Women's Match Play Championship
July 10 - 12, 2023, Goose Creek GC
This Championship is open to female SCGA members with a Handicap index of 9.4 or below. Players must qualify or earn an exemption into the championship field.
The championship format is single-elimination match play.
Kate Villegas Storms Back Then Turns on the Jets
With her dad on the bag, her mom in the gallery, and four opponents in the rearview, Kate Villegas of UC Riverside claimed the title of 2022 SCGA Women’s Match Play Champion at Journey at Pechanga.
Villegas fought back from 2DOWN early in her final match against Ashely Yun to get level at the turn. And despite losing the 10th hole, the back-nine quickly became the Kate Villegas Show. Villegas immediately counterpunched on No. 11 and then her took her first lead of the match two holes later on No. 13. From there, she never gave anything back.
After extending her lead to 2UP thru 14, Villegas made one of the more clutch bogeys given the circumstances. With honors on the par-3 15th box, she hit a baby draw into the fan that bounced short of the green and back into the water. Yun would do the same thing in almost exactly the same spot. Both players dropped greenside but Yun’s chip was far tidier than Villegas’s. Undeterred, Villegas buried her putt to complete the up-and-down and guarantee herself at least a halve. After Yun cleaned up her four, Villegas’s 2UP lead was still intact despite finding the water and having twice as long a putt than Yun.
The difference was huge and it took Yun from getting right back into it—to all of a sudden being on the ropes. And after both players traded world-class birdies on No. 16—Villegas would wield the dagger on the elevated tee box of the par-3 17th when she threw an absolute dart to three-feet as Yun looked on with no recourse. Short of answering with an ace, this hard fought match was likely over. And after failing to hole-out for birdie from just over the green, Yun said to her opponent, “You’re good, Kate.” It was an incredible walk-off golf shot that Villegas and her parents will never forget.
Great golf, great sportsmanship, and a great champion who earned every bit of it.
||Journey at Pechanga|
||Mission Viejo CC|
|2019||Caroline Cantlay||Omni La Costa Resort & Spa|
|2018||Nicole Whiston||Bear Creek GC|