Ledwein, Hicks and Herzog Advance at MGA Women's Match Play

June 21, 2022
By Nick Hunter

  MINNETRISTA, Minn. – Staging a late-round comeback against Adele Peterson Tuesday at Burl Oaks Golf Club, Taylor Ledwein pulled off a victory during her opening match at the 2022 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Match Play Championship.

Earning a first-round bye as the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Ledwein stumbled mid-round against the former LPGA Tour player Peterson, dropping four of six holes beginning at the par-4 eighth. Finding her footing late, the 2018 champion rallied to win three of the final five holes to earn the victory, 1-up.

“I started out playing really well, but from the eighth to the 13th, my approach shots weren’t very good,” the former Bradley University golfer said Tuesday. “Adele played solid—she’s a really good player."

“I watched an interview with [the PGA Tour’s] Scottie Scheffler and how he doesn’t set expectations and just tries to play. That’s the mindset I tried to get into because it doesn’t matter the seed this week, anyone can win a match."

Ledwein took the early lead over Peterson with a birdie at the par-5 second and the fourth with a par, carrying 2-up lead to the eighth where her struggles began, losing four of the next five holes.

Winning the 14th with a par, Ledwein moved within one of Peterson before a confident tee shot at the par-3 15th helped her pull even with the 2020 MGA Senior Women’s Amateur champion.

Sinking a four-footer for par at the par-4 17th, Ledwein recaptured the lead and hung on for the win, 1-up.

Winner of nine state championships since 2015, Ledwein is in search of her first MGA Women’s Match Play title since defeating Olivia Herrick in 2018 at Faribault Golf Club. Ledwein and partner Megan Welch claimed back-to-back MGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championships the last two seasons.

“Besides a 3-footer I missed on 16, my putter has been really good. I’ve really spent a lot of time being confident and having a good, smooth stroke,” Ledwein said. “The greens this week—if you are even slightly in the wrong spot, the putts are so delicate that you have to be good from three to five feet. If you’re above the hole, that’s most likely what you’re going to have coming back.”

Ledwein will face Maddie Simon, who earned wins over Becca Tschetter and Megan Thiravong, during Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.

Entering the week following her fourth-place finish at the Class AAA High School State Championship, Madi Hicks took an early lead against Claudia Kim during Tuesday’s Round of 16 and never looked back, winning 4 and 3.

“My game is a little more consistent than it has been,” Hicks said after her win Tuesday. “I have a little more trust in my irons, which is really important this week. I’m coming from the high school season, where I rarely have more than a wedge into greens and now it’s a mid to long iron. Having that consistency and confidence in the longer clubs has helped me a lot."

“I got off to a good start today and it was nice to have a little cushion going into the back.”

Hicks sank an 8-footer for birdie at the first to start fast against Kim before rolling in a second birdie at the fifth to extend her lead. Getting up-and-down to save par at the sixth helped Hicks maintain her 2-up lead, and she would extend her lead by winning the seventh with another strong up-and-down for par.

Taking advantage of Kim bogeys at the 10th and 11th holes, Hicks’ lead expanded to five before giving back the 12th and 14th, trimming her lead to three. Hicks closed out the match by winning the 15th to secure the victory, 4 and 3.

A formidable junior player, Hicks claimed a pair of Twin Cities Junior Championships, as well as two MGA Junior Team wins. Her most recent win came at the Minnesota PGA Junior Golf ‘Sota Series Match Play Championship last season at Cragun’s Dutch Legacy. The North Dakota State University commit will face future NDSU teammate Catherine Monty during Wednesday’s quarterfinal round.

University of Minnesota golfer Leah Herzog picked up a win over Kyra Venne during Tuesday’s Round of 16, 4 and 2, to advance to the quarters, looking to build on her run to the semifinal round a year ago, losing to Gopher teammate and eventual champion Joanne Free.

Herzog squares off against University of St. Thomas golfer Isabelle Lynch, who defeated Izzy Segal and Emma Welch during her first two matches Tuesday, during the quarterfinal round early Wednesday.

Current NDSU golfer Leah Skaar will take on St. Thomas commit Caroline Monty early Wednesday after Skaar earned a pair of victories over Clair Orcutt, 4 and 3, as well as NDSU teammate Lexi Geolat by the same margin during Tuesday’s afternoon session.

Monty, a recent Stillwater High School graduate, ousted Jaycee Rhodes, 5 and 3, early Tuesday before eliminating the University of Wisconsin’s Camille Kuznik, 3 and 2.

The quarterfinal round of the 2022 MGA Women’s Amateur Match Play Championship gets underway at 7:46 a.m. off the 10th tee Wednesday at Burl Oaks Golf Club.

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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