The new U.S. Women's Amateur champion is a tall, slender girl from Marysville, Washington, Anne Quast. She is on the verge of turning 21, a senior at Stanford (where she is majoring in history), and a tremendous gallery favorite wherever she plays since her natural charm comes through like a ton of bricks, and spectators, depending on their age, see in her the wishful projection of their daughter or their girl friend.
Ebullient and talkative off the course, and on it as a rule, Anne was all thoughtfulness and purpose during the long week of the championship at the Wee Burn Club in Darien, Connecticut—and with very good reason. First, she had to make her way through six matches in four days in order to reach the semifinal round. There, against the defending champion, JoAnne Gunderson, the Sam Snead of women's amateur golf (both as a profoundly talented player-and a humorous speechmaker), Anne found herself 3 down with eight holes to go. Her own dogged play and some loose shots by JoAnne enabled her to hold on, rally, and square the match at the 16th green. On the 17th she won it by ripping a great three-iron approach into the wind and over the wide frontal bunker protecting the green—two feet from the pin.
Anne Quast arrived at victory in the 36-hole final only after a similarly spectacular uphill battle against perky Barbara Romack, an insurance saleswoman from Sacramento who won the national championship in 1954 and who now, in the increasingly youthful climate of women's amateur golf, ranks as a veteran at the ripe old age of 25. A stalwart competitor with a much more advanced repertoire of shots today than she had when she won the title, Barbara was around in 75, even par, in the morning and carried a 3-hole lead into the second 18. She continued to play at this same clip in the afternoon but it simply wasn't good enough in the face of the burst of really tremendous golf which Anne Quast somehow summoned at the critical point in the long week of competition. After fighting her way back so that she stood only 1 down after the 27th, Anne evened the match by birdieing the 28th, went out in front by dropping a 25-footer for a birdie on the 30th, held her lead by matchingBarbara's birdie on the 31st, added the 33rd with a par to go 2 up, and closed out the match, 3 and 2, on the 34th with still another birdie—her fourth in seven holes. It is hard to recall such an irresistible rally and rush in women's golf...or, for that matter, a more thoroughly winning champion.
In stretch rally, Anne Quast, who had been putting spottily, recovered her touch and holed three hard birdie putts.
Short but straight off the tee, the new champion's strong points are her solid middle-iron play and her firm pitch shots.
Runner-up Barbara Romack is pictured at three stages of the final: driving early in the match; holing a 14-footer on the 18th green to go 3 up at lunch; and at difficult moment on the 34th green where Quast's final birdie ended the match.
Spontaneous personal crowning of her successor as champion is sponsored at presentation ceremonies by JoAnne Gunderson who plants on new queen's head the scarlet hat JoAnne had picked up in a little corner of the Tyrol in Times Square.