If you think trying to identify the contenders of the men’s North & South Amateur is difficult, wait two weeks.
Because that’s when you can be truly humbled.
The 120th Women’s North & South Amateur begins on Tuesday. And while we’re still lingering in the wake of Luke Clanton firing at pins on Pinehurst No. 2 just a few days ago, it is the Women’s North & South that annually brings the best field of the year to Pinehurst. Just since 2003, at least 11 former champions have gone on to earn their LPGA Tour cards, including Brittany Lang, Morgan Pressel, Yani Tseng, Danielle Kang, Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Alison Lee and others. Those past champions combined account for eight majors, 30 total victories, 16 appearances in the Solheim Cup and more than $43 million in career earnings.
Gina Kim, the 2021 Champion, has already won on the Epson Tour and has virtually locked up her card for next season.
Truly, if you want to see the future of women’s golf, check out the Women’s North & South Amateur. That said, you can even see the present of the women’s golf this week.
So, here’s a look at just a few of the most notable players vying for the Putter Boy trophy this week. They are familiar today, and will most certainly be familiar in the years to come.
Then just 16, Isabella Fierro won the 2017 Women’s North & South Amateur Championship.
Rachel Kuehn and Isabella Fierro – It may be hard to believe that it’s been five years since Fierro – the first Mexican-born player to win the North & South – was urging her putts to “Vamos!” on the greens of the No. 2 on her way to a title in 2017. No matter, she remains one of college golf’s top players and an All-American, and recently transferred from Oklahoma State to Ole Miss. Fierro has played in three straight Augusta National Women’s Amateurs.
Kuehn (top photo), the reigning ACC Player of the Year at nearby Wake Forest, won the North & South in 2020 and has been one of the game’s best young players since. A First-Team All-America this year, Kuehn has been named to the Curtis Cup team in 2021 and 2022 and is a threat to win every time out.
Anna Morgan fought back as best she could in a runner-up finish at the Women’s North & South Amateur. (Photo by John Patota)
Anna Morgan – During a lengthy rain delay at the championship match of the 2021 Women’s North & South, players, caddies and tournament officials waited out a storm in Dornoch Cottage, the home of Donald Ross, just off the 3rd green of No. 2. While Gina Kim took a nap in a chair in the den, Anna Morgan and others huddled around a TV and watched The Open Championship. While Morgan didn’t prevail that day, her game certainly opened eyes, and she has continued to play inspired golf since, making the cut at the ANWA, qualifying for the U.S. Open at Pine Needles, winning twice for Furman this past season and collecting nine top 10 finishes during this season.
Amanda Sambach won the 2020 Girls’ North & South Junior.
Amanda Sambach – The last time Sambach was seen on No. 2, she was carrying the bag and reading putts for UNC’s David Ford, who made a run into match play at the men’s North & South. Sambach, the 2020 Girls’ North & South Champion, was an All-ACC selection at Virginia this year and is coming off a third-place finish in the ACC Championship and a fifth-place finish in the NCAA Regional. Sambach placed in the top 25 of nine of the 10 collegiate events she played.
Lauren Beaudreau – The top player at Notre Dame, Beaudreau won the 2016 Girls’ North & South Junior and routinely makes a run in match play at the North & South.
Emilia Migliaccio tees off on the 18th hole of Pinehurst No. 2 in the 2020 Women’s North & South Amateur.
Emilia Migliaccio – After a standout amateur career, including an ACC Championship at Wake Forest, Migliaccio…remains an amateur. Forgoing turning pro, Migliaccio has continued to be among the amateur game’s best, finishing as the runner-up in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur while working as a correspondent for Golf Channel and the USGA, among others. She is also a past semifinalist at the North & South and won the gold medal in the 2019 Pan American Games.
Tiffany Huang won the Girl’s North & South Junior a week ago in a wire-to-wire victory, and had four top-10 finishes in professional events in Taiwan a year ago, including a second-place finish in the 2021 Taiwan Mobile Women’s Open.
Megan Schofill – A top player at Auburn, Schofill reached the semifinals of the North & South a year ago and the quarterfinals in 2020, a year in which she won three times, including the Florida Amateur.
Ivy Shepherd – A recent transfer from Clemson to Kentucky, Shepherd was twice an All-ACC selection and holds three of the top 9 stroke average season records in Clemson history.
Hsin-Yu Lu – Won the Pac-12 individual championship for Oregon and was the top-ranked junior in Asia when she signed with the Ducks.