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THE GIRL WHO WAS TOO GOOD
Emmett Watson
September 04, 1961
Anne Quast Decker won the Women's Amateur Championship by staying ahead all the way
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September 04, 1961

The Girl Who Was Too Good

Anne Quast Decker won the Women's Amateur Championship by staying ahead all the way

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Once again Mrs. Decker took command early, scoring a birdie on the 456-yard par-5 second hole. Mrs. Wilson, who has something less than a classic swing but makes it hold up remarkably well, lost the third by three-putting as Mrs. Decker went down with a routine par. Anne birdied the fourth for a 3-up advantage, then uncorked one of the tournament's memorable shots on the 180-yard par-3 5th. It was a four-wood that stopped just one foot short of the hole for another birdie and a 4-up margin. The end came on the 14th, when Mrs. Decker dropped a seven-foot putt for par and halved the hole.

The final day, Saturday, turned up wet and heavy. The Tacoma fairways, narrow and treacherous, lined with tall firs and spreading oaks, are difficult for the most seasoned all-weather player. But for a golfer like Phyllis Preuss, who plays a hit-and-roll game, the soaked fairways were disastrous. She was consistently unable to lift her second shots for distance, while Mrs. Decker, a veteran of the country and the course, continued to get yardage from all lies. She drove well and chipped to the green with almost eerie consistency.

Anne was 6 up at the end of nine, 12 up at the end of 18, and by then it was just a matter of time and holes—the afternoon round was a mere formality, ending at 3 o'clock on the 23rd hole, 14 and 13—which broke a 33-year-old record. The previous mark for a lopsided Women's Amateur final dates back to 1928, when Glenna Collett defeated Virginia Van Wie 13 and 12 at Hot Springs, Va. "Frankly, it's not a record I wanted to set," said Mrs. Decker. "I think I was pulling harder than anyone for some of her putts to drop late in the match." She paused a moment, then flashed a smile. "You know, I really don't have a nerve in my body. Why, last night, I slept five whole hours. I only slept one the last time I made the finals."

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