NORTHFIELD, Ill. (April 14, 2022) – Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois, will host the 2022 Women’s Western Amateur, the Women’s Western Golf Association and Western Golf Association have announced.
The 122nd Women’s Western Amateur is set to be played July 18-23. The event will mark Sunset Ridge’s fifth WWGA championship. The historic North Shore club was also the site of the 1935 Women’s Western Open, the 1942 Women’s Western Amateur and the 1953 and 1961 Women’s Western Juniors.
Held without interruption since its inception in 1901, the Women’s Western Amateur is among the oldest annual championships in women’s amateur golf. It attracts many of the top amateur and collegiate golfers in the world, and many competitors go on to enjoy successful collegiate and professional careers.
“Sunset Ridge is honored to have been selected to host the 2022 Women’s Western Amateur. Our members and staff are excited for the opportunity to extend our golf course and its facilities to this iconic championship,” Sunset Ridge Tournament Chair Christa Bolt said. “We're looking forward to watching some of the best young women in the world compete on our home turf.”
Founded in 1923, Sunset Ridge features a course designed by Bill Diddel, a noted golf course architect and one of the founding members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. A protégé of the legendary Donald Ross and a mentor to Pete Dye, Diddel’s design at Sunset Ridge features several signature elements including fast greens with subtle contours that create both challenging and beautiful putting surfaces.
The course was renovated in 2006 by Rick Jacobson, whose work at Sunset Ridge garnered acclaim from publications such as Golf Magazine. The magazine voted Sunset Ridge “No. 1 Private Course Renovation in the USA” that year.
In addition to its WWGA championships, Sunset Ridge has hosted three WGA championships – the 1936 Western Junior, the 1972 Western Open and the 2018 Western Amateur.
“We’re excited to bring another elite championship to Sunset Ridge,” said Vince Pellegrino, WGA senior vice president of tournaments. “Our successful Western Amateur in 2018 showed that this exacting layout will present a challenging – but fair – test to every competitor in the Women’s Western Amateur.”
The Women’s Western Amateur field will consist of 120 amateurs with a handicap of 5.4 or less. The first and second day of competition will each include 18 holes of stroke play. After the second day, the field will be reduced to the top 32 players for the match play portion of the championship.
Marissa Wenzler, of Dayton, Ohio, won the 2021 Women’s Western Amateur at Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, Illinois. Wenzler, a Kentucky junior, will return this year to defend her title. Notable past champions and current LPGA Tour stars include Ariya Jutanugarn (2012), Brittany Lang (2003), Grace Park (1998), Cristie Kerr (1995), and Nancy Lopez (1976).
“So much work goes into planning a championship like this, and since day one, Sunset Ridge has done a fantastic job,” said Jackie Wacker, WWGA Tournament Chair. “With a field of the world’s best female amateurs, this will be an event no one will want to miss.”