Kayla Benge (Indiana Golf Association Photo)
The final day of the Indiana Women's Amateur at Otter Creek GC started off steady with five-time Champion, Julia Potter-Bobb of Indianapolis, Ind., parring out the first seven holes and keeping her three-stroke lead of 6-under par over Kayla Benge of Plainfield, Ind.
Potter-Bobb ran into trouble on holes No. 8 and 9 after a few unfortunate shots and decreased her lead to one stroke at the turn. Benge was able to take advantage of this and sink a twenty-five footer for birdie on hole No. 12 to sit tied for first with Potter-Bobb. Benge gained the lead on hole No. 14.
“My turning point was my long putt on twelve," Benge said. "That shift in momentum gave me a little bit more confidence with the rest of my putts coming in and I felt it was really key."
The day quickly turned into a fight for victory as Benge and Potter-Bobb both secured their birdie opportunities on hole No. 15, followed by another birdie for Potter-Bobb on hole No. 16. This put the two players tied for the lead.
However, Potter-Bobb had a run-in with the bunker on seventeen and a tricky putt for par that ended in an unfortunate bogey. Meanwhile, Benge rode it out and closed out seventeen with a birdie and a two-stroke advantage going into the final hole.
“I didn’t hit a good tee shot on eight and I misjudged the lie," Potter-Bobb said. "I thought it was going to be a little thicker than it was and the ball didn’t come out as far as I wanted and then I missed the putt. On nine, I missed it on the wrong part of the green and I went just a little bit long. That was my only three-putt the entire tournament, so it was bad timing but those were really my only hiccups of the day."
Both players finished the last hole with a par and Benge was named the 2023 IWGA Amateur Champion for the first time.
Potter-Bobb added, “Kayla played amazing and she hit the ball where she needed to. She really didn’t miss and that’s what you have to do out here and I wasn’t able to do that for the third day”.
Benge has been in contention to win the Women’s Amateur a handful of times but today was her first time coming out victorious.
“This is really really incredible," Benge said. "This has been on my list of things I want to win and I think the only thing left now that I haven’t won is the Indiana PGA Women’s Open. I’ve led this event a couple of times, whether that’s been after round one or two but I’ve never been able to close it out."
Benge added "I feel like such a different person now than the previous times that I have competed. I feel more at ease, more confident in who I am as a player, and I just played to my strengths this week."View results for Indiana Women's State Amateur
ABOUT THE Indiana Women's State Amateur
54 Hole, Stroke Play Event. Field flighted after 36
holes. This tournament is open to female Indiana
residents who are affiliated with an IWGA Member
Club and who possess an IGA-PGA Handicap index of
29.9 or less.
View Complete Tournament Information