CARMEL, Ind. (June 18, 2019) – First-round leader Brooke Biermann, of Wildwood, Missouri, followed up her opening-round 68 with an even-par 72 Tuesday to grab medalist honors in the 93rd Women’s Western Junior at Woodland Country Club.
Biermann’s 36-hole total of 4-under-par 140 put her one stroke ahead of Sarah Arnold of St. Charles, Illinois, and Isha Dhruva of Katy, Texas.
Playing alongside Biermann in the final threesome of first-round leaders, Arnold putted her way to a one-under 71.
“She putted amazing today,” said Biermann, 16, a rising junior at Lafayette High School.
Arnold agreed. “Everything was dropping,” said Arnold, 17, who is joining the Western Kentucky University golf team as a freshman this fall.
Biermann found enough success of her own on the greens to finish with the one-stroke edge.
“I was hitting it well and had a lot of up-and-downs,” Biermann said. “You just have to be patient and trust the short game. It’s okay to not make every putt.”
Biermann and Arnold both said that it was a “tough day” compared to Monday but are excited to be in the Sweet 16 and moving on to match play on Wednesday.
“I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be fun,” Biermann said. “I like match play because you can start fresh on a new hole. That’s the way you should approach stroke play, too.”
Dhruva fired a 3-under 69, with four birdies and just one bogey, to secure her tie for runner-up with Arnold. Dhruva, 17, is entering Penn State as a freshman this fall and was cheered on Tuesday by her new collegiate coach, Denise St. Pierre.
“I love when she watches me,” Dhruva said. “It’s fun to have an audience.”
Dhruva gave St. Pierre plenty of reasons to cheer. “I was playing really steady,” Dhruva said. “A lot of my 6-footers were going in.”
Molly Bebelaar, of Louisville, followed up an opening-round 71 with an even-par 72 to finish alone in fourth at 143. Bebelaar, 17, will be a freshman this fall at Middle Tennessee State University.
“I love match play,” said Bebelaar, anticipating the change of format. “I’m just going to try to win as many matches as I can.”
A seven-player playoff decided the final spots for match play, with Audrey Tir of Winnetka, Illinois, and Kiah Parrott of Kokomo, Indiana, prevailing to close out the field of 16 for Wednesday’s first round of match play. Tir birdied the first playoff hole and Parrott birdied the second.
The first two rounds of match play will be held on Wednesday, with the first match between Biermann and Parrott starting at 7 a.m. The semifinal and championship matches are set for Thursday.
The Women’s Western Junior Championship is a testing ground for the stars of the future. Past Champions include Candie Kung (1998), Christie Kerr (1994), Grace Park (1993), and Nancy Lopez (1972, 1973, 1974).