JANESVILLE — The back nine at Janesville CC was built to make golfers feel uncomfortable and, even as she held the Wisconsin State Women's Open trophy for the third year in a row Wednesday, Madison's Tess Hackworthy confirmed the finishing holes of the 124-year-old layout did its job.
The University of Wisconsin golfer bogeyed Nos. 13, 14 and 17 after a birdie at No. 12 gave her a six-stroke lead. She made a 10-foot, downhill putt for par on the final hole to close out a 3-over-par 76 and hold off Eastern Kentucky University golfer Mikayla Hauck of Cottage Grove (78) by four shots to become the third golfer to win the event three straight years, doing so with the same 36-hole total of 147 that got the job done in 2016 and 2017.
Kohler's Jenna Peters, a Symetra Tour golfer, shot 76 and tied for third at 152 with former Badgers golfer Becky Klongland (77), earning Peters low professional honors. Former UW golfer Aya Johnson (75) rounded out the top five.
"A little bit (too much drama); I was a little on edge throughout the day," Hackworthy said after joining Carolyn Barnett-Howe (2005-07) and Malinda Johnson (2008-10) as the only golfers to "three-peat" as champion. No golfer has ever won four years in a row in the 22-year history of the event.
"I just couldn't really get anything going. I stayed with it and my short game saved me quite a bit throughout the day."
Hackworthy saved most of her handiwork with her wedge game for the six holes that followed her 12-foot birdie putt on No. 12, the lone birdie on the 383-yard par-4 during the final round. That stretched her lead to six shots, until the back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14 cut it in half.
"I felt really confident coming off that (12th) hole because it was playing very long for a lot of us this week so a birdie on that felt pretty good," Hackworthy said. "The greens that I missed were the ones that cost me a couple bogeys out there. We had the line and we knew where we wanted to hit it; it was just poor execution on my part."
That changed on Nos. 15 and 16 where she also missed the greens, but managed to walk away with pars.
She flipped a pitch shot from right of the green on the par-5 15th hole to within a foot and saved par. Her chip from off the green on the par-3 16th hole rolled out about 6 feet past the cup, but she made the come-backer to save par.
"I think both back-to-back (were big)," Hackworthy said. "The one on the par 3 was pretty big because I had a downhill slope there so I had to stop the ball a decent distance (from the cup). I didn't have an easy putt coming back, so to make that gave me momentum."
Klongland, her closest pursuer at the time, knocked herself out the running on No. 17 when her drive came to rest on the side of the 18th tee. It took her three more shots to reach the green and then a slippery putt from above the cup led to a three-putt and a triple-bogey 7.
On the same hole, Hauck nearly stuffed her approach shot within a foot for a kick-in birdie. That was the highlight-reel moment for a soon-to-be-married college junior who played her final six holes in 1-under and — just two years after finishing dead-last in this event at Mascoutin GC in Berlin — posted her best finish.
"I think it says I've matured my game a lot," Hauck said. "When a rough patch comes, I can turn it around and not pack it in."
For Hackworthy, one year after surviving a playoff with former UW golfer Jessie Gerry, she walked away proud for extending her reign another year.
"It means a lot; it's been a competitive field all three years," Hackworthy said. "I'm really happy that I'm able to compete with all of them and they all put up a really good fight as well. So we have a lot of fun out here."
