NORTHFIELD, Ill. (July 22, 2022) – It took 43 holes of golf, but Taglao Jeeravivitaporn is in the final of the 122nd Women’s Western Amateur Championship.
The 22-year-old from Thailand arrived at Sunset Ridge Country Club before 7 a.m. on Friday to finish her weather-delayed Round of 16 match with Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, of Perth, Australia, then survived tight matches with Grace Curran, of New Lenox, Illinois, and Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, of the Philippines, to move within one win of capturing the W.A. Alexander Cup.
Jeeravivitaporn will face 20-year-old Annabelle Pancake, of Zionsville, Indiana, in the championship match at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“It’s a really long day,” said an exhausted Jeeravivitaporn, her shoes off just minutes after her semifinal match was over. “This is the first time I played more than 40 holes.”
Inclement weather on Thursday forced four players to return to Sunset Ridge on Friday morning to finish their Round of 16 matches. Jeeravivitaporn was 1 down to Hinson-Tolchard (Oklahoma State) on the 14th hole when the day started but won Nos. 14 and 15 to take a 1-up advantage. Hinson-Tolchard made a 25-foot birdie putt on 18 tie the match, but Jeeravivitaporn was able to close it out with a par on the first extra hole.
She defeated Curran 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals, setting up one of the best matches of the championship against the 15-year-old Malixi. Jeeravivitaporn didn’t lead until the 20th – and final – hole and trailed by one on five occasions.
On the final hole, a 388-yard par 4, Jeeravivitaporn and Malixi both found the fairway about 110 yards from the pin. Malixi played first, flighting a shot to inside of 10 feet. Jeeravivitaporn, who said she intentionally did not watch Malixi’s approach, hit her ball just outside of Malixi’s and poured in the birdie putt.
When Malixi’s birdie putt burned the edge, Jeeravivitaporn’s marathon day was over.
She found a little added motivation in the prize that will be awarded to the winner on Saturday – a custom putter from Bettinardi Golf.
“I want a putter, you know what I mean?” she laughed. “I want that putter.”
Her opponent made the final by playing as few holes as possible.
Since trailing by three against medalist Sadie Englemann (Stanford), of Austin Texas, through five holes of her Round of 32 match on Thursday, Pancake (Clemson) has been tearing through the match play bracket. She beat Casey Weidenfeld (Auburn), of Pembroke Pines, Florida, 6 and 4, on Thursday afternoon and defeated Chloe Schiavone (Notre Dame), of Jacksonville, Florida, 5 and 3 on Friday morning.
She took control of her semifinal match against Brooke Biermann (Michigan State), of Wildwood, Missouri, on Friday afternoon with three consecutive birdies on Nos. 7, 8 and 9, eventually winning 3 and 1.
“I think it’s just staying patient,” said Pancake, who has led by at least two by the midway point of her last three matches. “My game is good. It’s been good. I just need to stay patient and wait for things to happen and come my way.”
She’s been followed all week by her dad Tony, the head golf professional at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, and her mom Libby. Tony played golf at Alabama, and Libby – an Indiana State Amateur Champion – played at Arizona State.
“They basically taught me everything I know,” Annabelle Pancake said. “So having them out here to support me and encourage me – that’s really all they’re doing.”
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.
Round of 32 Results
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Annabelle Pancake, Zionsville, Indiana, def. Sadie Englemann, Austin, Texas, 2 and 1
Casey Weidenfeld, Pembroke Pines, Florida, def. Jocelyn Bruch, Carmel, Indiana, 19 holes
Ashley Kozlowski, Littleton, Colorado, def. Jennifer Rosenberg, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, 2 and 1
Chloe Schiavone, Jacksonville, Florida, def. Jennifer Herbst, Australia, 1 up
Brooke Biermann, Wildwood, Missouri, def. Matilda Miels, Adelaide, Australia, 4 and 3
Zoe Slaughter, Houston, Texas, def. Kelly Sim, Edgewater, New Jersey, 25 holes
Caroline Smith, Inverness, Illinois, def. Sky Sudberry, the Woodlands, Texas, 19 holes
Jackie Lucena, Chico, California, def. Rebecca Skoler, Needham, Massachusetts, 2 up
Rianne Mikhaela Malixi, Philippines, def. Megan Furtney, St. Charles, Illinois, 2 and 1
Jo Hua Hung, Taiwan, def. Natasha Kiel, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 2 and 1
Marissa Wenzler, Dayton, Ohio, def. Emily Lauterbach, Hartland, Wisconsin, 2 and 1
Abby Glynn, Topeka, Kansas, def. Sarah Willis, Eaton, Ohio, 6 and 4
Taglao Jeeravivitaporn, Thailand, def. Sarah Arnold, Geneva, Illinois, 2 and 1
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Perth, Australia, def. Sora Kamiya, Toki, Gifu, Japan, 19 holes
Kirsten Rudgeley, Perth, Australia, def. Sydney Seigel, Scottsdale, Arizona, 19 holes
Grace Curran, New Lenox, Illinois, def. Meiyi Yan, Windermere, Florida, 4 and 2
Sweet 16 Results
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Pancake def. Weidenfeld, 6 and 4
Schiavone def. Kozlowski, 4 and 2
Biermann def Slaughter, 1 up
Smith def. Lucena, 3 and 2
Malixi def. Hung, 3 and 2
Wenzler def. Glynn, 1 up
Jeeravivitaporn def. Hinson-Tolchard, 19 holes
Curran def. Rudgeley, 2 and 1
Elite Eight Results
Friday, July 22, 2022
Pancake def. Schiavone, 5 and 3
Biermann def. Smith, 1 up
Malixi def. Wenzler, 3 and 2
Jeeravivitaporn def. Curran, 2 and 1
Friday, July 22, 2022
Pancake def. Biermann, 3 and 1
Jeeravivitaporn def. Malixi, 20 holes