Kuznik and Sarkar Winners at MGA Women's Four-Ball

August 1, 2022
By Nick Hunter

  MONTICELLO, Minn. – Entering the final round of the 2022 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship with a three-stroke victory, the twosome of Camille Kuznik and Aayushi Sarkar cruised over the final 18 holes at Monticello Country Club, tallying a 3-under 68 to claim a seven-stroke victory over the team of Isabelle Lynch and Courtney Wedin.

Monday’s win is the second state title for Sarkar and her first in five seasons, while it marks the fifth consecutive season Kuznik has collected at least one state championship win.

“This means a lot knowing this could be my last MGA event—my family is in the process of moving,” Sarkar said following her round Monday. “This is a huge win, especially being able to do it with one of my best friends.”

“Going back to school soon knowing I am able to shoot good scores, and knowing I can compete at the next level—it means a lot for confidence,” Kuznik added.

Continuing her remarkable iron play for a second consecutive round, Sarkar’s approach stopped inside of three feet at the par-3 third for a tap-in birdie to put her team at 5-under for the tournament.

Kuznik and Sarkar gave back a stroke with their first bogey of the championship at the par-4 fifth, but Sarkar would hit the flagstick with her tee shot at the seventh, converting her birdie chance from eight feet to recapture a five-stroke lead at 5-under for the tournament.

Firmly in control on the final day, Kuznik and Sarkar closed out their front nine with a third birdie when Sarkar wedged her approach inside of four feet to put her team at 6-under with nine holes to play.

Kuznik took advantage of the par-5 12th by rolling in a birdie from six feet, but the twosome would card a second bogey on the ensuing hole.

Sarkar rolled in one final birdie from six feet at the 16th before her and her partner would card two final pars to post a 3-under 68 for a seven-stroke victory at 7-under 135.

“I feel like we struggled a little bit today, but really kept it together,” Sarkar said. “We put ourselves in a couple bad positions off the tee box and with our second shots. We had some holes that we came back with birdies and were able to keep it steady.”

“We chose to make bogeys on the same holes, which is kind of unfortunate,” Kuznik said. “We came together and kept it [under par].”

A soon-to-be junior at Drake University, Sarkar’s first state victory came at the 2018 Twin Cities Junior Championship at Victory Links Golf Course.

She entered the week coming off her fourth-place finish at the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship at Rochester Golf and Country Club Friday, carding an opening-round 74 before tallying back-to-back rounds of 73 to close the championship.

“I was happy with my scrambling and up-and-downs coming in,” Sarkar said. “The trust within myself has increased, especially coming from the [State Amateur] last week. I’m a lot more confident in what I can hit and what I can do.”

Kuznik, who will begin her sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin this fall, also won her first state title in 2018 at the Minnesota State Junior Girls’ Championship.

She successfully defended her title the following season, while adding the first of three consecutive Minnesota Public Golf Association Junior Public Links Championships to her resume.

An accomplished junior player, Kuznik notched 12 top-10 finishes at state championships to compliment her six state titles over the past five seasons.

Kuznik earned Ms. Minnesota Golf honors to cap off her senior season at Orono High School. She would place third at the Class AAA tournament the following week.

“I didn’t play as well at the [State Amateur], so at the beginning of the week, I was a little hesitant,” Kuznik said. “It built a lot of confidence and at the end of the day, I could see where the ball was going to go.”

Wedin and Lynch, who both play collegiately at the University of St. Thomas, carded a 2-over par 73 during Sunday’s opening round to finish the first 18 holes of play in third place.

The two started slow Monday with a bogey at the third hole, but would bounce back by capitalizing on two birdie chances late during their outward nine, turning in 1-over for the championship.

Sinking a birdie at the par-5 12th Lynch and Wedin moved back to even par and would close out the final round with consecutive pars to post a 2-under 69 to place second, seven shots back at 142.

Emma Davies and Katie Foley, both incoming freshman at St. Thomas later this year, began Monday’s final round in second place three shots off the lead following an opening-round 1-under 70 Sunday.

Davies and Foley carded back-to-back birdies to close out their front nine at 1-under for the round, but would stumble during their final nine holes with three bogeys to post a final-round 73 to finish in third place at 1-over 143.

Posting a 2-over 73 during the first round Sunday, Jacqueline Santopietro and Merridith Joly entered the final round tied for the lead with Ann Feitl and Kara Salava.

Santopietro and Joly fired an even par 71 Monday to cruise to a five-stroke victory in the First Flight, shooting 2-over 144.

In the Second Flight, the team of Denise Cosgrove and Nikki Heilskov followed an opening-round 86 Sunday by carding a 6-over par 77 during the final 18 holes of competition Monday to claim medalist honors by eight strokes over the pair of Manami Berdan and Wendy Heras.

Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter is entering his tenth season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA's website. He resides in New Prague with his wife, Amber, and two sons.

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