Minnesota Golf Association

Ledwein Earns Medalist Honors, Qualifies for Second U.S. Women's Amateur Along With Four Others

July 8, 2019

By Nick Hunter
  WAYZATA, Minn. – Carding rounds of even par 71 at Woodhill Country Club Monday, Minnesotan Taylor Ledwein and Oregon’s Kiana Oshiro earned a share of medalist honors as well as a spot in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship next month.
A field of 50 golfers competed for five qualifying spots to this year’s national championship, which will be played August 5-11 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss.
Joining Ledwein and Oshiro in Mississippi at the 119th playing of the event will be Iowa State University golfer Amelia Grohn, Texan Julie Houston and University of Southern California golfer Malia Nam, each firing rounds of 1-over 72 Monday.
“I stayed really consistent and made a lot of putts from five feet and in—I was really confident over them,” said Ledwein, who will begin her senior season at Bradley University this fall. “I was hitting a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities, but I didn’t leave them in tap-in range, I’d have two to four feet, but I made all of those."
The New Prague High School graduate played a steady opening nine, carding consecutive pars before sinking a 6-footer for birdie at the par-5 12th.  Stumbling at the par-5 14th, Ledwein recorded a double-bogey, but quickly bounced back and nearly holed her tee shot at the 16th, leaving a short birdie putt to get her back to even par and into a share of the lead.
Ledwein advanced in a playoff at White Bear Yacht Club in 2015 to earn a trip to her first U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she missed the cut for match play. She played in her first USGA event at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2014.
“Ever since [2015] I’ve been trying to get back because it’s such a fun experience and the other two times I went, I wasn’t able make the cut. This time I’m hoping my game is where it was today and to make the cut,” Ledwein said. “I try not to raise expectations because then you always have to live up to them or live up to other people’s expectations. You go out there and do the best you can.
“When you play in those events when you’re young, you feel like you don’t belong there. Now that I’ve been there a couple times, I don’t think I’ll be as nervous and playing college golf, it’ll be a little more relaxed and I know what to expect.”
Oshiro, a native of Central Point, Ore., opened the qualifier Monday with a bogey at the par-4 fourth, but answered by sinking her birdie look from 10 feet on the ensuing hole. Unable to save par at the ninth, Oshiro headed to the final nine holes at 1-over.
She would card a second consecutive bogey at the 10th to slip to 2-over, but rallied to card a pair of birdies at the 14th and 16th holes to earn a share of medalist honors with Ledwein at even par 71.
“Overall, I was really happy with how I played today and I was really happy that my dad (Kevin) caddied for me today,” Oshiro said following her round Monday. “He kept me in check for the most part. What I’ve learned the past two years at college is, don’t think about the score, focus on each shot, stay in the moment and it’s all about the process. That really helped me out today.”
Oshiro, 20, is transferring to Louisiana State University after playing two seasons at Western Texas College, qualified for her first USGA event Monday.
“I came in thinking even par would be okay. I was impressed with how I played today, I kept it under control and kept the ball in play,” she said.
Graduating from the University of Texas-San Antonio this spring, Houston’s round of 1-over par 72 earned her a spot in her third U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in her fifth attempt playing in a Minnesota qualifier.
In 2015 she qualified at White Bear Yacht Club before advancing from Prestwick Golf Club in 2017. Houston decided to try her luck once again at Woodhill Country Club this week in her last national championship as an amateur, announcing she will turn professional following the event next month.
Houston, from Allen, Texas, began her day on the 10th tee and carded two bogeys during her opening nine before quickly drawing even by sinking her eagle putt from 22 feet at the par-5 third. Despite a bogey on the final hole Monday, Houston secured her spot in the national championship with a round of 1-over 72.
Nam, who just completed her freshman season at USC, has previously qualified for two U.S. Women’s Amateur Championships, making the cut for match play in 2014 as a freshman in high school before advancing to the Round of 32 the following season.
The 19-year-old Hawaiian began her round Monday on the 10th tee and opened by carding birdie at the 12th, but finished her opening nine at 1-over following a pair of bogeys at the 14th and 17th holes.
Dropping her birdie look at the par-4 fourth, Nam drew even for the tournament, but a final bogey at the par-3 eighth put her in the clubhouse in a three-way tie for third at 72, giving her the fourth qualifying spot.
Grohn, an Australian who finished her junior season at Iowa State with a 17th-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championship, played her front nine at even par Monday, carding a pair of birdies against two bogeys before tallying another birdie with two more bogeys over her final nine holes to finish tied for third with a round of 72 to grab the final qualifying spot.
Leading the Cyclones at the Big 12 Championship this spring, Grohn finished tied for 12th, while her 74.97 career stroke average ranks inside the top-10 in program history. Grohn was roommates with Celia Barquin Arozamena, the 22-year-old Spaniard who was killed on a golf course in Iowa last September.
Morgan Goldstein, Las Vegas, Nev., and Alexandra Schilling, Rochester, Minn., finished as first and second alternates, respectively.
Old Waverly is the home golf course for both men’s and women’s teams at Mississippi State University. The Bob Cupp and Jerry Pate design opened in 1988 and can be played as long as 6,547 yards as a par 72.
The course has held multiple notable women’s championships, including the 1999 U.S. Women’s open and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 2006.


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