Taitum Beck (lead pic) | Final 2020 women am

Taitum Beck hits a drive Tuesday en route to capturing the 2020 Women’s Amateur Championship at Blackhawk CC. Beck is from Waterford.

MADISON – Taitum Beck of Waterford didn’t know where she stood, and didn’t want to know, coming down the stretch Tuesday in the final round of the Wisconsin Women’s State Amateur.

Experience and intuition, though, told her that the 8-foot birdie putt she faced on the 16th hole at Blackhawk Country Club was important.

“I knew I needed it, for sure,” she said.

When Beck buried the putt, she celebrated with a demonstrative fist pump. Unbeknownst to the senior-to-be at Weber State, she had just broken a three-way tie at the top of the leader board, and she held on to win the biggest title of her career.

“Yes, by far,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming. It’s surreal.”

Beck shot a 1-over 73 and finished the 36-hole tournament at 3-over 147, one stroke ahead of Mallory Swartz of Franklin, who will be a freshman at Bowling Green, and two ahead of Taylor McCorkle of Oregon, a senior-to-be at North Dakota State.

It had been a long time since Beck won anything of note. In 38 career Wisconsin PGA Junior points events between 2011 and 2017, she never finished higher than second. As a junior at Weber State, her best finish was a tie for 14th at the Rose City Collegiate.

Asked to name her second-biggest accomplishment in golf, Beck thought for a few seconds and said, “Man … when I was a senior in high school, I won quite a few tournaments that year. Since then, college is a different ballgame. When you get in the bigger pond … it’s just been a grind.”

Maggie Leef of Pewaukee, a member of the Wisconsin Golf Hall of Fame, has been paired with Beck a few times in tournaments and played with her again Tuesday in the penultimate threesome. Leef noted how much Beck has improved in recent years.

“Her game has come along nicely,” Leef said. “She was solid today. She made some great up-and-downs. She made some clutch putts. She was steady and composed and pleasant to play with. It’s fun to watch how much she has improved, particularly the last two years.”

Swartz shot an even-par 72 and finished at 148 and McCorkle, playing on her home course, shot a 75 and finished at 149. Leef was another shot back at 150 after a 76 and first-round leader Rachel Kauflin of Wauwatosa shot a 79 to finish in a fifth-place tie with Ellie Frisch of Middleton.

Mallory Swartz | FINAL 2020 State am

Mallory Swartz of Franklin hits a drive Tuesday during the final round of the Women’s Amateur. Swartz finished second at the championship.

The finish was not without considerable drama as Swartz, McCorkle and Leef all had chances to win coming down the stretch. In fact, it appeared at one point late in the round that a multi-player playoff was a distinct possibility, especially after Beck followed her birdie on No. 16 with a bogey on the par-4 17th.

Swartz would have forced extra holes with Beck if not for a three-putt bogey on the par-3 finishing hole.

“My tee shot was fine,” she said. “But I was about 30 feet above the hole and the putt was very fast. I just didn’t judge the speed, and I left myself about nine feet coming back.”

McCorkle, who shared the lead for much of the round, effectively ended her chances with a double-bogey on No. 17. She would have needed to ace the 18th hole to force a playoff.

Leef was one stroke off the lead with three holes to play but made a costly double-bogey on the 16th, missing the green right, leaving a pitch short of the putting surface and then leaving her ensuing chip some 10 feet short of the hole.

“I was between clubs and I stood up on the tee shot,” she said. “I blocked it right into the flower bed. Then I gave too much credit to the lake effect, everything running to (Lake Mendota), and compounded my mistake.”

Frisch, who will be a junior at Middleton High School, came out firing with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 around a bogey on No. 3. But she cooled off on the back nine, playing the final seven holes in 5-over to fall out of contention. She shot a 74.

Taylor McCorkle | FINAL 2020 women am

Taylor McCorkle of Oregon chips to the 15th green during the final round of the Women’s Amateur on Tuesday at Blackhawk CC in Madison.

