WO Handshake at finale

Grace Suter, left, shakes hands with Mia Seeman after Seeman defeated Suter on the second hole of a playoff to win the Wisconsin State Women’s Open.

GREEN LAKE – Mia Seeman was fortunate to find herself in a sudden-death playoff in the Sentry Wisconsin State Women’s Open on Wednesday. Then she did what champions do: she seized the opportunity.

Seeman, a rising senior at South Dakota State from Milton, made a brilliant par save on the first extra hole on the Links Course at Lawsonia, then drove the green on the 295-yard second and two-putted for birdie to edge 18-year-old Grace Suter of Oconomowoc and win the title.

“This is probably one of the top ones,” Seeman said when asked where the victory ranked on her list of golf accomplishments. “I think it’s my first win since the state tournament in high school, so it’s been a while. It’s nice to get one.”

The dramatic finish capped a wild final hour, in which Suter made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to take a two-stroke lead, gave it back with a double-bogey on No. 18 and then stayed alive in the playoff by nearly holing a clutch bunker shot on the first extra hole.

“It’s hard being able to back up a good round, I guess,” said Suter, who shot an opening 69 and took a three-stroke lead into the final round. “I tried my best.”

Seeman shot a 1-over 73 and finished the 36-hole tournament at 1-over 145. Suter shot a 76, but really made only three bad swings, which led to double-bogeys on Nos. 5, 10 and 18.

Before Suter built the two-shot lead with those back-to-back birdies – the latter the result of a monster drive on No. 16, followed by a perfect wedge to 3 feet – the leaderboard was up for grabs.

Early in the day, Madison’s Bobbi Stricker, who spent the weekend caddying for her uncle, Mario Tiziani, in the American Family Insurance Championship, made a move with birdies on Nos. 1, 2 and 5. But she fell back with a double-bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 7.

After that, Stricker stayed within shouting distance of the lead but couldn’t quite get over the hump. She shot an even-par 72 and tied for third at 147 with Jessica Guiser of Hartland (74).

Kayley Sjoholm, an assistant professional at Green Bay Country Club, birdied Nos. 12 and 14 to get to even-par for the tournament and briefly took the lead. But she double-bogeyed No. 15 and bogeyed the final two holes for a 74. She finished in a tie for fifth with Taitum Beck of Waterford at 4-over 148 and earned $2,000 as the low professional.

Sjoholm said she never broke 80 in four years of college golf at St. Norbert, and her twin 74s were her two best-ever scores in competition.

“Honestly, I came into this tournament with zero expectations,” she said. “My caddie was like, ‘You’re going to place in the top 10.’ I was like, ‘OK, sure, maybe. That would be great.’ But I had zero expectations. … I’m not upset about the finish at all. Those last four holes are pretty tough.”

Suter, who will attend Loyola University Chicago this fall, has come a long way since shooting an 87 on the Links Course in a tournament two years ago. Playing with the lead is never easy, but she managed her game well outside of a couple mistakes. On the par-5 fifth hole, a flared lay-up with a 6-iron left her behind a tree and led to her first double-bogey. On the par-3 10th, she pulled her tee shot into a deep greenside bunker, barely got her second shot on the green and then three-putted.

Seeman, meanwhile, had double-bogeyed No. 6, but then made four consecutive pars and birdied the par-5 11th after hitting her second shot pin-high and chipping to 2 feet. The birdie drew her even with Suter.

“I was thinking there’s so much golf left,” she said. “A lot can happen in one hole. So much can change. So, I just kept reminding myself that (and) just tried to stay in the present.”

Suter finally took command with her back-to-back birdies. Going to the 17th tee, Seeman was two back and running out of holes.

“I was thinking maybe we can make two birdies, thinking she’d make two pars, and we’d go to a playoff,” Seeman said.

They did go to a playoff, just not the way she thought they would.

Suter rolled in a clutch 4-footer for par on No. 17 and Seeman, who failed to make birdie, went to the final hole still two back. But after hitting a good drive on 18, Suter’s second shot sailed right, into a bad lie in the fescue.

“I really didn’t have much of a shot,” she said. “I just tried to chop it out of there.”

Her ball came out low and left but finished just short of the green. From there, however, she pitched 30 feet short of the hole and three-putted for a double-bogey. Seeman could have won outright, but couldn’t get her 16-foot birdie attempt to drop.

