FRANKFORT, Ill. (June 22, 2022) – Struggling through a difficult start to her second round at the 95th Women’s Western Junior on Wednesday, Addison Klonowski found a reason for hope – the back nine was coming.
The 17-year-old from Naples, Florida, shook off two early bogeys, going 1-under par on the final nine at Prestwick Country Club to post a 1-over 73 and claim medalist honors. She has played Prestwick’s back nine in 3-under this week without a bogey.
“The back nine suits my game a lot better,” Klonowski said. “I feel more comfortable.”
Klonowski – who played in the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur at Prestwick and advanced to the semifinals of the 2021 Women’s Western Junior before losing to eventual champion Mara Janess – finished with a two-day total of 147. That was one better than Chloe Tarkany, of Scottsdale, Arizona.
At the end of Wednesday’s second round, the field was cut from 78 players to the top 16 for the match play portion of the event, which begins Thursday.
Tarkany followed her first-round 77 with a stellar 1-under 71. She chipped in for par on her opening hole, sparking a 2-under front nine that helped her make a huge move up the leaderboard and secure a spot in match play.
“After yesterday, I had to realize this course is tricky,” the 18-year-old said. “Everyone is going to be impacted a bit by the greens and the course, so just stay calm and stay focused.”
The other match play qualifiers include Luisamariana Mesones, of Lima, Peru, who posted a second-round 72 – one of four rounds of par or better on Wednesday. She finished at 5-over, tied with Haley Davis, of Ocala, Florida, and first-round leader Jessica Mason, of Westminster, Colorado, who followed up her opening 73 with a 76.
Samantha Brown, of Westfield, Indiana, and Maria Jose Barragan, of Morelia, Mexico, finished in a two-way tie for sixth at 6-over. At 7-over were Amelia Phung, of Forest Hills, New York; Brynn Kort, of Henderson, Nevada; and Kate Tilma, of Wichita, Kansas.
Local standout Lisa Copeland, of Naperville, Illinois, rallied from an opening 80 to shoot 72 on Wednesday. Her 8-over total was good enough to qualify for match play, along with Sayers Allen, of Spring Branch, Texas, and Lauren Pham, of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Six players finished at 9-over to get in a playoff for the final three match play spots. Audrey Rischer, of Colombia, Missouri; Kate Brody, of Grand Blanc, Michigan; and Vilda Westh Blanc, of Sweden, advanced. Westh Blanc was another player who made a big move on Wednesday, following a first-round 81 with a 72.
Four rounds of match play will determine the Women’s Western Junior champion. The Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches will be played on Thursday. The Semifinals will be played Friday morning, and the Final will be played Friday afternoon.
Klonowski – who won the Marion Miley Bracelet in 2021 for being the low stroke-play finisher across both the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Western Junior – said she feels comfortable in match play.
“I’ve played match play before, and I feel like some people make mistakes,” she said. “You just have to embrace them and take advantage.”
First played in 1920, the Women’s Western Junior is one of the oldest junior golf tournaments in the United States. Past champions include Candie Kung (1998), Christie Kerr (1994), Grace Park (1993), and Nancy Lopez (1972, 1973, 1974).
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Nancy Lopez’s historic win at the 1972 Women’s Western Junior, which was also played at Prestwick. Lopez went on to repeat as Women’s Western Junior champion in 1973 and 1974 before winning the 1976 Women’s Western Amateur and embarking on a professional career that included 51 professional wins and three major championships. Prestwick also hosted the 2020 Women’s Western Amateur, won by Canada’s Brigitte Thibault.