You have to get up pretty early to pull one over on Sarah Busey and it was just about early enough Monday for that to happen to the Racine golfer.

Armed with a three-shot lead and an 8 a.m. tee time going into the final round of the Wisconsin State Women's Amateur, Busey admitted after the fact she didn't really know what hit her after she triple-bogeyed her first hole and fell one shot behind playing partner Abby Cavaiani of Wales after four holes. But Busey, a rising junior at Santa Clara University, knew how to respond.

Busey played her next 15 holes in 2-under-par and amassed a seven-stroke advantage over Cavaiani, a rising sophomore at Missouri State. That allowed Busey to withstand a double-bogey on her final hole as she signed for a 4-over 76 on a warm, breezy day at challenging La Crosse Country Club in Onalaska and, with a 54-hole total of 8-over 224, a five-shot victory over Cavaiani (78).

Waterford's Taitum Beck, who will be a junior this fall at Weber State in Utah, shot 77 to finish a distant third, five shots behind Cavaiani at 18-over 234. Mequon's Speedy Kent (81-236), a rising sophomore at Wofford University in South Carolina, was fourth while 2018 WPGA girls golfer of the year Rachel Kauflin of Wauwatosa (81) and Drake senior Aimee Gerschke of South Milwaukee (78) tied for fifth at 238 on a day with just five sub-80 scores.

"The course did play fairly tough," Busey wrote via text message to Wisconsin.golf after becoming the first golfer since Madison's Jessie Gerry in 2013 to sweep the Wisconsin Women's State Golf Association match-play and stroke-play titles in the same summer. "Luckily, it was a bit drier, but the wind and difficult pin placements definitely were a factor in (Monday's) results. I had an extremely rough start, yes, but I think because it was so early it didn’t really resonate with me that I no longer had a lead. It did allow me to narrow my focus on hitting quality golf shots."

The shot that turned things around for Busey came at the fifth hole.

After Cavaiani left her tee shot on the 175-yard par-3 in a greenside bunker, Busey hit hers to within 10 feet of the hole. Cavaiani bladed her bunker shot over the green and chipped back on before Busey knocked in her birdie putt, restoring a two-shot lead after Cavaiani two-putted for her double-bogey.

"Obviously I was disappointed in making a double," Cavaiani wrote in a text to Wisconsin.golf. "But I knew there was still a lot of golf to be played."

Unfortunately for Cavaiani, Busey wasn't going to open the door a second time.

The former Racine St. Catherine's golfer added another birdie at the par-3 seventh hole to regain the three-shot lead with which she started the day by the time both golfers turned in 3-over 39. Busey added three more shots to her cushion after she birdied the par-4 11th hole and Cavaiani bogeyed Nos. 12 and 13 to virtually put the outcome out of reach with five holes to go.

"After I got in a rhythm I was able to make some good birdies," Busey wrote. "My birdie on (No.) 11 was my best of the day. The pin was on a ridge and I was in a difficult spot with a side hill left to right breaker (about 30 feet)."

After the last of her four birdies on the day (and eighth of the week) on No. 17, Busey hit her drive on the par-4 18th hole into the water. With her lead at seven shots, however, Busey regained her focus and closed out the victory.

Sarah Busey | 2019 Wisconsin State Women's Amateur champion

Sarah Busey | 2019 Wisconsin State Women's Amateur champion

"At that point, I kind of knew that regardless of whether I parred or double bogeyed, it wasn’t really going to matter much," Busey wrote. "So I honestly just turned around to look at my mom and we both just laughed at how stupid that mistake was. After that, it was a routine par with the second ball."

Cavaiani, the reigning Missouri Valley Conference champion, played her final 10 holes in 3-over, but could never cut into Busey's lead.

"The conditions around the greens were difficult which made it hard to make up shots on the back nine," Cavaiani wrote. "Overall, I just didn’t have my best game to put much pressure on Sarah today. Although I wish I played better this week, I am still happy with a runner-up finish!"

Busey, who finished third a year ago behind Rebecca Klongland and Mikayla Hauck, was honored to be the first Racine golfer to win this event since Sarah DeKraay, a former Indiana University golfer, did so in 1986. Klongland, a former University of Wisconsin standout from Stoughton, started Law School at Marquette University in Milwaukee last fall and did not defend her title.

The victory continued to add to an impressive summer for Busey, who also qualified for next month's U.S. Women's Amateur in Mississippi.

"Even though I did not have my best game the last two rounds, it means a lot to be able to keep my name at the top of the leaderboard for the entirety of this tournament," Busey wrote. "I’m hoping this win will help fuel my confidence in future tournaments, especially during the U.S. Am and this college season. After such an exciting summer thus far, my goals and expectations for myself are only climbing higher."


Championship flight

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
R3
Strokes
 
1Sarah Busey  Racine, WI, Racine CC+8F+4717776224 
2Abby Cavaiani  Wales, WI, Naga-Waukee GC+13F+6727978229 
3Taitum Beck  Waterford, WI, Rivermoor GC+18F+5827577234 
4Speedy Kent  Mequon, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+20F+9777881236 
T5Rachel Kauflin  Wauwatosa, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+22F+9787981238 
T5Aimee Gerschke  South Milwaukee, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+22F+6847678238 
7Payton Hodson  Middleton, WI, Pleasant View GC+26F+10847682242 
T8Isabelle Maleki  Mequon, WI, Ozaukee CC+27F+13807885243 
T8Ashley Kulka  Beaver Dam, WI, Old Hickory GC+27F+9828081243 
10Allison Schultz  Madison, WI, Nakoma GC+29F+8867980245 
T11Lexi Meade  Eau Claire, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+30F+14817986246 
T11Mallory Swartz  Franklin, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+30F+12808284246 
T11Sydney Wells  Menominee, MI, Riverside Golf Club+30F+9848181246 
T11Trystin Kluess  Greenleaf, WI, Wild Ridge+30F+8858180246 
15Katherine Meier  Middleton, WI, Bishops Bay CC+31F+11838183247 
16Grace Welch  Madison, WI, Blackhawk CC+32F+12808484248 
17Katelynn Warpinski  Green Bay, WI, Shorewood GC+33F+7858579249 
18Ashli Stolen  Stoughton, WI, Stoughton CC+36F+15838287252 
19Courtney Matschke  Franklin, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+37F+17828289253 
T20Amanda Karvala  New Berlin, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+38F+20788492254 
T20Sami Forster  Wauwatosa, WI, Washington County GC+38F+13858485254 
22Myranda Kotlowski  Stoughton, WI, Stoughton CC+40F+12838984256 
T23Gianna Gastrow  Hartland, WI, The Legend Clubs+45F+18848790261 
T23Sydney Brandt  Brookfield, WI, Fairways of Woodside GC+45F+17868689261 
T25Faith Krause  Franklin, WI, Muskego Lakes CC+46F+18858790262 
T25Erin Ericson  Onalaska, WI, The GC at Cedar Creek+46F+14878986262 
T27Jessie Gulden  Middleton, WI, Bishops Bay CC+47F+12928784263 
T27Courtney Shorter  Fitchburg, WI, