Minnesota Golf Association

Roth Flirts with Course Record at White Bear Yacht Club to Take 36-hole Lead at Women's Amateur

July 24, 2018

By Nick Hunter
  DELLWOOD, Minn. – Aided by a stretch of six straight birdies Wednesday, Natalie Roth tied a course record by shooting 6-under par 68 to take a two-shot lead after two rounds of the 2018 Minnesota Women’s Amateur Championship at White Bear Yacht Club.
Roth posted a 1-under par 73 to begin the championship Monday and started her second round Tuesday with a bogey and seven birdies, including six straight to finish her front nine. Playing her final nine holes at even par, Roth finished the second round at 7-under par 143 and will take a two-stroke advantage over Taylor Ledwein to Wednesday’s final round.
“I made a couple mental mistakes yesterday—there were a few things I wanted to clean up and I thought I capitalized on them a little bit better today,” Roth said following her round Tuesday. “The bogey on two kind of lit a fire—it was an unnecessary bogey, but it was what I needed apparently to get a string of birdies going.”
Honed in with her putter early Wednesday, Roth rolled in a 15-footer on the opening hole before dropping back to even for the day with a three-putt bogey at the second. Roth would leap to the top of the leaderboard with six consecutive birdies beginning at the fourth hole to quickly move to 7-under for the championship.
Roth sank a 20-footer at the fourth and had a tap-in for birdie on the following hole. At the par-3 sixth, Roth rolled in her birdie from 10 feet and added a 15-footer for birdie at the seventh. Rolling in a pair of 15-footers at the eighth and ninth, Roth would turn at 6-under for the day.
“I was taking one shot at a time; I wasn’t trying to get too far ahead of myself. My goal is to par every hole and if I get a birdie opportunity to take it on as it comes,” Roth said of her birdie streak to close her opening nine Wednesday. “After nine, flipping the card, it’s almost like starting from scratch, so I really didn’t look at the front nine.”
A two-putt birdie at the par-5 13th put Roth at 8-under for the championship and five shots clear of Ledwein before Ledwein closed the gap with an eagle at the par-5 15th. Taking a bogey at the par-3 17th, Roth fell back to 7-under and would finish two shots clear of Ledwein following Ledwein’s birdie on the final hole.
“I felt like there were some good opportunities [on the back nine],” Roth said. “My approach shots were a little sporadic, but I had some good opportunities on the par-5’s and wanted to take care of them and make a couple more putts.”
Graduating from North Dakota State University this spring, Roth compiled 16 top-5 finishes with four victories. Roth earned a share of medalist honors at the 2013 Class AA state tournament to finish her junior year at Detroit Lakes High School.
Ledwein is looking for her second win of the 2018 season after claiming the 2018 MGA Women's State Match Play Championship by defeating Olivia Herrick, 2 and 1, in late June at Faribault Golf Club.

Ledwein carded a pair of birdies against a lone bogey during her opening nine Wednesday to turn at 1-under for the championship before back-to-back birdies at the 12th and 13th holes to turn 3-under. Jumping to 5-under with an eagle at 15, Ledwein would pull within three shots of the lead.
Missing the green at the par-3 17th, Ledwein took a step back with a bogey, but would birdie the final hole to post a second-round 69 to sit in second place, two shots off the lead.
“I was a little disappointed on a few holes by leaving putts short, but I also made some longer par putts,” Ledwein said Wednesday. “I’m really happy with my hybrids. On the par-5’s I’m putting them in great spots and my driver is going really well.
“Fairways and greens tomorrow—even par and if that doesn’t do it, it wasn’t meant to be.”
Entering her junior season at Bradley University this fall, Ledwein has notched eight top-10 finishes during her first two seasons of collegiate golf.
Prior to winning the 2016 Minnesota State Junior Girls' Championship, Ledwein claimed back-to-back individual medalist honors at the 2015 and 2016 Class AAA state championship, her junior and senior seasons at New Prague High School.

University of Minnesota golfer Grace Kellar carded a 1-under par 73 Tuesday and sits alone in third place at 147, while Sophia Yoemans will begin the final round in fourth place, seven shots off the lead at 148.

This year's championship marks the third time White Bear Yacht Club has hosted the MGA Women's State Amateur Championship. Bev Vanstrum defeated Betty Swanson by three shots to win the 1956 championship, while most recently, Kelly Burley earned a three-stroke victory over Peggy Kirsch and Julie Gumlia to claim the 1979 title.
The 2018 MGA Women’s State Amateur Championship concludes Wednesday as tee times for the final round are slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. at White Bear Yacht Club.
6,151 YARDS, PAR 74
1. Natalie Roth, Moorhead CC, 73-68—141
2. Taylor Ledwein, New Prague GC, 74-69—143
3. Grace Kellar, Olympic Hills GC, 74-73—147
4. Sophia Yoemans, Mississippi Nat’l Golf Links, 73-75—148
T5.Athena Yang, Edinburgh USA, 74-76—150
T5. Emma Groom, Olympic Hills GC, 74-76—150
7. Stephanie Herzog, Mississippi Nat’l Golf Links, 77-74—151  
T8. Kate Smith, Detroit CC, 75-77—152  
T8. Alexa Hanson, Olympic Hills GC, 73-79—152
T8. Tabitha Kunst, Lester Park GC, 75-77—152

Download Full Results: MGA Women_s Amateur Championship Leaderboard 4.pdf

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