Illinois' Piar Medals, Kentucky's Frye Claim Spots at U.S. Women's Amateur

July 8, 2024 | 3 min.
By Nick Hunter

  STILLWATER, Minn. – A round of 4-under 68 Monday at StoneRidge Golf Club earned California State University-Northridge golfer medalist honors with a two-stroke victory and a spot in the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Piar rolled in six birdies against a pair of bogeys to qualify for her first U.S. Amateur.

“I’m so excited—it’s something I’ve been dreaming about,” the Illinois native said following her round Monday. “Seeing how well I do against the top amateurs in the world is going to be awesome.

“It was a great round today. I kept hitting fairways and greens, and the putts were rolling really well. I had 23 putts today, which is really good for me, and I had no three-putts.”

The 20-year-old Piar got off to a hot start Monday by converting three birdie chances during her front nine before she was slowed with a bogey at the par-4 10th.

Piar countered by dropping her birdie chance from three feet at the 11th to get back to 4-under.

Knocking her approach to six feet at the 15th, Piar converted her fifth birdie of the round, but took another step back with bogey at the 16th.

She quickly bounced back by reaching the par-5 17th in two, narrowly missing her eagle putt from 14 feet, and tapped in for birdie to post a 4-under 68 to advance secure her spot at the championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., Aug. 5-11.

“I’ve never qualified before—I’ve been trying for the last five years and last year I was close, just not enough,” Piar said.

Joining Piar at the national championship next month at Southern Hills will be former University of Kentucky golfer Laney Frye, who bounced back from an early bogey to card a 2-under 70 to qualify for her fourth consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur.

“It was pretty clean to be honest,” Frye said Monday. “I had a little bunker trouble on the second hole, but made some birdies around the turn and kept it steady. I was hitting a lot of fairways and greens, and made some momentum putts along the way.

“I was close to the [World Amateur Golf Rankings] cutoff on being exempt, so part of me didn’t want to have to come and qualify. Expectations were high—I really wanted it, and I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to play in it again.”

In 2022, Frye earned co-medalist honors following two rounds of play at Chambers Bay in Washington before falling in match play.

Looking to turn professional at the close of summer, Frye is drawing off her extensive experience at the championship, in what could be her last event as an amateur.

“There’s more of a calmness to it and I know what to expect,” she said. “The first time there’s such a wow factor to it. But now I’ve been through it, and hopefully it goes my way.

“The USGA puts on such a great event. Match play is a different format—it’s fun and it’s challenging.”

After taking bogey at the second early Monday, Frye drew even with a birdie at the fifth before sinking putts from 10 feet at the eighth and two feet at the ninth to turn in 2-under.

Saving par by rolling in her putt from six feet at the 10th, Frye would cruise over her next eight holes with consecutive pars to finish second at 2-under 70.

Following a five-way playoff Monday, Wisconsin’s Jessica Guiser claimed first alternate honors, while Iowa native Anna Jensen finished as second alternate.

Last season, Auburn University golfer Megan Schofill claimed the championship, 4 and 3, during the 36-hole final at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur returns to Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since 1946, nine seasons after the club’s inception.

The club has previously hosted three U.S. Opens (1958, 1977, 2001), two U.S. Amateurs (1965, 2009) and most recently, the PGA Championship in 2022.

This season’s national event marks the third USGA women’s championship played at Southern Hills, and first since the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 1987.


Spots Available: 2 Alternates: 2

Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 12th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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