On the first extra hole, Seeman and Suter both missed the green – Seeman’s pitching wedge from 130 yards rolled through the green and Suter’s approach finished in the right greenside bunker.

“I don’t know if it was adrenaline, or what, but it flew,” Seeman said of her approach. “I was shocked it went over the green. I thought it was going to be five, six feet (for birdie).”

Fortunately, her ball came to rest outside of the deep back bunker, on a grass walkway. Then she hit an exquisite downhill chip that rolled to a stop 3 feet from the cup.

With the pressure on, Suter answered with a beautiful bunker shot to within tap-in range.

“I thought that was going to go in, to be honest,” she said.

The matching par saves sent them to the par-4 second hole. Suter pulled her drive into another bad lie in thick rough, some 40 yards short and left of the green. Seeman pounded a drive that made it all the way to the green, rolled over the edge of the hole and stopped some 25 feet behind it.

With the pressure on again, Suter answered with a superb pitch out of the thick stuff, her ball finishing about 10 feet from the hole. Seeman lagged her eagle attempt close to the cup and after Suter missed her birdie attempt, Seeman tapped in for the victory.

“It sucks,” a disappointed Suter said. “But it’s OK.”

Seeman earned an exemption into the 101st Suter Ward Group at Stanley Morgan Wisconsin State Open, Aug. 16-18 at Pine Hills Country Club and the Meadow Valleys Course at Blackwolf Run. Earlier this year, the Wisconsin PGA Section board voted unanimously to offer the Women’s Open champion a spot in the State Open field.

Seeman said she planned to accept the exemption and tee it up with the men.

“I feel like I’m just trying to get better and better every year,” she said. “I want to see how far I can take golf after college. Maybe Q School for the Symetra Tour. This is definitely a confidence booster.”


POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
1
Arrow Up
 1
Mia Seeman  Milton, WI (playoff)+1F+17273145 
2
Arrow Down
 1
Grace Suter  Oconomowoc, WI+1F+46976145 
T3
Arrow Up
 7
Bobbi Stricker  Madison, WI+3FE7572147 
T3-Jessica Guiser  Hartland, WI+3F+27374147 
T5
Arrow Up
 8
Taitum Beck  Waterford, WI+4FE7672148 
T5
Arrow Up
 2
Kayley Sjoholm (p)  Green Bay, WI+4F+27474148 
T7
Arrow Up
 12
Cassandra Psuik  Greenfield, WI+5F-17871149 
T7
Arrow Up
 3
Carly Werwie (p)  Kenosha, WI+5F+27574149 
T9
Arrow Up
 4
Abigail Cavaiani  Dousman, WI+6F+27674150 
T9
Arrow Down
 6
Isabelle Maleki  Mequon, WI+6F+57377150 
T9
Arrow Down
 6
Ashley Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+6F+57377150 
T9
Arrow Down
 6
Gabby Tremblay  Hayward, WI+6F+57377150 
13
Arrow Down
 6
Amy Kucera  Fontana, WI+7F+57477151 
T14
Arrow Down
 1
Sarah Busey  Racine, WI+9F+57677153 
T14
Arrow Down
 4
Rachel Kauflin  Wauwatosa, WI+9F+67578153 
16
Arrow Up
 3
Katelynn Warpinski  Green Bay, WI+10F+47876154 
T17
Arrow Down
 4
Jo Baranczyk  Green Bay, WI+11F+77679155 
T17
Arrow Down
 4
Elise Hoven  Grafton, WI+11F+77679155 
T17
Arrow Up
 1
Brittany McNett-Emmerich (p)  Fitchburg, WI+11F+67778155 
T17
Arrow Down
 10
Treva Dodd  Brookfield, WI+11F+97481155 
T21
Arrow Up
 5
Olivia Patrow  Eau Claire, WI+12F+48076156 
T21
Arrow Up
 1
Speedy Kent  Mequon, WI+12F+57977156 
T21
Arrow Down
 2
Maggie Leef  Pewaukee, WI+12F+67878156 
T24
Arrow Up
 10
Ava Salay  River Falls, WI+14F+58177158 
T24
Arrow Up
 2
Ellie Frisch  Middleton, WI+14F+68078158 
T24
Arrow Down
 2
Carolyn Barnett-Howe (p)  Appleton, WI+14F+77979158 
27
Arrow Down
 1
Taylor McCorkle  Oregon, WI+15F+78079159 
T28
Arrow Up
 10
Lorenza Martinez  Menomonee Falls, WI+16F+58377160 
T28
Arrow Up
 6
Norah Roberts  Racine, WI+16F+78179160 
T28
Arrow Down
 2
Jenna Anderson  Dousman, WI+16F+88080160 
T31
Arrow Up
 7
Isabella Dory  Menomonee Falls, WI+17F *+68378161 
T31
Arrow Down
 5
Jessie Gerry (p)  Merrimac, WI+17F+98081161 
T31
Arrow Down
 5
Holly Murphy  Fontana, WI+17F+98081161 
T31
Arrow Down
 9
McKenna Nelson  Beaver Dam, WI+17F+107982161 
T35
Arrow Up
 15
Hannah Dunk  Janesville, WI+18F *+48676162 
T35
Arrow Up
 17
Mallory Swartz  Franklin, WI+18F *+38775162 
T35
Arrow Down
 13
Caylie Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI+18F+117983162 
T38
Arrow Down
 1
Rachel Montaba (p)  Plymouth, WI+20F+108282164 
T38
Arrow Up
 5
Lexi Meade  Eau Claire, WI+20F *+88480164 
T38
Arrow Down
 12
Avery Dudra  Green Bay, WI+20F+128084164 
T41
Arrow Down
 3
Sydney Grimm  Waunakee, WI+21F *+108382165 
T41
Arrow Up
 2
Sami Mantyla  Wauwatosa, WI+21F *+98481165 
T41
Arrow Down
 15
Sydney Steinmetz  Oshkosh, WI+21F+138085165 
44
Arrow Down
 6
Sophie Pokela  Tomah, WI+22F *+118383166 
45
Arrow Down
 2
Samira Pal  Madison, WI+23F *+118483167 
46
Arrow Down
 8
Kendra Swanson  Beaver Dam, WI+25F+148386169 
T47
Arrow Down
 4
Amanda Karvala  New Berlin, WI+26F *+148486170 
T47
Arrow Up
 7
Grace Welch  Madison, WI+26F *+108882170 
T49
Arrow Down
 6
Myranda Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI+27F *+158487171 
T49
Arrow Up
 5
Jolie Guyette  De Pere, WI+27F *+118883171 
51
Arrow Down
 1
Samantha Soulier  Waunakee, WI+29F *+158687173 
T52
Arrow Down
 9
Aj Powell  Appleton, Wisconsin+30F *+188490174 
T52
Arrow Up
 2
Kallie Lux  Janesville, WI+30F *+148886174 
T54
Arrow Down
 20
Anna Krieski  Reedsburg, WI+31F+228194175 
T54
Arrow Down
 5
Adalyn Johnston  Green Bay, WI+31F *+188590175 
56
Arrow Down
 4
Andrea Schleeper  Fitchburg, WI+32F *+178789176 
T57-Madeline Fiebig  Waukesha, WI+33F *+168988177 
T57
Arrow Up
 2
Lauren Haen  Appleton, WI+33F *+149186177 
59
Arrow Down
 2
Mo Sheehan  Grayslake, IL+34F *+178989178 
60
Arrow Up
 1
Sadie Kelley  Green Bay, WI+35F *+149386179 
61
Arrow Down
 2
Sydney Brown  Eau Claire, WI+37F *+189190181 
62
Arrow Up
 2
Payton Dube  Hancock, MI+38F *+159587182 
63
Arrow Down
 2
Alyssa Schmidt  Oregon, WI+43F *+229394187 
64
Arrow Up
 1
Madeline Kiley  Appleton, WI+44F *+1610088188 
65
Arrow Down
 2
Vivian Cressman  Middleton, WI+46F *+249496190 
66
Arrow Up
 1
Sophia Dooman  Janesville, WI+47F *+1510487191 
67
Arrow Down
 2
Erin Rosencrantz  Brookfield, WI+53F *+2510097197 
DID NOT FINISH
WD-Hallie Boles  Barbourville, KY       
WD-Glenna Sanderson  Middleton, WI       
WD-Izzi Stricker  Madison, WI       
NS-Sydney Brandt  Brookfield, WI       
NS-Bridget McCarthy  Verona, WI       

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