Maggie Leef will spend next week making sure everyone is playing by the rules at the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship in West Point, Mississippi, as a USGA rules official covering the event.
"After that, I've cleared my schedule to practice and get prepared for the championship in Iowa," Leef wrote Thursday in a text message to Wisconsin.golf.
The championship in Iowa would be the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and, this time, she will be among those competing.
Leef earned the chance to compete in the championship for women age 55 and older by making her only birdie of the day Tuesday on the first playoff hole at Glenview Park Golf Club in Glenview, Illinois, and surviving a 4-for-2 playoff for the last of five berths at sectional qualifying for the Senior Women's Am, which is Aug. 24 through 29 at Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Country Club. She shot 80 to finish in a tie for fourth place, two strokes off the pace.
Leef followed that up by qualifying Thursday at Westmoor CC in Brookfield for the U.S. Women's Mid Amateur. She will tee it up in her 27th career USGA championship Sept. 14 through 19 at Forest Highland Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz.
"(Wednesday) was a fun day," Leef wrote. "I had my favorite caddie on the bag ... my husband Jim! He knows how to 'speak Maggie' and helped with shot choices, adjusting to shifting winds, bouncing fairways and greens and the pressure of a USGA qualifier."
Leef, a Wisconsin Golf Hall of Famer, reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 Senior Women's Am and last played in 2016. However, the last few years, Leef has fed her love for golf as a rules official for Wisconsin State Golf Association, USGA and WIAA events.
In the last two weeks, for example, Leef went from working for the USGA at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in Stevens Point to competing in the Badger Mutual Insurance Women's Amateur at Brown Deer Park Golf Course at the start of this week. She finished in a tie for sixth place after rounds of 80 and 76.
"It’s been a different golf season for me," Leef wrote. "I am volunteering more for the WSGA and the USGA. I have not found a good balance between volunteering (giving back) and devoting enough time to practice. My game has been a bit inconsistent as a result.
"I felt a bit rusty heading into the Badger Mutual Insurance Brown Deer Women’s Am. Spending last week in Stevens Point at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship was a great experience. Diving in and playing two days against a strong competitive field definitely helped tighten my game for the qualifier."
And now Leef couldn't be more excited about her schedule the rest of the month.
"I am thrilled to be going back to the Senior Women's Am," wrote Leef, who failed to qualify each of the last two years. "I am looking forward to playing another Donald Ross design. I love old courses and I'm looking forward to seeing many friends I've made playing in USGA Championships."
Leigh Klasse qualifies in Minnesota
Leigh Klasse of Cumberland will join Leef at the U.S. Senior Women's Am in Cedar Rapids. Klasse shot 73 at Island View GC in Waconia, Minnesota, to earn medalist honors by five strokes and claim the only Women's Senior Am spot available in the six-player field.
|1||* Sheehan, Maureen||Grayslake, IL||F||+8||78|
|T2||* Lederhausen, Jessica||Chicago, IL||F||+9||79|
|T2||* Dofflemyer, Hui Chong||Belvidere, IL||F||+9||79|
|T4||* Leef, Maggie||Pewaukee, WI||F||+10||80|
|T4||* Wilson, Janice||Flagler Beach, FL||F||+10||80|
|FAILED TO QUALIFY|
|T4||Coleman, Monica alt||Long Grove, IL||F||+10||80|
|T4||Zorich, Marianne alt||Lake Forest, IL||F||+10||80|
|8||Stolarik, Deanne||Zion, IL||F||+11||81|
|9||Wells, Sydney||Menominee, MI||F||+12||82|
|T10||Weiss Donnelley, Robin||Lake Forest, IL||F||+13||83|
|T10||Schwarz, Jackie||Huntley, IL||F||+13||83|
|T12||Bakaitis, Rima||Chicago, IL||F||+14||84|
|T12||Bassetto, Alison||Naperville, IL||F||+14||84|
|T14||Penn, Heather||Northfield, IL||F||+15||85|
|T14||Cavanaugh, Meg||Northbrook, IL||F||+15||85|
|T14||Falk, Katie||Milwaukee, WI||F||+15||85|
|17||Sievers, Lucy||Wilmette, IL||F||+16||86|
|T18||Dickerson, Kim||Palatine, IL||F||+17||87|
|T18||Prchal, Mary||Glenview, IL||F||+17||87|
|20||Kroemer, D’Anne||Clinton, IA||F||+21||91|
|21||Hammitt, Susie||Cincinnati, OH||F||+24||94|
|22||Wciorka, Claudia||Chicago, IL||F||+29||99|