California Women's Amateur Championship

July 24 - 29, 2023, La Cumbre CC

The California Women’s Amateur Championship is designed for the top female amateur golfers to compete against each other for the state championship. The event utilizes 36 holes of stroke play qualifying followed by single-elimination match play for the top 32 players. Beginning in 2019, the event will be administered by the NCGA and SCGA in partnership with the CWAC Committee. The event will be conducted in Southern California for the first time in 2021 and will rotate between NorCal and SoCal venues moving forward.

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Kate Villegas Continues Stellar Summer with State Am Crown

Photos Results

It’s been a stretch nothing short of dominant for Kate Villegas, dating back to her first SCGA trophy in 2022 and culminating in her greatest achievement yet on Saturday at La Cumbre CC.

As she and her dad, who looped the course with her for six days as Villegas grinded through seven rounds, watched Lauren Sung’s par putt to keep the championship match alive lip out on the 15th hole, the moment had finally started to sink in for the rising senior at UCLA.

“It means everything,” Villegas said of winning the 57th edition of the California Women’s Amateur championship. “I honestly can’t believe I’m here. It’s been a long week but I’m so grateful to come out on top.”

Villegas, who displays a remarkably calm and composed demeanor on the course, couldn’t contain her excitement as she instructed her mother to “take a million” photos while she posed with the Helen Lengfeld Trophy.

“I think I’m just [proud of] my mentality most of all,” said Villegas. “I just really focused on taking everything one shot at a time, one day at a time and one match at a time and not letting myself get too far ahead or think of the outcome.”

Ever since she hoisted her first SCGA Women’s Match Play trophy in June of last year at Journey at Pechanga, Villegas has been on a tear. She finished runner-up in the 2023 U.S Women’s Four-Ball with her college teammate, Tiffany Le. Less than a month later, she successfully defended her Women’s Match Play crown at Goose Creek GC. Seventeen days after that, she can now call herself a California state champion, inscribing her name on the same trophy as Amy Alcott, Julie Inkster and Angel Yin.

All said, Villegas has come out on top in 17 of the last 18 matches she’s played in SCGA/USGA-sanctioned events.

“My game has really come a long way,” said Villegas. “I’m just really confident right now and I feel like I’m pretty tough to beat just because I limit my mistakes and I’m really confident in match play.”

But the latest accomplishment at La Cumbre CC was far from effortless. Following two rounds of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday, Villegas emerged as the 11th seed as the 132-player field was cut to the low 32 players for match play.

She defeated Darae Chung, who was in contention at the SCGA Women’s Amateur earlier this year, 3 & 2 to advance to the Round of 16. She followed up with a 2 & 1 win over Daniela Burgos before defeating Zoe Campos (her college teammate who set the La Cumbre CC women’s course record in the stroke play portion) 2 & 1 in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinal matchup with third-seeded Taylor Riley.

Villegas raced out to a three-hole lead through the first five and rode the wave to a comfortable 5 & 4 win to advance to the 18-hole final match on Saturday against Sung, the University of Michigan product who’d knocked out the stroke play medalist in the Round of 16.

After Sung broke the tie with a birdie on No. 2, Villegas won the next three holes with pars on three, four and five to open a two-hole advantage. Despite another birdie from Sung on No. 8 that got her one back, Villegas reclaimed her two-hole lead with another par before the turn on No. 9.

Villegas stayed consistent with pars, maintaining the cushion for four more holes. Her state title became official with two more pars on Nos. 14 and 15 that wrapped up a 4 & 3 victory.

“I knew [Sung] was a little bit of a longer hitter but I really didn’t let that affect me,” said Villegas, “I still laid up. I was just really dialed in with my wedges and my numbers because I knew pars and birdies were good.”

Villegas hit just about every fairway throughout the round, and resolutely kept her lead from the third hole onwards. Following her victory in the 2022 Women's Match Play championship, she transferred to UCLA from UC-Riverside, and as an Arcadia native, has rapidly emerged as one of Southern California's top amateurs, poised to make a significant impact in her final season as a key player for the Bruins.

“I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I’ve gained about 20 yards which is pretty awesome and I think my short game has improved as well. I think those two are the biggest things,” said Villegas. “I’m very excited. Definitely a little confidence booster and I can’t wait to start the season.”

Past Winners

Year Winner Site
2023 Kate Villegas La Cumbre CC
2022 Annika Borrelli
San Luis Obispo CC
2021 Annika Borrelli
Hacienda GC
2020 Sara Camarena
Pasatiempo GC
2019 Amari Avery
Quail Lodge & GC
2018 Ty Akabane Quail Lodge & GC
2017 Brooke Riley Quail Lodge & GC
2016 Sabrina Iqbal Quail Lodge & GC
2015 Jessica Luo Quail Lodge & GC
2014 Carmen Gutierrez Ballon Quail Lodge & GC
2013 Lauren Kim Quail Lodge & GC
2012 Angel Yin Quail Lodge & GC
2011 Jenni JenQ Quail Lodge & GC
2010 Angel Yin Quail Lodge & GC
2009 Casie Cathrea Quail Lodge & GC
2008 Jennifer Johnson Quail Lodge & GC
2007 Lynne Cowan Quail Lodge & GC
2006 Marianne Towersey Quail Lodge & GC
2005 Lynne Cowan Quail Lodge & GC
2004 Mina Harigae Quail Lodge & GC
2003 Mina Harigae Quail Lodge & GC
2002 Mina Harigae Quail Lodge & GC
2001 Mina Harigae Quail Lodge & GC
2000 Lynne Cowan Quail Lodge & GC
1999 Lynne Cowan Quail Lodge & GC
1998 Corey Weworski Quail Lodge & GC
1997 Natalie Gulbis Quail Lodge & GC
1996 Dorothy Delasin Quail Lodge & GC
1995 Leigh Casey Quail Lodge & GC
1994 Andrea Gaston Quail Lodge & GC
1993 Andrea Gaston Quail Lodge & GC
1992 Wendy Kaupp Quail Lodge & GC
1991 Amy Fruwirth Quail Lodge & GC
1990 Claudine Rubin Quail Lodge & GC
1989 Terri Melanson Quail Lodge & GC
1988 Emilee Klein Quail Lodge & GC
1987 Caroline Keggi Quail Lodge & GC
1986 Cindy Scholefield Pebble Beach GL
1985 Anne Quast Sander Pebble Beach GL
1984 Susan Tonkin Pebble Beach GL
1983 Patricia Cornett Pebble Beach GL
1982 Debbie Weldon Pebble Beach GL
1981 Juli Inkster Pebble Beach GL
1980 Mary Enright Pebble Beach GL
1979 Sally Voss Krueger Pebble Beach GL
1978 Patty Sheehan Pebble Beach GL
1977 Patty Sheehan Pebble Beach GL
1976 Marianne Bretton Pebble Beach GL
1975 Pat Cornett Pebble Beach GL
1974 Mary Elizabeth Shea Pebble Beach GL
1973 Amy Alcott Pebble Beach GL
1972 Barbara Handley Pebble Beach GL
1971 Barbara Handley Pebble Beach GL
1970 Shelley Hamlin Pebble Beach GL
1969 Shelley Hamlin Pebble Beach GL
1968 Shelley Hamlin Pebble Beach GL
1967 Shelley Hamlin Pebble Beach GL
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