COLUMBIA — After Chelsea Schriewer’s first two rounds tied her for the lead at the Missouri Women’s Golf Association's Amateur Championship, she said she would be able to shoot a 5-under-par 67 at The Club at Old Hawthorne. In Thursday’s final round, Schriewer exceeded her own expectations, shooting a 66 to tie the course record and win the Amateur Championship by 12 strokes.
Two eagles highlighted Schriewer’s round. The first, at the par-5 ninth hole, gave her a 5-stroke lead as she started the back nine. The second was a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole, the first in Schriewer’s career.
1. Chelsea Schriewer - St. Charles - 71-71-66--208
2. Alisha Matthews - St. Louis - 72-70-78--220
T3. Katrina Choate - Fenton - 76-73-75--225
T3. Ellen Port - St. Louis - 76-73-75--224
5. Mindy Bullard-Coyle - Columbia - 80-73-77--230
6. Naomi Starr - Columbia - 80-73-77--232
7. Carolyin Schorgl - Leawood - 82-71-80--233
8. Lindsey Haupt - St. Louis - 81-77-77--235
T9. Hanule Seo - Chesterfield - 80-80-76--236
T9. Kelly Osbourne - Ballwin - 81-78-77--236
10. Kristen Hamel - 78-82-77--237
The 16th was playing at 125 yards on Thursday, with a dangerous hole location at the front of the green. A cautious shot would leave a player’s ball short of the green, and Schriewer, even though she was up by 8 strokes, elected to play aggressively.
Schriewer used a pitching wedge to hit the ball past the pin. It landed 10 feet past the hole but rode the slope of the green back towards the cup. The ball trickled to the edge of the hole, and gently fell in.
The shot sent Schriewer's cheering brigade of family and friends into a frenzy, and gave Schriewer an insurmountable lead heading into the last two holes.
“We (Schriewer and her caddy John Utley) were debating to hit pitching wedge, or something that would hit it a bit shorter, but we ended up deciding on the pitching wedge, and it went exactly as we planned,” Schriewer said. “Execution was absolutely perfect on that one.”
Schriewer entered the final round on Thursday tied with Alisha Matthews of St. Louis. In the final round, Matthews was hampered by back pain when she took full swings. Matthews, who plays at the University of Southern Illinois, said her back pain was not the reason for her 78 on Thursday.
“It just wasn’t meant to be,” she said. “I’m not going to complain or blame the back. There wasn’t much I could do. I mean, Chelsea’s hole-in-one was awesome to witness, but all I could do was throw up my hands and say ‘that’s nice.'”
Matthews’ putting, which carried her to the top of the leader board after two rounds, abandoned her on Thursday. Matthews was only able to make one birdie in her final round. Without her short game, she was unable to keep up with the dominant play of Schriewer, who shot the best round of her competitive career.
Travis McCubbin, head golf professional at The Club at Old Hawthorne, said Schriewer's score speaks volumes about how Schriewer was playing.
"We have more than a handful of 66s, but that was probably one of the top five rounds ever to be shot on this course," he said. "With the two eagles, it's definitely up there."
In the final threesome, reserved for the leaders, Schriewer had the responsibility to keep Matthews’ score. Schriewer said she didn’t want to slow down and play passively through the final few holes.
“I kind of knew what she was doing, but I wasn’t focusing too hard on that. But after a while I realized I might be able to relax and enjoy myself,” said Schriewer, a former MU golfer. “It was nice, especially to be home. Columbia is my second home, and to win a tournament here is great.”
Naomi Starr, a recent graduate of Southern Boone High School, finished the tournament with the best score among all junior competitors. Starr admitted that her golf game was not at its best heading into the tournament, and she didn’t at all expect to finish in the top 10 or win her age group.
“I was really surprised,” Starr said. “I’ve never won an MWGA event. This is the first year I’ve even competed in the Amateur Championship.”
Starr, who will attend William Woods University in the fall, said that her performance this week raises her expectations for future tournaments.
“My putting was amazing this week. That’s what gave me the low scores,” Starr said. “Heading into the Optimist tournament next week, (The Optmist International Junior Golf Championship in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) hopefully I can continue my good play there.”
It was Schriewer's second consecutive, but last Missouri Women's Amateur Championship. Schriewer will play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship starting Aug. 3 in St. Louis, and will turn professional soon thereafter. Schriewer will start the qualification process to join the Duramed Futures Tour, a developmental tour of the LPGA. Schriewer will start in the qualification school, nicknamed the Q-School, in November.