Eight of the last 11.
Think about that a second.
Eight of the last 11.
Eight of the last 11 North & South Women’s Amateur champions have drawn paychecks from the LPGA Tour. The equation is near perfect. Win the North & South Am, go on to professional success at the highest level.
The number would’ve likely gone to 9 of 11, but defending champion Ally McDonald is still a college golfer and elite amateur player. And since winning the championship a year ago, she’s had a huge year. A HUGE year.
Not only that, last year’s runner-up, Cindy Feng, who turned pro after also finishing as the runner-up in the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur, was tied for 13th in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2. Her highest round was 73.
So yes, the North & South Women’s Amateur field is always deep and talented.
Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders in the 112th North & South Women’s Amateur. (Note: By no means do we think the champion will only come from this list. An example? We didn’t even have Ally McDonald listed as one of our contenders last year.)
College: Senior, Mississippi State
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: First, because the defending champion always gets top billing when she returns. Second? Because Ally McDonald might be the most accomplished player in the field. McDonald is the 3rd-ranked amateur in the world…Last tournament? The 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on Pinehurst No. 2…Competed for victorious USA Curtis Cup Team…Named First Team All-American for the second straight year…2014 included lowest single-season stroke average (71.48) and most birdies in a season (114) in school history…Finished T4 in NCAA Championship…6 Top 5s and 10 Top 25s this season…Will return for her senior season boasting the best career stroke average (72.68), most rounds in the 60’s (17), par or better rounds (51) and birdies (296) in program history…Seeking to become the first back-to-back North & South champ since Beth Bauer in 1998-99…Advanced to second round of match play at 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
College: Sophomore, UCLA
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: 11th-ranked amateur in the world, 6th-ranked in the U.S…Top-ranked collegiate player by Golfweek…Member of the victorious USA Curtis Cup team…Runner-up to Minjee Lee at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship… The following year, she reached the semifinals of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston (S.C.), where she fell to eventual champion Emma Talley…Has also played in three U.S. Women’s Open Championships (2009, 2010, 2012)…Won the 2014 Pac-12 Conference Women’s Golf Championship, becoming the first UCLA player to capture the title since Tiffany Joh, herself a Curtis Cup competitor, did so in 2007…Also won the 2013 Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invite and the Stanford Intercollegiate…Has not finished worse than T18 during her first year on campus.
College: Sophomore, Southern Cal
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: One of the top prep recruits to enter the collegiate ranks in 2013…Won SDSU Farms Invitational, shooting 74-68-66…Saw action in two events in the fall of 2013, finishing 6th at the Windy City Collegiate Championship at 1-over 214 (73-69-72) and tying for 3rd at the Stanford Intercollegiate at 5-under 208 (69-67-72) … In the summer before her first collegiate semester, Chung reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships…Also played at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Championships … 2008, 2011 and 2012 AJGA All-American first team status and was second team in 2009 and 2010 and went undefeated while representing the U.S. in the 2012 Jr. Ryder Cup.
Mexico City, Mexico
College: Junior, Arkansas
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: 3rd-ranked collegiate player by Golfweek…2014 All-SEC First-Team Selection…Won twice during sophomore season…Runner-up in SEC Championship…Recently played and made cut in LPGA Tour’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship…Played in 2013 North & South, finishing 15th in stroke play…Reached match play in 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur…2013 All-SEC Second-Team Selection…2013 SEC All-Freshman Team Selection…2013 Golfweek Honorable Mention All-American.
College: Sophomore, UC Davis
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: Played in 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2, shooting a 3-over 73 in her opening round…Finished 7th in Big West Conference Championship…5th at Juli Inkster Spartan Invite…6th at Anuenue Spring Break Classic…Appeared in 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur…Started her collegiate career with pair of top-10 finishes and three in top 20… Averaged 75.3 strokes while playing in all six tournaments… Was fourth at Golfweek Conference Challenge and T-6th at Hoosier Fall Invitational for top fall finishes… won 2013 NGCA Women’s Amateur.
College: Columbia graduate
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: 2013 North & South Am semifinalist, falling to eventual champion Ally McDonald…Earned First Team All-Ivy League honors for the third time in her career … Led the team with a scoring average of 75.14 over eight tournaments … Recorded five top-five finishes, including two wins … Started the season with a win at the Lady Bison Fall Classic after winning a…Earned second place at the Princeton Invitational with her lowest three-round total of the year…Had an outstanding performance at the Seton Hall Pirate Invitational, earning medalist honors for the second time this year, in addition to leading the Columbia contingent to their first victory of the year…Top Columbia finisher at the Ivy League Championships, tying for fourth place 2011-12 Ivy League Player of the Year.
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: One of top recruits in Class of 2015…Quarterfinalist in 2013 North & South Women’s Am…Appeared in 2012 U.S. Women’s Open at 15…Won two Junior events in 2013 to go with 6 Top 5s…Will play college golf at Georgia.
LORI BETH ADAMS
College: UNC-Wilmington graduate
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: North & South Women’s Am veteran… First-Team All-CAA selection for second consecutive season…Posted team-low 74.62 stroke average in 26 rounds played … Turned in three top-10 and two top-5 results in 10 events played…Fired career-low 68 in first round of NCAA Regional and finished event tied for 29th…Won first collegiate event with four-stroke victory at UNCW Seahawk Classic (74-71-72=217)… Named to All-Tournament Team at CAA Championship for third straight season… Advanced to Round of 32 in 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship…Finished 4th in 2013 Women’s Eastern Golf Association Amateur Championship … Ended stroke-play portion of 111th North & South Amateur (2013) tied for 20th…Advanced to quarterfinals of 110th North & South Amateur Championship (2012).
College: Florida graduate
SHE’S A CONTENDER BECAUSE: Ranked 21st in amateur world rankings…Won the 2013 Dixie Women’s Amateur…Appeared in 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship…9th in 2013 Women’s Eastern Amateur…Daughter of tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl.