PARK RIDGE, Ill. (July 19, 2021) – A field of 120 of the world’s best amateurs is set to compete in the 121st Women’s Western Amateur Championship at Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, Illinois, on July 20-24.
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 and features the top amateur and collegiate players from across the globe.
The 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 year’s field is one of the deepest in championship history, with players from 29 states and 15 countries. Brigitte Thibault, of Rosemere, Quebec, is back to defend her title after winning the 2020 event at Prestwick Country Club in Frankfort, Illinois.
The field also includes Second Team All-American Lauren Hartlage (Louisville); Third Team All-Americans Teresa Toscano Borrero (South Dakota State) and Latanna Stone (LSU); Second Team All-SEC pick Lois Kaye Go (South Carolina); and college standouts Ya Chun Chang (Arizona) and Sadie Englemann (Stanford).
There are 13 players from Illinois, including Sarah Arnold (Western Kentucky) of Geneva, Brianne Bolden (Missouri) of Mokena, Grace Curran (Minnesota) of New Lenox, Haeri Lee (Drake) of Buffalo Grove and Caroline Smith (Wake Forest) of Inverness.
Arnold won the Marion Miley Bracelet, awarded to the player with the lowest combined stroke play score in the Women’s Western Junior and Women’s Western Amateur, in 2019. Gabriella Gilrowski (Georgetown), who won the 2019 Women’s Western Junior at Woodland Country Club in Carmel, Indiana, is also in the field.
The championship will start with 18 holes of stroke-play qualifying on Tuesday and Wednesday, after which the field will be cut to the low 32 players for match play. Five rounds of 18-hole matches will decide the Women’s Western Amateur champion.
This will be the third WWGA championship for Park Ridge Country Club, which was also the site of the 1934 Women’s Western Junior and the 1944 Women’s Western Open, won by the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Park Ridge also hosted the WGA’s 2017 Western Junior, won by 2021 U.S. Walker Cup team member William Mouw.
In addition to its decorated championship history, Park Ridge enjoys influences from famed golf course architects. Herbert J. Tweedie designed the club’s original nine holes in 1906, and in 1911, the club hired Tom Bendelow to develop nine additional holes. The club purchased 20 acres adjacent to the course in 1915, bringing in William B. Langford to rebuild the layout. His work remains the dominant influence today.
Park Ridge has also been a steadfast supporter of both the Women’s Western Golf Foundation and the Evans Scholars Foundation. The WWGF has been awarding scholarships to young women who play golf since 1971, while the ESF is a nonprofit administered by the WGA that has awarded full college tuition and housing scholarships to more than 12,000 caddies since 1930.
Park Ridge’s youth caddie program has produced more than 145 Evans Scholars, beginning with Alfred Richter, who earned an Evans Scholarship to attend Northwestern University in 1935. There are currently 13 Park Ridge caddies attending college as Evans Scholars.
Attendance and parking for the Women’s Western Amateur are free.
To view the full field, click here.