Greenlief hits home run in AGA at Texas Rangers Golf Club
Lauren Greenlief (Credit: AGA)
Lauren Greenlief (Credit: AGA)

For the second time in three years, Lauren Greenlief is the AGA Women's Amateur Champion. Unlike her 2020 triumph, Greenlief needed a playoff hole to settle the matter this time around.

It took a stunning turn of events, including an exceptional 32 on the back nine from Allison Gonring, to force the playoff. Gonring started the day five shots off the lead at six-over par. When she made the turn, she was still six-over par and looking like she was out of the running.

In contrast, Greenlief played a steady front nine, making birdies on hole 1,2, and 4 to extend her lead with a 34. With nine holes left, she led Gonring by seven shots.

Gretchen Johnson was probably the player in Greenlief's rearview mirror that she was trying to keep an eye on. She was three shots behind Greenlief with nine holes remainng. Things just never got going for Johnson, her only birdie of the day came on the second hole. She ended up with shooting 74, leaving her two shots out of the playoff.

Gonring, a few groups ahead of Greenlief, rattled off birdies on holes 10, 11, 14, and 17 for a 32. She had done her job and posted a score of two-over par. Even as Gonring finished her round, Greenlief seemed too far ahead, but slowly she slipped backwards toward two-over par.

It started with a bogey on the 13th, a par 5. Then after a bogey on 15 she only had one shot of insurance to play with to win. Unfortunately, a 17th hole bogey put a lot of pressure on Greenlief. She stood on the par 5, 18th tee box knowing she needed to make a par to force a playoff.

"I had pulled my approach shot into the green and left myself with a really tricky 2 putt. I had about forty feet and had to go up over a big ridge and then down a steep hill," Greenlief said. "I hit a really great first putt from just off the green in the fridge to about 1 foot for a tap in par to secure a spot in the playoff."

Gonring made up seven shots in nine holes and forced a playoff that started, and ended, on the 10th hole.

"I hit a great drive and had 70 yards into the green. I hit it to 15 feet and just missed the birdie putt," Greenlief said.

After a long battle to get back into contention and then a playoff, Gonring's birdie putt slipped past the hole and left her with a testy putt for par. She missed the par putt and Greenlief was the champion.

"The golf course was fun to play and was set up really well for the event. The conditions were a little bit different everyday, with Tuesday playing firm and fast, Wednesday being very very windy, and today being somewhere in between," Greenlief said.

Even though Greenlief won in 2020, it was at the Dye Preserve Club. She enjoyed the challenge the Texas Rangers Golf Club provided all week.

"The course tested all elements of your game and there were several tee shots that were visually intimidating - holes 7, 12, 16, and 17 - where you had to be very precise."

Halfway into 2022 and on the brink of the busier part of the season, Greenlief has her first victory of the year.

"It was great to get my first win of 2022 and second win at the AGA Women's Amateur Championship. Hopefully I will be able to build some momentum as we get into the full swing of the amateur golf season.," Greenlief said. "It was great to get to compete against a strong field of women's mid-ams, and I am so glad that this tournament was created to get another playing opportunity for women's golfers age 23 and older."

In the senior division, legend Ellen Port shot 73-73-73 to beat Kathy Hartwiger by one stroke. The two players dueled down the stretch with Port making a birdie on the 18th hole to avoid a playoff.

View results for AGA Women's Amateur Championship
ABOUT THE AGA Women's Amateur Championship

The tournament will be 54 holes of stroke play for eligible women who have completed their college eligibility and are 23 years of age on or before the first round of the competition. Field limited to 72 players. Applicants must have a USGA handicap index of 6.0 or lower. Entries will be reviewed based on playing experience, competitive success, rankings and merit against those of other applicants.

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