Minnesota Women's Mid-Am: Jasi Acharya ties an all-time wins record
Jasi Acharya (Minnesota G.A. photo)
Jasi Acharya (Minnesota G.A. photo)

Playing in her first state championship of the season this week, Jasi Acharya rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole at Island View Golf Club Wednesday before chipping in for birdie on the third playoff hole to win her fifth consecutive Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

Acharya joins Leigh Klasse as the only two players in tournament history to win five straight titles.

“It’s an honor to be thought of in that way,” Acharya said of matching Klasse mark Wednesday. “Overarching, it's been a lot of consistent golf. I think my mom told me a while ago that I’m a boring golfer because I just don’t have a lot of highs or a lot of lows. That’s probably what’s allowed me to be in contention these last few years.

“It’s so fun to come out and compete because I don’t do it that much now. I love this event—it’s one that I very much look forward to each year.”

Acharya, a former three-time Montana State Women’s Amateur champion, fired a 3-under 69 to open the championship Tuesday and entered the final round with a two-stroke advantage over Ledwein and former University of Minnesota golfer Paige McCullough.

Continuing her steady play into the final round of play, Acharya carded nine consecutive pars to maintain a three-stroke advantage with nine holes to play.

With her eagle putt from 15 feet coming up just short at her 10th hole, Acharya tapped in to keep pace with Ledwein before taking her first big number of the championship, a double-bogey at the third to trim her lead to one.

Acharya hung on to a one-stroke advantage until her 17th hole where she missed the green left and was unable to get up-and-down for par, falling into a share of the lead walking to the final hole.

Pars by Acharya and Ledwein on their 18th forced a playoff, which was extended after Acharya sank a 10-footer for par before Ledwein sank hers from eight feet.

Ledwein watched Acharya drop a 30-foot bender at the second playoff hole before converting her birdie chance to keep her chances alive.

Acharya’s approach on the third playoff hole came up short of the 18th green, but she would chip in for birdie, while Ledwein was unable to capitalize on her birdie chance from 20 feet.

“Today was a little more exciting than yesterday’s round,” Acharya said Wednesday. “My game plan was the same, but I didn’t quite strike it as well. Obviously made up for it in the end. Being patient the last two days, I knew fairways were key. I didn’t do it as well today, but I kept fighting after the double, and Taylor was playing very well.

“The putter wasn’t feeling super comfortable today, and then all of a sudden, I made some bombs. It was incredible—luck was on my side.”

While her home course at Interlachen Country Club is undergoing a restoration during the 2023, Acharya, a regional sales leader for PXG Golf, spent most of the summer in her home state of Montana with fiancée, Jeff.

A former professional who regained her amateur status in 2018, Acharya now has five wins in 14 starts over the past six seasons, while never finishing worse than 12th.

She earned a one-stroke victory in a weather-shortened event at Bearpath Golf and Country Club in 2019, before successfully defending her title the following season with a three-stroke victory at Northland Country Club.

In 2021, Acharya defeated Olivia Herrick by five strokes at Hastings Golf Club, and won her fourth consecutive title last season, edging Klasse in a playoff at Indian Hills Golf Club. Klasse notched six victories at the championship but won five straight championships beginning in 2004 at Island View.

Playing in her first MGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship this week, the soon-to-be 26-year-old Ledwein experienced a bit of déjà vu Wednesday, falling to Acharya with a chip-in birdie.

At the very same course, and on the very same hole in 2021, Ledwein watched Sophia Yoemans chip in for birdie on the final hole of the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship to force extra holes before downing Ledwein on the second playoff hole.

“I had one hiccup today on 14 today when I chunked one into the drink, so I was trying to bounce back from there,” Ledwein said Wednesday. “Over the two days, the difference was my putter. I made a lot of decent-length putts that I had a 50-50 chance of making.

“I made an eight-foot putt to make it to a playoff, so being confident in that and trying not to get too down after falling like that twice in three years. I know my game is good enough to at least make the playoff, so I can build off that.”

Ledwein fired a steady 1-under 71 to open the championship Tuesday, carding a pair of birdies against one bogey to enter Wednesday’s final 18 holes two shots off the lead.

After taking an early bogey to begin her round Wednesday, Ledwein countered by converting a birdie chance at the par-4 13th to draw even for the round.

Finding the water with her third at the 14th led to a double bogey, but Ledwein again battled back by sticking her approach close at the 15th, leaving a short birdie chance to get back to even par for the championship.

Taking advantage of the short par-5 first, Ledwein moved back into red figures for the tournament with a birdie, but gave back a stroke with a bogey at the seventh to drop to even.

A runner-up finish Wednesday marks the first time in five years that the two-time MGA Women's Player of the Year will go winless for the season.

McCullough, the 2017 champion, entered Wednesday’s final round two shots off the lead, and carded a final-round 77 to finish in third place at 4-over 148, while the three-time champion Herrick also posted a final-round 77 to place fourth at 7-over 151.

The 28th MGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship will be played Sept. 10-11 at Edina Country Club.

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ABOUT THE Minnesota Women's Mid-Amateur

36-hole stroke play championship. Entries are open to any female amateur golfer who is at least 25 years old as of the start of the tournament and is currently an Associate Member of the MGA. There are no handicap index requirements for this tournament.

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