|1||Tess Hackworthy Madison, WI||+3||F||+1||71||76||147|
|2||Mikayla Hauck Cottage Grove, WI||+5||F||+5||73||78||151|
|T3||Jenna Peters (p) Kohler, WI||+3||F||+6||76||76||152|
|T3||Rebecca Klongland Stoughton, WI||+4||F||+6||75||77||152|
|5||Aya Johnson Madison, WI||+2||F||+7||78||75||153|
|6||Mia Seeman Milton, WI||+5||F||+9||77||78||155|
|7||Taylor McCorkle Oregon, WI||+5||F||+11||79||78||157|
|T8||Carly Werwie (p) Kenosha, WI||+6||F||+12||79||79||158|
|T8||Emily Lauterbach Hartland, WI||+9||F||+12||76||82||158|
|T10||Jo Baranczyk Green Bay, WI||+7||F||+13||79||80||159|
|T10||Julie Pyne Van Hoosen (p) Green Bay, WI||+7||F||+13||79||80||159|
|T10||Grace Dunn Milwaukee, WI||+9||F||+13||77||82||159|
|T13||Allison Schultz Verona, WI||+5||F||+14||82||78||160|
|T13||Ashley Kulka Beaver Dam, WI||+6||F||+14||81||79||160|
|15||Alexis Thomas Middleton, WI||+6||F||+16||83||79||162|
|16||Rachel Montaba (p) Plymouth, WI||+6||F||+18||85||79||164|
|T17||Ashley Hofmeister New Berlin, WI||+6||F||+19||86||79||165|
|T17||Lorenza Martinez Menomonee Falls, WI||+8||F||+19||84||81||165|
|T17||Aimee Gerschke South Milwaukee, WI||+9||F||+19||83||82||165|
|T17||Sammi Grunder Manitowoc, WI||+9||F||+19||83||82||165|
|T17||CheyAnn Knudsen Milton, WI||+10||F||+19||82||83||165|
|T17||Margaret Leef Pewaukee, WI||+11||F||+19||81||84||165|
|T23||Kate Engler Beloit, WI||+6||F||+20||87||79||166|
|T23||Brittany McNett-Emmerich (p) Fitchburg, WI||+9||F||+20||84||82||166|
|25||Taitum Beck Waterford, WI||+10||F||+21||84||83||167|
|T26||Ashli Stolen Stoughton, WI||+9||F||+23||87||82||169|
|T26||Rachel Kauflin Wauwatosa, WI||+17||F||+23||79||90||169|
|T28||Katie Warpinski Green Bay, WI||+12||F||+24||85||85||170|
|T28||Sarah Balding Brookfield, WI||+12||F||+24||85||85||170|
|T28||Speedy Kent Mequon, WI||+15||F||+24||82||88||170|
|T31||Sarah DeKraay Madison, WI||+9||F||+25||89||82||171|
|T31||Payton Hodson Middleton, WI||+13||F||+25||85||86||171|
|T31||Lindsay Koth Madison, WI||+14||F||+25||84||87||171|
|T34||Anouska Siva Brookfield, WI||+12||F||+26||87||85||172|
|T34||Bobbi Stricker Madison, WI||+15||F||+26||84||88||172|
|T36||Katie Gastrau Wauwatosa, WI||+14||F||+30||89||87||176|
|T36||Rebekah Donner Neenah, WI||+16||F||+30||87||89||176|
|T36||Elise Hoven Grafton, WI||+17||F||+30||86||90||176|
|T36||Taylor Hakala Milton, WI||+19||F||+30||84||92||176|
|T36||Melissa Biesmann Fitchburg, WI||+19||F||+30||84||92||176|
|T41||Courtney Matschke Franklin, WI||+15||F||+31||89||88||177|
|T41||Pat Roisum Deerfield, WI||+16||F||+31||88||89||177|
|T41||Sydney Hubbard Onalaska, WI||+20||F||+31||84||93||177|
|44||Holly Murphy Lake Geneva, WI||+15||F||+32||90||88||178|
|45||Kalynn Dolby (p) Berlin, WI||+11||F||+33||95||84||179|
|T46||Ellyn Subak Janesville, WI||+15||F||+34||92||88||180|
|T46||Emily Grunder Pardeeville, WI||+19||F||+34||88||92||180|
|T48||Sydney Steinmetz Oshkosh, WI||+14||F||+35||94||87||181|
|T48||Mari Suokko Sturtevant, WI||+20||F||+35||88||93||181|
|T48||Isabelle Maleki Mequon, WI||+20||F||+35||88||93||181|
|51||Faith Krause Franklin, WI||+16||F||+37||94||89||183|
|T52||Katie Falk Milwaukee, WI||+18||F||+38||93||91||184|
|T52||Sophia Dooman Janesville, WI||+18||F||+38||93||91||184|
|T52||Sabrina Schreck New Berlin, WI||+19||F||+38||92||92||184|
|55||Sydney Brown Eau Claire, WI||+19||F||+40||94||92||186|
|56||Caylie Kotlowski Stoughton, WI||+21||F||+42||94||94||188|
|57||Emily Balding Brookfield, WI||+22||F||+44||95||95||190|
|58||Lauren Shorter Fitchburg, WI||+21||F||+47||99||94||193|
|59||Markie Ash Waupaca, WI||+21||F||+49||101||94||195|
|60||Margaret Warrner Lakewood, WI||+25||F||+51||99||98||197|
|61||Grace Welch Madison, WI||+24||F||+52||101||97||198|
|T62||Courtney Shorter Fitchburg, WI||+24||F||+53||102||97||199|
|T62||Sydney Maule Appleton, WI||+25||F||+53||101||98||199|
|64||Samantha Soulier Waunakee, WI||+33||F||+60||100||106||206|