This part, we have to say up front. So, please, read this part:
A championship this consistently great with an elite field like the Women’s North & South Amateur, any player entered is capable of winning the coveted Putter Boy trophy.
So, yes, we’re going to list a few names that we like to call “contenders” for the 118th playing of the Women’s North & South. Thing is, the entire field is made up of contenders. Eleven of the last 17 Women’s North & South champs have gone on to earn LPGA Tour status. The reason it’s not even more than that? Because the most recent champions haven’t really had the opportunity to turn pro yet. Last year’s winner, Gabriela Ruffels, went on to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur a month after winning in Pinehurst.
So, with all of that said, we’ll highlight a few players. And if you skipped the above to get to this line, then, again, please stop and read above.
OK, on to a few well-known names in the field of the 118th Women’s North & South Amateur, which begins with stroke play rounds on Pinehurst Nos. 2 and 4 for Tuesday and Wednesday before shifting Thursday to No. 2 for match play for the top 32 seeds.
Isabella Fierro won the 2017 Women’s North & South Amateur
Isabella Fierro – Sure, there may be higher-ranked players currently in the field, but when you are a past champion in the North & South and you return, you are a player to watch closely. Also, it isn’t like Fierro doesn’t have game – she has a lot of it, having won the South American Amateur, the Mexican Amateur and advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She is the only Mexican-born player to win the North & South.
Wake Forest’s Emilia Migliaccio tees off on the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 during the 2019 Women’s North & South Amateur.
Emilia Migliaccio – The Wake Forest senior from Cary, NC, is the top-ranked player in the field, ranked 5th in the world currently. Migliaccio reached the semifinals of the North & South a year ago and even in the Covid-shortened season at Wake Forest, won once and finished among the Top 25 in all seven tournament’s she played. Migliaccio has been named to three Arnold Palmer Cup teams, only the second American to do so.
Alexa Pano (Photo by USGA)
Alexa Pano – If you’ve ever followed the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst, then you already know Pano’s name. But her game continues to mature. Ranked 19th in the world – and as the No. 2 junior golfer – the 15-year-old was the youngest player in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2019 and the youngest player in the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open. Two years ago, she nearly won a Symetra Tour event. Look out.
Gina Kim – The Duke junior had a big summer of 2019, and it included a huge run at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she finished as the low amateur with rounds of 66, 72, 73 and 72 for a 1-under-par, 283, which was T12th overall. The 72-hole score of 283 was tied for the second-lowest by an amateur in U.S. Women’s Open history and her first round of 66 was the lowest 18-hole score in U.S. Open history by an amateur. Kim also tied for seventh at the Canadian Women’s Open before qualifying for match play in last year’s North & South.
Rachel Kuehn – A three-time state golf champion North Carolina and now a freshman at Wake Forest, Kuehn was named to the Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American First Team for the 2019-20 season. She became the first golfer in program history this year to win an individual title in her collegiate debut.
Nicole Adam – Never count out a local player who has a ton of experience at Pinehurst. Adam made an inspired run in her North & South debut a year ago and has been playing well entering the championship.
Again, we could list the entire field, but a few more to watch:
Erica Shepherd – 2018 U.S. Girls Junior Champion and 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Champion with Megan Furtney, who is also in the field.
Lei Ye – Reigning U.S. Girls Junior Champion.
Rachel Heck – One of the elite junior golfers for the last several years, ranked once as high as 10th in the world.
Ellen Port – Defending North & South Senior Women’s champ…3-time US Senior Women’s Amateur and 4-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Am Champ.
Ina Kim-Schaad – Current Women’s Mid-Amateur Champion.
Aneka Seumanutafa – Past North & South Junior Am Champion who made the Round of 16 last year.
Allisen Corpuz – N&S Quarterfinals in 2018 & 2019.