Annika Borrelli lands California Women's Amateur title
Courtesy of SCGA
Courtesy of SCGA

After five days, seven matches and 156 competitors, there was only one woman left standing at end of the California Women’s Amateur Championship. Annika Borrelli endured a tough golf course, sweltering heat and the grueling format to etch her name in history at the storied Hacienda Golf Club.

The finals match exploded with energy and excitement as Borrelli took a 1 up lead after the opening hole but Sophie Guo, a sophomore at the University of Texas, bounced back to win three straight holes, courtesy of two impressive birdies on No. 2 and the uphill par-3 fourth.

Borrelli, the 2021 NCGA Women’s Amateur Champion, came charging right back with a 15-foot birdie putt of her own on the par-5 fifth and followed that up with an improbable up-and-down for par on the par-3 sixth. After six holes, there was not a single hole halved.

The University of San Francisco senior continued her onslaught with a win on No. 9, a birdie on the tough uphill 10th and another birdie on No. 11 to catapult herself into a 3 up lead heading down last of the back nine, capping a stretch of seven holes where she won five.

As both players continued to trade blows, Guo battled back with a birdie to take No. 13 to trim the lead to 2 up. But on the next box, Guo hooked a tee shot into the trees on the left side of the fairway, which caught a fortuitous bounce and left her 200+ yards into the par-4. With Borrelli sitting perfectly in the fairway, Guo roped a 3-wood up near the green and lipped out her chip for birdie. With the pressure squarely on her, Borrelli narrowly missed her birdie effort to keep the match at 2 up.

Standing on the 15th tee box, fresh off dodging a bullet on the previous hole, Guo pulled another tee shot left while Borrelli found another fairway. As was the theme on this afternoon, Guo pulled a fairway metal from a sidehill rough lie and stuffed it to 15 feet. Up on the green, Borrelli stared down a 40-foot uphill putt for birdie that never left the center of the hole, leaving the match at 3 up with three to go.

After finding the green on No. 16, Guo went flag hunting and left her shot short in the bunker, needing a miracle to extend the match. As Guo’s bunker shot flew past the hole, Borrelli knew victory was hers. She two-putted and enjoyed an emotional embrace with her caddie and father, plus the numerous supporters who followed her all day.

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ABOUT THE California Women's Amateur

The California Women’s Amateur Championship was founded in 1967 and played at Pebble Beach Golf Links until 1987 when the Championship was invited to Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, where it was played through 2019.

36-hole stroke play qualifying round, 18 holes each day, to determine 32 players for match play. Prizes will be awarded to the Champion, Runner-up, Semifinalists, Quarterfinalists and the 36-hole Low Gross Medalist from qualifying rounds.

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