ADDISON, Illinois — It didn't look pretty in late April when Racine's Sarah Busey shot 82-77 in Pleasanton, California, at sectional qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open and, even she would agree, it wasn't.
There were 61 golfers competing for two spots. She made 12 bogeys, three double-bogeys and three birdies in the 36-hole event and finished in a tie for 37th place.
Tuesday was a much, much different story for Busey at U.S. Women's Amateur qualifying at The Preserve at Oak Meadow.
The rising junior at Santa Clara (Calif.) University overcame an opening bogey and shot 1-under-par 71 to tie for fourth place, earning one of the five berths to the Women's Am next month at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi.
She was the only golfer with Wisconsin ties, of the 11 in the field to advance out of Tuesday's qualifier. Wales' Abby Cavaini, a Missouri State golfer, shot even-par 72 and emerged from a playoff with second-alternate status.
Also shooting 72 were: University of Wisconsin golfer Claire Fitzgerald of Lake Worth, Florida; and UW-Green Bay golfer Isabelle Maleki of Mequon. Milton's Mia Seeman, a South Dakota State golfer, shot 73; UW golfer Alyssa Gromala of Mokena, Illinois, shot 74; UW golfers Tess Hackworthy and Bobbi Stricker of Madison shot matching 76s, Mequon's Speedy Kent, a Wofford (S.C.) golfer, shot 79; UW golfer Mackenzie Hahn of Spring Grove, Illinois, shot 81; and UW-Green Bay golfer Katie Warpinski of Green Bay shot 82.
"After having a bit of a rough time at the U.S. Open qualifier in April, my mindset was more preparation based," Busey wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.golf. "I really made sure I felt my way around the course prior to (Tuesday) and I think overall that helped me get into more of a competitive mode from the start. ... It means so much to be able to qualify for such a prestigious event. I could not be more excited to experience this!"
Busey got there by shaking off a bogey on the 362-yard first hole where she hooked her drive and it came to rest directly behind a tree on a root. "So, to be honest, I was happy with a bogey there," she wrote.
From there, Busey played the final eight holes of the front nine in 2-under to turn in 1-under 35. She birdied the 497-yard, par-5 fifth hole and the 146-yard eighth hole and knew there were more where those came from.
"The course was in great shape and really set up well for my game, especially when it came to attacking pins on approaches," Busey wrote. "I think some of the pin positions made the course fairly scorable (Tuesday). ... I try my best to focus always on the next shot and stay aggressive when I’m out there, especially during one round events.
"Obviously, I know I’m very capable of making birdies, so a bogey here and there was/is nothing to worry about."
True to her word, Busey bounced back from a bogey on the par-3 10th with a birdie on the par-4 12th. She did it again on No. 15, birdieing the 492-yard, par-5 after a bogey on the 360-yard 14th hole.
"I made two 18 to 20 foot birdie putts; the rest I just capitalized on good approach shots," Busey wrote. "I will say though, my shot of the day was probably my 10 footer to save par on the last hole. That ball was in as soon as it left the putter face and in the back of my mind I knew I needed to make it to be in contention."
Then came the hard part. Playing in the third group out, Busey had to wait for 17 other groups to finish before learning he had made it to her first Women's Amateur.
"I had to wait a pretty long time for the results," Busey wrote. "It got a little nerve racking towards the end, but ultimately I knew I had done all I could to qualify and I’m happy that my 71 was good enough to take me to Mississippi!!"
