Maggie Leef | 2019 WWSGA Senior Champion

Maggie Leef | 2019 WWSGA Senior Champion

MADISON — There is healthy rough and then there is "hell-thy" rough — the kind of rough Maggie Leef tries to avoid at all costs.

The Pewaukee golfer did just well enough in that department Tuesday to offset, in her words, "a wobbly short game" and out-duel rival Syd Wells of Menomonie, Mich., to win the rain-shortened Wisconsin Women's State Golf Association Senior Championship at Hawks Landing Golf Club. Leef shot 2-over-par 74 to edge Wells by one shot in what became an 18-hole shootout after the cancellation of Monday's opening round due to wet weather.

"It feels great to win the WWSGA Senior Women’s Championship!" the WSGA Hall of Famer wrote in a text to Wisconsin.Golf. "I’ve not had a win since the (Wisconsin Women's Public Links Golf Association) & WWSGA merged."

And, for awhile, it looked as if Wells would run away with her fifth straight WWSGA Senior Championship. 

Wells birdied three holes in a row, starting at No. 4, and shot 3-under 33 on the front nine. That was good for a three-stroke lead over Leef, who started birdie-bogey, picked up another birdie on the par-3 fourth hole but then bogeyed the par-5 ninth hole to make the turn in even-par 36.

"Syd played well, as always," Leef said. "Her scrambling and short game were great."

A Wells bogey at No. 10 trimmed the margin to two shots and, after both golfers birdied the par-5 12th hole, Wells bogeyed two holes in a row to square what had become a two-player affair. Leef dropped a shot with a bogey of her own at No. 15 and, after both bogeyed No. 16, a three-shot swing at the par-4 17th — Wells made a triple-bogey while Leef parred — ultimately decided the outcome.

A Leef bogey at No. 18 accounted for the one-stroke margin.

"Hawks Landing was a true test with HELLthy rough, greens that were rolling beautifully and a few really challenging hole locations," wrote Leef, who hit 10 fairways and 12 greens but took 33 putts in winning the event for the first time since it fell under the WWPLA umbrella in 2012. "I was hitting the ball well, but my short game was a bit wobbly."

Despite Monday's washout, Leef had high praise for the tournament.

"The entire Hawks Landing staff was exceptional — especially considering the additional work caused by all the rain!" she wrote. "Great course, great camaraderie and a 'W' make for a good day!"

Championship flight

1Maggie Leef  The Legend ClubsF+274 
2Sydney Wells  Riverside Golf ClubF+375 
T3Amy Gehrke  Muskego Lakes CCF+1082 
T3Kelly Steen  Luck GCF+1082 
T5Karen Schmid  The Legend ClubsF+1183 
T5Pat Roisum  Lake Ripley CCF+1183 
7Jill Trider  Brown County GCF+1284 
JWDKatie Falk  Milwaukee CC   

WWSGA Senior Championship: Past champions

Year Champion Site
2019 Maggie Leef, The Legends Club Hawks Landing GC
2018 Syd Wells, Riverside GC
2017 Syd Wells, Riverside GC Eau Claire G&CC
2016 Syd Wells, Riverside GC The Club at Strawberry Creek-Kenosha
2015 Syd Wells, Riverside GC Glen Erin GC-Janesville
2014 Pat Roisum, Lake Ripley CC Ridgeway G&CC-Neenah
2013 Syd Wells, Riverside GC Grand Geneva Resort-Lake Geneva
2012 Maggie Leef, The Legends Club Glacier Wood GC-Iola
2011 Maggie Leef, The Legends Club NorthWood GC-Rhinelander
2010 Katie Falk, Milwaukee CC SentryWorld-Stevens Point
2009 Katie Falk, Milwaukee CC Hawks View-Lake Geneva
2008 Katie Falk, Milwaukee CC GCs of Lawsonia-Green Lake
2007 Katie Falk, Milwaukee CC Glen Erin GC-Janesville
2006 Mary Tiziani, Eagle Bluff GC Lake Arrowhead GC-Nekoosa
2005 Mary Fink, Westmoor CC Wanaki GC-Menomonie Falls
2004 Mary Fink, Westmoor CC Thornberry Creek GC-Oneida
2003 Mary Fink, Westmoor CC Prairie Woods GC-Avalon
2002 Mary Fink, Westmoor CC Edgewood GC-Big Bend
2001 Lori Clark, Naga-Waukee GC Thornberry Creek GC-Oneida
2000 Lori Clark, Naga-Waukee GC Hon-E-Kor GC-Kewaskum
1999 Jan Bruss, Janesville Riverside Waushara CC-Wautoma
1998 Sandy Weitzer, Madison Business Foxfire GC-Waupaca
1997 Lori Clark, Naga-Waukee GC Hawthorne Hills GC-Saukville
1996 Mary Aiken, Cherry Hills GC-Sturgeon Bay Cherry Hills GC-Sturgeon Bay
1995 Bev Paulick, Lakeshore Muni-Oshkosh Lakeshore Muni GC-Oshkosh
1994 Claudia Standorf, Currie Park GC-Milwaukee Edgewood GC-Big Bend
1993 Mary Ryan, Naga-Waukee GC-Pewaukee Lakeshore Muni GC-Oshkosh
1992 Jeannette Diakoff, Lakeshore Muni-Oshkosh Krueger-Haskell GC-Beloit
1991 Vera Hendrichs, Naga-Waukee GC-Pewaukee Currie Park GC-Milwaukee
1990 Pat Cullen, Currie Park GC-Milwaukee Janesville Riverside GC
1989 Lucy Will, Edgewood GC-Big Bend Johnson Park GC-Racine
1988 Char Schachte, Madison Lakeshore Muni GC-Oshkosh
1987 Lucy Will, Currie Park GC-Milwaukee Edgewood GC-Big Bend
1986 Lucy Will, Currie Park GC-Milwaukee Rolling Meadows GC-Fond du Lac
1985 Marge Olson, Madison Municipal. Yahara Hills GC-Madison

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