higgins took the lead with a par on the par-5 16th, matched Kyrinis with a bogey on the par-3 17th and a par - holing an 8-foot putt - on the par-4 18th.

“I was very happy to hit the putt first, because I knew if I made it, I won,” Higgins said. “If she made it, it’s a tougher putt to make because I have got to make it on top (of her).”

The 50-year-old Kyrinis is a registered nurse in Toronto.

“There are lots of different times during the match to think where I could have taken advantage that I didn’t,” Kyrinis said. “The greens were pretty slick. The pins were like every Sunday position I think they had out there. (I) felt like I was playing prevent defense.”

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