TOP FIVE ADVANCE TO U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
AUG. 5-11 | OLD WAVERLY CC-West Point, Miss.
|T1||* Gianchandani, Ami||Watchung, NJ||F*||-2||70|
|T1||* Kim, Auston||St Augustine, FL||F*||-2||70|
|T1||* Dow, Courtney||Frisco, TX||F||-2||70|
|T4||* Busey, Sarah||Racine, WI||F||-1||71|
|T4||* Potter-Bobb, Julia||Indianapolis, IN||F||-1||71|
|FAILED TO QUALIFY|
|T6||Matsubara, Kaho Monica alt||Evanston, IL||F*||E||72|
|T6||Cavaiani, Abby alt||Wales, WI||F||E||72|
|T6||Stasil, Elyse||Chesterton, IN||F||E||72|
|T6||Fitzgerald, Claire||Lake Mary, FL||F||E||72|
|T6||Macioce, Ariana||Phoenix, AZ||F*||E||72|
|T6||Maleki, Isabelle||Mequon, WI||F*||E||72|
|T6||Lu, Jing Wen||Evanston, IL||F*||E||72|
|T13||Lee, Haeri||Buffalo Grove, IL||F||+1||73|
|T13||Seeman, Mia||Milton, WI||F||+1||73|
|T13||Moritz, Hadley||Wheaton, IL||F||+1||73|
|T13||Lau, Stephanie||Fullerton, CA||F*||+1||73|
|T13||Miestowski, Alexis||Schererville, IN||F||+1||73|
|T18||Gromala, Alyssa||Mokena, IL||F||+2||74|
|T18||Arnold, Sarah||Saint Charles, IL||F||+2||74|
|T18||Sulkar, Reena||Barrington Hills, IL||F||+2||74|
|T21||Hackworthy, Tess||Madison, WI||F||+4||76|
|T21||Singh, Arushi||Naperville, IL||F*||+4||76|
|T21||Stricker, Bobbi||Madison, WI||F*||+4||76|
|T21||Snyder, Alisa||Ann Arbor, MI||F*||+4||76|
|T21||Su, Kelly||Scottsdale, AZ||F*||+4||76|
|T21||McGiles, Emilyee||Orland Hills, IL||F*||+4||76|
|T21||Tir, Audrey||Winnetka, IL||F*||+4||76|
|T28||Enchelmayer, Allison||Bloomington, IL||F*||+5||77|
|T28||Carpenter, Emma||Dekalb, IL||F||+5||77|
|T28||Riley, Brooke||Frisco, TX||F*||+5||77|
|T28||Lillibridge, Darby||Geneva, IL||F*||+5||77|
|T32||Acuff, Aristelle||Springfield, MO||F*||+6||78|
|T32||Black, Rebecca||Elizabethtown, KY||F*||+6||78|
|T32||Gaur, Roshannah||Hinsdale, IL||F*||+6||78|
|T32||Kucera, Amy||Riverside, IL||F*||+6||78|
|T32||Aung, Angela||Bloomington, IN||F||+6||78|
|T37||Kerr, Erica||Peoria, IL||F*||+7||79|
|T37||Hauenstein, Sarah||Wheaton, IL||F*||+7||79|
|T37||Kent, Speedy||Mequon, WI||F||+7||79|
|T37||Ciskowski, Nicole||North Barrington, IL||F||+7||79|
|T37||Asklund, Katherine||Urbana, IL||F*||+7||79|
|42||Granato, Mandi||Plainfield, IL||F*||+8||80|
|43||Hahn, Mackenzie||Spring Grove, IL||F*||+9||81|
|T44||Greenberg, Ella||Rockford, IL||F||+10||82|
|T44||Warpinski, Katelynn||Green Bay, WI||F||+10||82|
|T46||Emerzian, Elyse||Deerfield, IL||F||+12||84|
|T46||Yi, Jasmine||Arlington Heights, IL||F||+12||84|
|T48||Hansen, Nicole||Bloomingdale, IL||F*||+13||85|
|T48||Lederhausen, Jessica||Chicago, IL||F||+13||85|
|T48||Garrett, Carolina||Miami, FL||F*||+13||85|
|51||Guan, Ruqing||West Lafayette, IN||F*||+14||86|
|52||Tanaka, Hanna||Glenview, IL||F||+19||91|
|53||Mroz, Stephanie||Wood Dale, IL||F*||+22||94|