5th SCGA Women's Amateur Championship
USC'S ALYAA ABDULLGHANY TAKES TITLE AS SOLO UNDER-PAR FINISH
In a championship that had a U.S. Open feel all week, it was the hometown kid, USC’s Alyaa Abdulghany who emerged from the crowded leaderboard as the SCGA Women’s Amateur Champion. Eight players finished within five strokes of the lead at Newport Beach CC, but it was Abdulghany’s final round 2-under 69, which included three birdies in her last six holes, that catapulted her to the top of the podium.
After matching second round 3-under 68s, Brooke Seay and Katherine Muzi were tied for the lead heading into the final day. However, down the stretch, the duo began to fade. Seay suffered a bogey on No. 9 after a short missed putt, and then posted a double bogey on the par-4 14th. She bounced back with a birdie on No. 17 but it was too late. Meanwhile, Muzi opened the final round with an eagle on No. 3 to take the outright lead but it was all downhill from there as she posted six bogeys coming in.
As the top of the leaderboard made the turn on the final day, Seay, Muzi and Zoe Campos were all tied for the lead at even par. Abdulghany was lurking at 2-over, but well within striking distance.
Campos began the final day with an incredible eagle on No. 3, followed by a birdie on No. 5 to make the turn in 3-under. She plotted her way around the back-nine with only a single blemish on No. 16 when she was unable to get up-and-down from short of the green.
On that fateful back-nine, Abdulghany caught fire. After opening with a disappointing bogey on No. 10, the junior from USC turned on the jets and sprinted to the finish.
“I struggled on the front nine all week,” said Abdulghany. “So I knew the back nine would be my strong suit today.”
She birdied the tough No. 13, an into-the-wind par-3 that didn’t yield many red figures on the day. The Newport Beach native, playing minutes from home, then fired in a birdie on the par-5 15th before heading to the 150-yard par-3 No. 17.
“It was a perfect number,” said Abdulghany. “It couldn’t have worked any better. It was 150 yards and I love that distance so I told myself to go for it.”
After a substantial wait on the tee box, Abdulghany confidently stepped to the tee and laced an iron to within 6 feet for a kick-in birdie and all but slammed the door shut. Abdulghany played the par-5 18th perfectly and set herself up for a tap-in par to seal the deal.
Abdulghany was the only player in the field to finish the championship under par. Joining the likes of Stanford’s Andrea Lee (winner in 2015, 2017), UCLA’s Lilia Vu (2016) and Pepperdine’s Alexa Melton (2018), Abdulghany was initiated into esteemed company with the victory.