Kauflin, a Central Michigan recruit and the two-time reigning WPGA Junior Player of the Year, opened with a triple-bogey 7 on the par-4 first hole after blading a bunker shot over the green. Even though she chipped in for birdie on the next hole, she fought her swing on the front nine and finished with a 79.

“I only had to hit one bunker shot yesterday and I hit that one well,” said Kauflin, who opened with a 72 and started the day with a one-shot lead. “There just wasn’t a lot of sand in the bunker and I just didn’t fully commit to the shot and the next thing you know, I make triple. What are you going to do?

“This is the biggest tournament I’ve had the lead in my career so far. It was definitely a learning experience. I obviously didn’t have my best golf today. I just kind of found myself a little bit out of position. I didn’t hit a lot of greens. But I finished strong. I played my last three holes 1-under, so I’m proud of battling and staying in the fight.”

Beck hit driver all the way around Blackhawk, a picturesque but hilly course known for its tree-lined holes, sloping fairways and smallish greens. She grew up playing tree-lined Rivermoor Country Club in Waterford but has gotten used to an entirely different kind of golf in the mountains of Utah. Blackhawk is basically 5,754 yards of claustrophobia.

“It’ a great golf course,” she said. “I grew up on a very tight golf course, so I’m kind of used to that, but coming back from Utah it’s been an adjustment, for sure. I hit a good amount of fairways. I hit driver pretty much all day.”

Beck played a solid front nine, offsetting a bogey on No. 1 with a birdie on No. 4 to make the turn in 36. She double-bogeyed the 12th, the first of back-to-back par-5s, but bounced back immediately with a birdie on the 13th. She then made the clutch birdie on No. 16 before her final bogey.

“I was scrambling really well around the golf course,” she said. “I got up and down quite a few times and made some putts I needed to make. I tried to play smart golf. I didn’t know where I stood. I want to play offensive golf and put my foot on the gas pedal and keep it going. One shot at a time.”

Beck said she couldn’t wait to talk to her mentor, 86-year-old Joyce Malison, who won six times on the LPGA tour including the 1960 Western Open and has been a fixture at Rivermoor for 70 years.

“Joyce is amazing,” Beck said. “She’s so supportive. I hope to see her, hopefully tomorrow. She just saw (something) in me and said, ‘Go work hard and keep after it.’ She’s so, so supportive.”

After spending the last few years trying to find the winner’s circle, Beck did it in Wisconsin’s most prestigious amateur tournament.

“This is surreal,” she said. “It means everything to me. It’s huge to know you can win playing with the best. It’s amazing.”

