NORTHFIELD, Ill. (July 20, 2022) – Sadie Englemann was cruising through the second round at Sunset Ridge Country Club on Wednesday until her drive on No. 10 landed deep in the left rough.
The resulting double bogey could’ve derailed her championship. Instead, it kickstarted a run of birdies that helped the 20-year-old from Austin, Texas, earn medalist honors at the 122nd Women’s Western Amateur. Englemann gave herself a pep talk, then stuck her approach on the 408-yard, par-4 11th within inches of the cup for a bounce-back birdie. She added birdies at Nos. 12, 13 and 14, posting a 3-under 68 for a two-day total of 4-under 138.
“After 10 I was like, ‘Oh, come on. That’s not your game,’” Englemann said. “I knew how good I was playing.”
The rising junior at Stanford finished two-strokes ahead of Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, of the Philippines, taking the lead for good with a birdie on No. 18. She joins past Women’s Western Amateur medalists like Grace Park, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, Sierra Brooks and Louise Suggs.
As Englemann walked off the final green, she stopped and kneeled to give her golf ball – and a hug – to a young girl who was following the group with her dad.
“I love little girls and I want to inspire them to play golf like me,” Englemann said. “Just to see that out here and hopefully to have her want to go and hit balls with her dad someday just makes me so happy.”
The 120-player field was cut to 32 after Wednesday’s round for the match play portion of the championship, which starts Thursday and ends on Saturday. Only four players broke par in the second round as wind gusts exceeded 20 miles per hour in the afternoon.
“I was hitting on the driving range and was like, ‘This is going to be a long day,’” Englemann said. “Out here you can’t lose your focus, and with this wind, you really can’t lose your focus. Every shot you just have to be precise.”
Malixi enters match play as the No. 2 seed after posting consecutive rounds of 1-under 70. She birdied four of her first eight holes Wednesday and had a chance to claim medalist honors until she made a pair of bogeys on her inward nine.
“Putting really saved me a lot today,” Malixi said. “For me, I see [the wind] as an advantage, because it’s mostly windy in the Philippines. I think it was really key today that I was able to adjust.”
Taglao Jeeravivitaporn, of Thailand, finished alone at 1 over, one shot ahead of Sky Sudberry, of The Woodlands, Texas, and Brooke Biermann (Michigan State) of Wildwood, Missouri. Sudberry, a Texas A&M commit, posted one of the best rounds of the morning wave, making six birdies on her way to a 1-under 70.
Kirsten Rudgeley, of Perth, Australia, finished sixth at 3 over, one shot ahead of first-round leader Emily Lauterbach (Wisconsin), of Hartland, Wisconsin. Lauterbach followed her opening 69 with a 77 but was still able to advance to match play.
Defending champion Marissa Wenzler, of Dayton, Ohio, finished at 8 over to make the cut for match play. The rising senior at Kentucky is trying to become the first player to win back-to-back Women’s Western Amateurs in more than two decades (Meredith Duncan in 2000 and 2001).
Wenzler is one of several players making a return to match play. She’ll be joined by 2021 runner-up Maddison Hinson Tolchard (Oklahoma State), of Perth, Australia; Zoe Slaughter (Texas A&M), of Houston Texas; Rebecca Skoler (Virginia), of Needham, Massachusetts; Jackie Lucena (Florida), of Chico, California, the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur runner-up; Sarah Arnold (Western Kentucky), of Geneva, Illinois; and Jennifer Rosenberg (UNC-Charlotte), of Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
The cut came at 9-over par. There was a 9-player playoff for the final three spots in match play.
Held without interruption since its inception in 1901, the Women’s Western Amateur is among the oldest and most prestigious annual championships in women’s amateur golf. The tournament is conducted jointly by the Women’s Western Golf Association and the Western Golf Association.
The championship features the top amateur and collegiate players from across the globe. Its list of past champions spans more than a century, from legendary stars Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and Nancy Lopez to modern standouts like Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis and Ariya Jutanugarn.
This is Sunset Ridge’s fifth WWGA championship. The club was also the site of the 1935 Women’s Western Open (won by Opal Hill), the 1942 Women’s Western Amateur (won by Betty Jameson) and the 1953 and 1961 Women’s Western Juniors (won by Anne Richardson and Ann Baker, respectively).
In addition to its WWGA championships, Sunset Ridge has hosted three WGA championships – the 1936 Western Junior, the 1972 Western Open and, most recently, the 2018 Western Amateur won by Texas standout Cole Hammer.
Attendance and parking for the Women’s Western Amateur are free. For more information, visit www.womenswesternamateur.com.
To view the full leaderboard, click here.
To view the match play bracket, click here.