AYA JOHNSON 4.jpg

The University of Wisconsin women’s golf program will be well-represented in the California sun at the 117th U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego CC in early August.

And the Badgers might not be done sending golfers out west just quite yet.

Senior-to-be Aya Johnson of Muskegon, Michigan, and junior-to-be Tess Hackworthy, the two-time Wisconsin Women’s State Open champion from Madison, each won qualifiers Thursday in Michigan and Illinois, respectively. Senior-to-be Gabby Curtis of Altoona will attempt to join them next week at qualifying at Prestwick GC in Woodbury, Minnesota.

Qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Am continues throughout the country through July 17. Johnson and Hackworthy will be part of a 156-player field for the championship, which begins Aug. 7 and 8 with stroke-play qualifying before the top 64 finisher advance to match play, which runs Aug. 9 through 13 in Chula Vista, California.

At the Michigan qualifier at Moors GC in Portage, Johnson was a study in consistency. She birdied No. 3 and bogeyed No. 4 in the middle of seven pars to make the turn in even-par 36 and then bogeyed the par-3 13th only to birdie the par-3 15th amid seven pars to shoot 36 on the back nine. Her even-par 72 was good for a one-stroke victory over Farmers Branch’s Julia Gregg in the 41-golfer field competing for just four spots at San Diego CC.

For Johnson, winning the qualifier was a huge step in her recovery from back injuries that kept her out of action for the Badgers the past two seasons. She first sustained a herniated disc in her back lifting weights, requiring surgery, and returned for the Wisconsin Women’s State Open a year ago and played again last fall before the injury flared up, forcing rest.

Her first competitive round this summer was the recent U.S. Women’s Open qualifier at Muskegon CC, where she shot 77-75 and missed earning one of two spots by nine shots.

“I wasn’t expecting a second injury,” Johnson told mlive.com after the Women’s Open qualifier. “After that, I was beat up, but decided to take the recovery a little slower. Hopefully, I’m healed now and healthy and ready to go.” 

Hackworthy, meanwhile, continued her exceptional play this summer during qualifying at the Bridges of Poplar near Chicago. She had four birdies and three bogeys in her round and shared medalist honors with Northwestern sophomore-to-be Stephanie Lau.

UW’s Becky Klongland, who will be a senior this fall for the Badgers, earned first-alternate status after losing a four-for-two playoff for the final spots and then edging Hadley Walts of Evansville, Indiana, for the alternate order.

Incoming Badgers freshman Alyssa Gromala of Mokena, Illinois, and incoming junior Jessica Reinecke of Verona shot 77s and tied for 20th. Incoming freshman Mackenzie Hahn was disqualified, though a reason was not given on the Chicago District Golf Association website.

Appleton’s Mikayla Smith, a Xavier (Ohio) golfer coming off her second straight victory at the WWSGA State Match Play Championship, shot 80 and tied for 38th. Weber State- bound Taitum Beck of Waterford finished 58th after shooting an 88.

