GOLF, Ill. (July 20, 2019) – Sarah Shipley defeated Antonia Matte 5 and 3 Saturday in the championship match at the 119th Women’s Western Amateur at Royal Melbourne Country Club.
Shipley, of Hastings, Michigan, opened the final match with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 to take a quick 2-up advantage and never lost a hole. She went 3 up with a birdie on the par 3, 8th and 4 up with a par to close out the front nine. Shipley finished the match by halving the next five holes.
Shipley played steady all week, and once she got to match play, she said she felt confident.
“I’ve always liked match play,” said Shipley, 21. “I’ve been playing really well the last couple weeks. I just won the [Women’s] Golf Association of Michigan Championship, which gave me more confidence.”
Shipley, a University of Kentucky senior, said her approach shots were consistent and she was rolling the ball well on the greens.
“My putting worked for me today, thankfully,” Shipley said. “I like the course a lot; I’m comfortable out here.”
Shipley has plans to turn pro in the future, but for now, she said she’s excited for her senior year at Kentucky.
“I am looking forward to seeing what our team can do this year,” she said.
Matte, of Santiago, Chile, played well in both of her Saturday matches. The high school junior said she felt like she was mentally prepared, but she didn’t make as many putts as Shipley.
“I had a good mentality today,” Matte said. “I played good, only the putter was not working.”
Matte, 16, said she plans to continue playing in international amateur events.
“I’m going to the Junior Optimist in Miami and the Chile Championship,” Matte said.
Shipley and Matte outlasted opponents from 30 states and 12 countries to reach the championship match. Matte defeated Brooke Tyree of Sulphur, Louisiana, 4 and 3 in the semifinals while Shipley overcame Maria Bohorquez of Bogota, Columbia, 2 and 1.
Shipley’s win earns her an automatic exemption into the 120th Women’s Western Amateur set for Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Illinois, July 20-25, 2020.
The Women’s Western Amateur’s W. A. Alexander Cup was first presented in 1901 in honor of his wife Maude Alexander, the first president of the Women’s Western Golf Association.
The list of past champions spans more than a century, from legendary stars Patty Berg (1938, 1946, 1947), Nancy Lopez (1976), Beth Daniel (1978) and Cristie Kerr (1994) to modern stars such as Brittany Lang (2003), Stacy Lewis (2006) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2012).