Write-up provided by Rick Pledl – email@example.com
Standing on the tee with a driver in her hand on the second hole of her sudden-death playoff with Grace Suter for the Sentry Wisconsin State Women’s Open Championship Wednesday, Mia Seeman pictured the shot she needed to hit.
The dogleg-right par-4 – the second hole on the Links Course at the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake – measures 295 yards on the scorecard, and it plays downhill. Seeman had hit it left of the green when she played the hole in regulation earlier in the day, so she chose a line slightly to the right, and she uncorked a mighty swing that ended up being the shot of the tournament.
“This morning, actually I was in the left rough, probably about 30 yards away,” Seeman said, “but I knew in the afternoon it was probably a little drier – it was running more – so I knew I had to aim a little more to the right, and that’s what I did.”
Seeman’s drive came to rest about 25 feet above the hole, which put the pressure squarely on Suter, who moments later pulled her drive left into a whispy lie. Suter did well to make her par from that spot, but it became moot when Seeman two-putted for birdie to win the tournament. The winning stroke was a three-inch tap-in.
Seeman, a 21-year-old from Milton who plays college golf at South Dakota State, admitted a bit sheepishly afterward that she wasn’t sure she could reach the second green in the playoff, but she was determined to try.
And that also nicely sums up Seeman’s approach to the final round Wednesday, which she entered at a three-stroke deficit to Suter.
“I just wanted to shoot par or better,” Seeman said of her goal for the second round, which she almost accomplished. “I wanted to play the golf course and try not to matter what (Suter) did.”
The 18-year-old Suter shot 69, the low round of the tournament, during the first round Tuesday. Suter called it her “B.R.,” short for best round. “And that’s just hard to back up,” she added.
Suter entered the final round with a three-stroke advantage on Seeman, and she maintained it when both players shot 38 on the front nine Wednesday.
Suter, who lives in Oconomowoc and is poised to join the Loyola-Chicago women’s team this fall, played some terrific golf in stretches Wednesday, but she also suffered three costly double bogeys, including Nos. 10 and 18 on the back nine.
Suter offset some of that with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, where she hit two lovely approach shots. But they proved to be her only birdies on the day, and not enough to overcome the missteps.
Seeman played steady golf on the back, hitting all nine greens in regulation and picking up a key birdie on the par-5 11th hole.
Both players finished the 36-hole tournament at 1-over-par 145. Seeman shot 72-73, and Suter shot 69-76.
They also both made par on the first playoff hole, the par-4 first hole on the Links Course.
Seeman admitted the driver was probably her biggest weapon in winning the championship, and it surely was in the playoff.
“My driver was pretty key, I would say,” Seeman said. “I felt like I could rely on it to hit the shots I wanted to.”
Seeman also was glad she was able to clean up her play on the Links Course’s three difficult back-nine par-3s. She made par on all three in her Wednesday round.
“The par-3s are pretty tough out here, especially on the back nine,” Seeman said. “Yesterday I bogeyed all of them, and today I was just trying to hit the greens and let my putter do the rest of the work.”
Two more amateurs tied for third place at 147, including Bobbi Stricker of Madison, who moved up the leaderboard with an even-par 72. Stricker shot 75 in Tuesday’s opening round.
Jessica Guiser of Hartland also finished at 147 with rounds of 73-74.
The low professional in the tournament was Kayley Sjoholm of Green Bay Country Club, who shot 74-74–148 to finish tied for fifth place overall. With the great support of Sentry Insurance Sjoholm took home the $2,000 first place professional prize check.
The Wisconsin PGA announced earlier this year that going forward the winner of the Sentry Wisconsin State Women’s Open would receive a special exemption for that season’s Wisconsin State Open. When asked about that, Seeman said she expects to tee it up in Sheboygan in August for the 101st Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley Wisconsin State Open.
“If there’s an exemption, then I definitely plan on playing,” Seeman said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
A big thank you goes out to Sentry Insurance for becoming the first title sponsor the Wisconsin State Women’s Open. The company agreed to a 3-year partnership to sponsor the championship earlier this month. With their great support along with supporting partners, The Suter Ward Group at Morgan Stanley and TaylorMade Golf, the Wisconsin PGA was able to present a great championship for the players to enjoy.
The Wisconsin PGA would also like to express our appreciation to everyone at The GC’s of Lawsonia. The Links Course was a fantastic host site for the championship and it was a perfect test of golf for the top female golfers in the state.