Illinois qualifier

Pos  PlayerClub/HometownThruRoundTotal
T1   *  Hackworthy, TessMadison, WIF*-169
T1  *  Lau, StephanieEvanston, ILF*-169
T3   *  Walsh, KileyMt. Prospect, ILF*+171
T3   *  Mao, JanetJohns Creek, GAF*+171
T5   *  Deng, JingfanShanghai,F+272
T5   *  Albrecht, EmmaOrmond Beach, FLF*+272
FAILED TO QUALIFY
T5   Klongland, Rebecca  altStoughton, WIF+272
T5    Walts, Hadley  altEvansville, INF*+272
T9    Bouraeda, MalakSouthlake, TXF*+373
T9  Singhsumalee, BingNaperville, ILF+373
T9   Heck, RachelMemphis, TNF+373
T12   Matsubara, Kaho MonicaSan Diego, CAF*+575
T12   Bonanno, SabrinaNorridge, ILF+575
T12   Heck, AbigailMemphis, TNF*+575
T15   Lee, HaeriBuffalo Grove, ILF+676
T15   Bostler, BaileyLake In The Hills, ILF*+676
T15   Plata, ValeryFloridablanca,F*+676
T15   Beaudreau, LaurenLemont, ILF+676
T15   Valdes, Ana PaulaClemson, SCF+676
T20   Miestowski, AlexisSchererville, INF*+777
T20   Gromala, AlyssaMokena, ILF+777
T20   Hauenstein, SarahWheaton, ILF+777
T20   Reinecke, JessicaVerona, WIF+777
T20   May, LindsayAuburn, NYF+777
T20   Macioce, ArianaPhoenix, AZF+777
T20   Thiele, HaleyWahoo, NEF*+777
T27   Dodovich, LindsayChicago, ILF*+878
T27   Curran, GraceNew Lenox, ILF*+878
T27   Tir, PenelopeWinnetka, ILF*+878
T27   Lillie, KateSt. Charles, ILF+878
T27   Camarena, SaraAustin, TXF+878
T27   Zeng, SelinaOak Brook, ILF*+878
T27   Harkins, AlexandraCrystal Lake, ILF+878
T27   McCulloch, LouiseWilmette, ILF+878
T35   Singh, ArushiNaperville, ILF+979
T35   Smith, CarolineInverness, ILF+979
T35   Olberding, AllisonDes Moines, IAF+979
T38   Smith, MikaylaAppleton, WIF*+1080
T38   Sterling, KellyMokena, ILF*+1080
T38   Furrie, ArianaSt. Charles, ILF*+1080
T38   Bouvet, VanessaBandar Seri Begawan,F+1080
T38   Sulkar, ReenaBarrington, ILF+1080
43   Netisingha, HannaCarol Stream, ILF*+1181
T44 Kucera, AmyRiverside, ILF+1282
T44   Bennett, StephanieSpringfield, ILF+1282
T46   Ji, KeyiAuckland,F+1383
T46   Lee, JessicaOak Brook, ILF*+1383
T46   Kieffer, EmmaMount Carmel, ILF*+1383
T46   Albrecht, ClaireOrmond Beach, FLF*+1383
T46   Kochevar, BrookeGlen Ellyn, ILF*+1383
51   Kil, GraceArlington Heights, ILF+1484
T52   Olberding, EricaDes Moines, IAF*+1585
T52   Abdullah, IsabellaHinsdale, ILF+1585
T52   Chapman, SiennaRacine, WIF+1585
T52   Mroz, StephanieWood Dale, ILF*+1585
T52   Ruffels, GabrielaMelbourne,F*+1585
57   Rutkowski, NinaPark Ridge, ILF+1686
58   Beck, TaitumWaterford, WIF+1888
-    Carpenter, EmmaDekalb, IL-DQ-
-    Hahn, MackenzieSpring Grove, IL-DQ-

Michigan qualifier

  Last NameFirst NameHometownOutInTotal 
1JohnsonAyaMuskegon363672Medalist
2GreggJuliaFarmers Branch343973Qualified
3KimYu KyungBenowa353974Qualified
 ShepherdEricaGreenwood344074Qualified
 WinElizabethSylvania3539741st Alternate
6HernandezClairePalgrave3739762nd Alternate
 JohnsonNatalieClinton Twp383876 
 SearKelseyUnionville364076 
9RattanaCiaraWestern Springs374077 
 OtterCheriseBloomington383977 
11TanidaYurikaE Lansing403878 
12GreulichKylieHuron384179 
13PermannBrettFrisco364480 
 LongNikkiSan Antonio423880 
 PendyLilyGrosse Pte Farms404080 
 ParadisAudreyBlainville404080 
17WilcoxsonAnnaSouth Bend404181 
 NageotteAliWestlake364581 
 BowserElaynaDearborn414081 
 FoxMacyMarble Falls384381 
 OtterLoganSaint Peters394281 
 McDougallKelseyCanton344781 
23EmerzianElyseDeerfield414182 
 CantoCarliaMarysville404282 
 ChampionJuliaMarkham404282 
 PancakeAnnabelleZionsville384482 
27NolteBrookeMelissa394483 
 LeigebAllisonLexington414283 
 KellstromSamanthaAnn Arbor404383 
 Lee PingKarynBrampton414283 
 HerPaderLansing414283 
 LongAlexisDublin404383 
33ParadisLoryBlainville434184 
 ColluraChelseaRiverview404484 
 MitchellMoragIngersoll424284 
36HarperKateIsle Of Palms404585 
37JhaShikhaTroy434487 
38MitchellGraceIngersoll414990

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