Championship flight

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
1
Arrow Up
 2
Taitum Beck  Waterford, WI+3F+17473147 
2
Arrow Up
 9
Mallory Swartz  Franklin, WI+4FE7672148 
3-Taylor McCorkle  Oregon, WI+5F+37475149 
4
Arrow Down
 1
Maggie Leef  Pewaukee, WI+6F+47476150 
T5
Arrow Up
 10
Ellie Frisch  Middleton, WI+7F+27774151 
T5
Arrow Down
 4
Rachel Kauflin  Wauwatosa, WI+7F+77279151 
T7
Arrow Up
 4
Elise Hoven  Grafton, WI+8F+47676152 
T7
Arrow Up
 8
Courtney Matschke  Franklin, WI+8F+37775152 
T9
Arrow Up
 2
Alexis Thomas  Middleton, WI+10F+67678154 
T9
Arrow Down
 3
Ashli Stolen  Stoughton, WI+10F+77579154 
T9
Arrow Down
 3
Kate Meier  Middleton, WI+10F+77579154 
T12
Arrow Up
 17
Isabelle Maleki  Mequon, WI+11F+18273155 
T12
Arrow Down
 6
Amy Kucera  Fontana, WI+11F+87580155 
T12
Arrow Down
 10
Caylie Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI+11F+107382155 
15
Arrow Up
 17
Isabella Dory  Menomonee Falls, WI+12F+18373156 
16
Arrow Up
 9
Jo Baranczyk  Green Bay, WI+13F+58077157 
T17
Arrow Up
 12
Jessica Rudnicki  Sun Prairie, WI+14F+48276158 
T17
Arrow Up
 2
Bobbi Stricker  Madison, WI+14F+77979158 
T17-Payton Hodson  Middleton, WI+14F+87880158 
T17
Arrow Down
 11
Grace Suter  Oconomowoc, WI+14F+117583158 
T21
Arrow Down
 2
Jessie Gulden  Middleton, WI+15F+87980159 
T21
Arrow Down
 4
Ava Salay  River Falls, WI+15F+97881159 
T21
Arrow Down
 10
Skye Skenandore  De Pere, WI+15F+117683159 
T21
Arrow Down
 15
Sydney Rae Brandt  Brookfield, WI+15F+127584159 
25
Arrow Up
 1
Julie Schroeder  Oregon, WI+16F+78179160 
T26
Arrow Down
 7
Lorenza Martinez  Menomonee Falls, WI+17F+107982161 
T26
Arrow Down
 7
Gabby Tremblay  Hayward, WI+17F+107982161 
28
Arrow Down
 9
Ashley Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI+18F+117983162 
T29
Arrow Up
 8
Sami Forster  Wauwatosa, WI+21F+78679165 
T29
Arrow Up
 3
Syd Wells  Menominee, MI+21F+108382165 
T29
Arrow Up
 3
Sydney Steinmetz  Oshkosh, WI+21F+108382165 
T29-Grace Welch  Madison, WI+21F+118283165 
T29
Arrow Down
 10
Myranda Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI+21F+147986165 
T34
Arrow Down
 2
Glenna Sanderson  Middleton, WI+24F+138385168 
T34
Arrow Down
 8
Sadie Kelley  Green Bay, WI+24F+158187168 
36
Arrow Down
 10
Lauren Peterson  Hartland, WI+25F+168188169 
37
Arrow Down
 1
Amanda Karvala  New Berlin, WI+28F+168488172 
38-Jolie Guyette  De Pere, WI+29F+148786173 
39
Arrow Up
 2
Courtney Shorter  Fitchburg, WI+30F+138985174 
40
Arrow Down
 2
Alyssa Schmidt  Oregon, WI+31F+168788175 
41
Arrow Down
 3
Madeline Fiebig  Waukesha, WI+32F+178789176 
42
Arrow Up
 1
Treva Dodd  Brookfield, WI+39F+179489183 
43
Arrow Down
 1
Kirsten Leonardi  Sussex, WI+49F+3190103193 
44-Kimberly Dodd  Brookfield, WI+51F+2895100195 
45-Presley Cornelius  Green Bay, WI+54F+279999198 

First flight 

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
1
Arrow Up
 1
Andrea Schleeper  Fitchburg, WI+10F+47876154 
2
Arrow Down
 1
Pat Roisum  Deerfield, WI+12F+77779156 
3
Arrow Up
 2
Sophia Dooman  Janesville, WI+16F+88080160 
4
Arrow Down
 1
McKenna Nelson  Beaver Dam, WI+17F+107982161 
5
Arrow Up
 7
Carrie Sperling  Madison, WI+19F+58677163 
6
Arrow Down
 3
Katelyn Baribeau  Cameron, WI+21F+147986165 
T7
Arrow Up
 1
Amy Gehrke  Muskego, WI+22F+108482166 
T7
Arrow Down
 1
Madison Bowers  Mineral Point, WI+22F+138185166 
9
Arrow Down
 1
Maggie Warrner  Lakewood, WI+25F+138485169 
10
Arrow Up
 3
Karen Schmid  Waukesha, WI+30F+138985174 
T11
Arrow Down
 5
Payton Dube  Hancock, MI+31F+228194175 
T11
Arrow Down
 3
Jill Trider  Green Bay, WI+31F+198491175 
13
Arrow Down
 2
Katie Falk  Milwaukee, WI+36F+238595180 
14
Arrow Down
 1
Haley Myers  Somerset, WI+42F+258997186 
15-Ashley Krieski  Reedsburg, WI+48F+249696192 


