NORTHFIELD, Ill. (July 23, 2022) – On the 17th hole of the championship match of the 122nd Women’s Western Amateur Championship, Taglao Jeeravivitaporn’s caddie Warda Amira Rawof slapped her on the arm – hard.

Jeeravivitaporn stared at her Iowa State teammate in surprise, but she should have seen it coming. The playful gesture was part of strategy to stay loose that helped the 22-year-old defeat Annabelle Pancake, of Zionsville, Indiana, 2 and 1 at Sunset Ridge Country Club on Saturday to claim the W.A. Alexander Cup.

“She did a lot of entertaining,” Jeeravivitaporn said of Rawof, who missed the cut but stayed to caddie after Jeeravivitaporn’s boyfriend had to leave for a trip on Friday. “Talked about everything except for golf. That is my secret.”

As the duo walked up to the par-3 17th green with Jeeravivitaporn – or JJ – holding a 1-up lead, Rawof teased her about not being able to hold hands with her boyfriend, which she often does on the golf course. When Jeeravivitaporn responded by jokingly grabbing for Rawof’s hand, the resulting slap echoed through the trees.

Minutes later, Jeeravivitaporn calmly poured in a 10-foot birdie putt to end the championship match.

“I tried to make it like any other round I have with JJ,” Rawof said. “With me and her we’re always vibing really well. We’re always joking. We always forget we’re in a tournament.

“I told her I think that slap made that putt go in.”

Jeeravivitaporn was 3 down through six holes but got back within reach when Pancake made bogeys on Nos. 9 and 11. She said she tried to be more patient on the greens and didn’t pay attention to what Pancake was doing. Jeeravivitaporn tied the match with a birdie on the 360-yard, par-4 12th hole, then took her first lead with a par on the 168-yard, par-3 15th.

She became the third player from Thailand to win the Women’s Western Amateur, joining 13-time LPGA Tour winner Ariya Jutanugarn – who beat her sister Moriya Jutanugarn in 2012 at Monroe Golf & Country Club in Monroe, Michigan – and Chakansim Khamborn, who won in 2015 at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club. Jeeravivitaporn also joined past champions like Patty Berg, Louise Suggs, Nancy Lopez, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang and Stacy Lewis.

Pancake bogeyed her final hole Wednesday to fall to 9-over par and into a nine-player playoff for the final three spots in match play. She survived the playoff only to find herself 3 down through five holes of her Round of 32 match against medalist Sadie Englemann (Stanford), of Austin, Texas.

The 20-year-old rising senior at Clemson kept reminding herself to be patient, and eventually, it paid off. She started with a rally to defeat Englemann, 2 and 1. Then she tore through the match play bracket, dispatching Casey Weidenfeld (Auburn), of Pembroke Pines, Florida, 6 and 4; Chloe Schiavone (Notre Dame), of Jacksonville, Florida, 5 and 3; and Brooke Biermann (Michigan State), of Wildwood, Missouri, 3 and 1.

That set up a showdown with Jeeravivitaporn.

“Knowing that I can come from the 32 seed to be in the final match against one of the top players in the tournament, I think, is huge for me,” Pancake said. “It’s a big confidence booster, too. I can move ahead knowing that I can do this and I can get even better.”

Both Jeeravivitaporn and Pancake have qualified to play in the 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, on Aug. 8-14.

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.

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.

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Round of 32 Results
Thursday, July 21, 2022

Upper Bracket
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

Lower Bracket
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 

Upper Bracket
Pancake def. Weidenfeld, 6 and 4
Schiavone def. Kozlowski, 4 and 2
Biermann def Slaughter, 1 up
Smith def. Lucena, 3 and 2

Lower Bracket
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

Upper Bracket
Pancake def. Schiavone, 5 and 3
Biermann def. Smith, 1 up

Lower Bracket
Malixi def. Wenzler, 3 and 2
Jeeravivitaporn def. Curran, 2 and 1

Semifinal Results
Friday, July 22, 2022

Pancake def. Biermann, 3 and 1
Jeeravivitaporn def. Malixi, 20 holes

Final Result
Saturday, July 23, 2022

Jeeravivitaporn def. Pancake, 2 and 1