- VSGA photo
By Matty Madden for the VSGA
For the second year in a row, a junior golfer has won the VSGA Women’s Amateur Championship.
Tatum Walsh (Salisbury CC), age 17, was crowned the 95th VSGA Women’s Amateur champion after defeating stroke-play qualifying medalist Julie Shin 5 and 3 in the 18-hole championship match Thursday afternoon at Roanoke Country Club. To get to the final, she had to outlast Melanie Walker (Springfield G&CC) in a 19-hole semifinal shootout.
This is Walsh’s first major tournament win. She described it as her biggest win ever, saying that even just getting into the finals was the biggest accomplishment of her career so far. Walsh credited her massive improvement from last summer to a change in her swing and an increase in her confidence saying, “the swing change definitely helped, but really it was just gaining confidence, playing more, and practicing.”
Her matchup with Walker, a 2019 semifinalist, went into extra holes. Walker and Walsh were tied after 18 holes, after Walker hit a branch on a fairway shot, giving Walsh the advantage on the green. Walker sank a long putt to win the hole and tie it up. Walker and Walsh made their way back to the first hole, where Walsh made birdie to claim the victory.
On tying it up on the 18th hole, Walsh said, “Nerves are definitely there, but you’ve just got to find a way to contain them.”
Shin defeated 4th seed Kendall Turner (Greenbrier CC) 2 and 1 in the semifinals to advance. It was a back and forth contest that saw Turner come back to tie it up on the 15th hole, only to drop two straight holes to Shin.
In the championship match, Shin and Walsh started off tied for the first two holes, but after Walsh won the 3rd hole with a birdie, Shin never recovered, only coming within two holes of Walsh for the remainder of the match. Walsh said nerves were still present even after going 4 up with four holes to play.
Walsh is currently verbally committed to James Madison University and will join the team after she graduates high school in 2021. Walsh said this win definitely gives her confidence as she gets closer to starting her college golf career.
The Women’s amateur featured three additional flights, where competitors who did not qualify for the championship brackets got a chance to compete in match play. The first flight was won by Ester Choi (VSGA Junior Golf Circuit), who defeated hometown golfer Kaitlyn Mosdell (Roanoke CC) 3 and 2 in the finals. The second flight was won by Caleigh Street (VSGA Junior Golf Circuit) who defeated youngest in the field, 11-year old Ashnoor Kaur (VSGA Junior Golf Circuit) 3 and 2 in the final round. The last flight was won by Rachel Detore (Lee’s Hill GC), who beat out Angela Baskette (Army Navy CC) 4 and 3 in the final round.
View results for VSGA Women's Amateur
ABOUT THE VSGA Women's Amateur
Match play tournament with 36-hole on-site stroke play
qualifying. The low 16 qualifiers advance to match
Open to female golfers of all ages. Participants must
hold an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA
Member Club in good standing.
View Complete Tournament Information