FRANKFORT, Ill. (June 23, 2022) – A year ago, Audrey Rischer was struggling through her first appearance at the Women’s Western Junior. Her second visit couldn’t be going better.

The 17-year-old from Columbia, Missouri, won both of her matches at Prestwick Country Club on Thursday, advancing to the semifinals of the 95th Women’s Western Junior.

“I just have a lot more confidence in my game from last year compared to this year,” said Rischer, who shot 78-83 in 2021 to miss the match play cut. “That was one of the first big tournaments I’d ever really played in. Now I feel like I’m more comfortable in tougher fields like this.”

Rischer dispatched Chloe Tarkany, of Scottsdale, Arizona, 5 and 4 in her first match on Thursday morning, then outlasted Kate Tilma, of Wichita, Kansas, 1 up in the afternoon. She won four straight holes to start the back nine against Tilma, turning a 1-down deficit into a commanding 3-up lead.

Rischer worked through a muscle injury near her ribs that made it difficult to swing during her morning warm-up session. She got treatment from a trainer and iced the injury between matches.

“I’m trying to get some good rest tonight, and I feel like that will help me a lot,” she said. “I’m exhausted.”

She’ll face 14-year-old Lisa Copeland, of Naperville, Illinois, in the semifinals on Friday morning. Copeland has her own reasons to be exhausted after beating Samantha Brown of Westfield, Indiana, in 21 holes in the morning and outlasting Luisamariana Mesones, of Lima, Peru, 1 up in the afternoon.

She was 4-up through seven holes against Brown before Brown fought back to force extra holes.

“I was a bit disappointed with how I played the back nine in the morning match,” Copeland said. “ But I knew to just stick to my routine and stay calm.”

Medalist Addison Klonowski, of Naples, Florida, defeated Kate Brody, of Grand Blanc, Michigan, 2 and 1 in the morning. She beat Brynn Kort, of Henderson, Nevada, by the same score in the afternoon to advance to her second consecutive Women’s Western Junior semifinal.

The 17-year-old 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 – will face 18-year-old Jessica Mason, of Westminster, Colorado, on Friday morning.

Mason earned her spot in the semifinals by beating Sayers Allen, of Spring Branch, Texas, 1 up in the morning, and Lauren Pham, of Las Vegas, Nevada, 5 and 3 in the quarterfinals. The Pomona College commit lost the second hole of her match against Pham but didn’t drop another hole, winning Nos. 4, 7, 9 and 11 to take control of the match.

Klonowski and Mason will tee off at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, with Rischer and Copeland following at 7:40 a.m.

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.

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Match Play Results

Sweet 16
Addison Klonowski, Naples, Fla., def. Kate Brody, Grand Blanc, Mich., 2 and 1
Brynn Kort, Henderson, Nev., def. Amelie Phung, Forest Hills, N.Y., 6 and 4
Lauren Pham, Las Vegas, Nev., def. Haley Davis, Ocala, Fla., 2 and 1
Jessica Mason, Westminster, Colo., def. Sayers Allen, Spring Branch, Texas, 1 up
Audrey Rischer, Columbia, Mo., def. Chloe Tarkany, Scottsdale, Az., 5 and 4
Kate Tilma, Wichita, Kan., def. Maria Jose Barragan, Morelia, Mexico, 2 and 1
Luisamariana Mesones, Lima, Peru, def. Vilda Westh Blanc, Sweden, 21 holes
Lisa Copeland, Naperville, Ill., def. Samantha Brown, Westfield, Ind., 21 holes

Klonowski def. Kort, 2 and 1
Mason def. Pham, 5 and 3
Rischer def. Tilma, 1 up
Copeland def. Mesones, 1 up

Friday, June 24
Klonowski vs. Mason, 7:30 a.m.
Rischer vs. Copeland, 7:40  a.m.