GLENVIEW, Ill. (July 17, 2020) – A field of 120 of the world’s top women amateurs will compete July 20-25 in the 120th Women’s Western Amateur at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Illinois.
“Prestwick is looking forward to hosting the Women’s Western Amateur, and the club members and staff are planning another memorable and rewarding experience for players,” said Susan Buchanan of Athens, Georgia, tournament chairman and Women’s Western Golf Association first vice president “The course is in excellent condition and ready to challenge some of the nation’s finest amateurs in another first-class event.”
The list of past Women’s Western Amateur champions reads like a “Who’s Who” in women’s golf, including current LPGA stars Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lang and Cristie Kerr.
This is Prestwick’s first WWGA tournament since the 1972 Junior Championship – won by a 15-year-old Nancy Lopez. She went on to become one of the best players in the history of professional golf and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987.
Reigning champion Sarah Shipley, of Hastings, Michigan, will not defend her title after receiving an exemption into this week’s Symetra Tour event. That leaves the door wide open for an international field of 120 players looking to have their name inscribed on the WWGA’s coveted W. A. Alexander Cup.
Leading the list of notable players is last year’s runner up, Antonia Matte, of Santiago, Chile. Also in the field is Pilar Echeverria, of Guatemala City, Guatemala, a recent graduate from the University of Indianapolis. Joining her from Guatemala City will be Valeria Mendizabal, who will play for Mississippi State University in the 2020 fall season.
Duke University sophomore Erica Shepherd also ranks among the top players in the field. Shepherd was the 2017 U.S. Junior Girls Champion and competed in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019.
Other top collegiate players in the field, all seniors, include:
- Brigitte Thibault, Quebec, Canada, Fresno State
- Yurika Tanida, Yokohama, Japan, Michigan State University
- Teresa Toscano Borrero, Huelva, Spain, South Dakota State University
- Micaela Farah, Lima, Peru, Purdue University
- Mary Parsons, Delta, British Columbia, Canada, Indiana University
Players with Illinois ties include:
- University of Illinois graduate Tristyn Nowlin, Richmond, Kentucky, the 2018 Women’s Western Amateur runner up. She competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019 and that same year advanced to the Women’s Western Amateur Elite 8.
- Lauren Beaudreau, Lemont, Illinois, University of Notre Dame
- Sarah Arnold, St. Charles, Illinois, who will graduate from Western Kentucky University in 2023. She won the 2019 Illinois Women’s State Amateur.
In addition, five Northwestern University teammates will be competing:
- Senior Brooke Riley, Manteca, California
- Junior Kelly Su, Scottsdale, Arizona
- Junior Kelly Sim, Edgewater, New Jersey
- Freshman Rachel DeAngulo, Miami, Florida
- Freshman Charlotte Hillary, Edgewood, Colorado
This year’s champion and runner up will receive invitations to play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur set to be held at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, August 3-9, 2020.
Live scoring will be available at: www.womenswesternamateur.com beginning Tuesday, July 21, and will continue throughout the championship. An updated field list can be found now at the site, along with daily pairings and updates once competition begins. The event is being conducted in partnership by the WWGA and the Western Golf Association.
The tournament format will be: Tuesday and Wednesday, 36-hole stroke play qualifying rounds; Thursday morning, the low 32 players open match play; Thursday afternoon, 16 players continue with the second round of match play; Friday morning, quarterfinal matches followed by the semifinal matches in the afternoon; and Saturday morning, the 18-hole championship match. Prestwick Country Club will be set at 6,374 yards, par 36-36-72 for the championship.
The WWGA and WGA have been carefully monitoring all information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and remain focused on the health and safety of players, their families, volunteers, and staff.
One of the nation’s oldest women’s golf associations, the WWGA dates back to the early beginnings of competitive golf for women and takes pride in a history as long and prestigious as its initial sponsor in 1901, the Western Golf Association. In 2019, the WWGA began partnering with the WGA for its Amateur and Junior championships. With this new affiliation, the WGA staff assists the WWGA volunteer Directors with tournament operations.