Second flight

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
1-Lillian Knetter  Madison, WI+9F+47776153 
2-Peg Carlson  Madison, WI+18F+117983162 
3
Arrow Up
 4
Sydney Grimm  Waunakee, WI+22F+88680166 
4
Arrow Down
 1
Ann Bonner  Platteville, WI+25F+138485169 
5
Arrow Down
 2
Deb Toll  Appleton, WI+26F+148486170 
6
Arrow Down
 3
Katie Culver  Green Lake, WI+27F+158487171 
7
Arrow Up
 1
Anna Krieski  Reedsburg, WI+30F+138985174 
8
Arrow Down
 5
Darcy Hinz  Brookfield, WI+33F+218493177 
9
Arrow Up
 1
Vivian Cressman  Middleton, WI+34F+169088178 
10
Arrow Down
 2
Bridget McCarthy  Verona, WI+36F+198991180 
11-Sandy Nass  Elkhorn, WI+41F+229194185 
12-Eleanor Potter  Mequon, WI+46F+1710189190 

Third flight

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
1
Arrow Up
 3
Grace Warrner  Lakewood, WI+22F+78779166 
2
Arrow Down
 1
Susan Crowson  Madison, WI+27F+188190171 
3
Arrow Down
 1
Rita Cooney  Colgate, WI+32F+218393176 
4
Arrow Up
 1
Susan Schellinger  Milwaukee, WI+41F+239095185 
T5
Arrow Up
 1
MaryBeth Buechel  Wauwatosa, WI+43F+239295187 
T5
Arrow Up
 1
Jill Doucette  Cottage Grove, WI+43F+239295187 
T5
Arrow Down
 2
Bela Dodd  Brookfield, WI+43F+3085102187 
T8
Arrow Up
 2
Carla Hellerman  Oconomowoc, WI+46F+219793190 
T8
Arrow Down
 2
Jeanne Whitish  Waunakee, WI+46F+269298190 
T8
Arrow Up
 1
Dawn Thiel  Appleton, WI+46F+249496190 
11-Pat Kraft  Hartland, WI+66F+38100110210 
12-Mary Beth Specht  Prairie Du Chien, WI+69F+33108105213 

Fourth flight

POS
 
PLAYER
TOTAL
THRU
TODAY
R1
R2
STROKES
 
T1
Arrow Up
 3
Wendy Proctor  Brookfield, WI+48F+229894192 
T1-Paula Garcia  Oconomowoc, WI+48F+269498192 
3
Arrow Down
 1
Kathy Algiers  Appleton, WI+50F+259797194 
T4
Arrow Up
 3
Connie Hillmann  Germantown, WI+54F+2210494198 
T4
Arrow Up
 3
Jane Kohl  Waukesha, WI+54F+2210494198 
6
Arrow Down
 1
Meng Xie Clayton  Oregon, WI+56F+2510397200 
7
Arrow Down
 5
Rosalind Gusinow  Madison, WI+60F+3597107204 
8
Arrow Down
 3
Mary Griebl  Hartford, WI+61F+30103102205 
9-Gretchen Styles  Wauwatosa, WI+72F+39105111216 
10
Arrow Up
 1
Lisa Peterson  Prairie du Chien, WI+74F+34112106218 
11
Arrow Down
 1
Patti Ohme  Appleton, WI+76F+38110110220 
12-Micki Hill  Madison, WI+78F+35115107222 

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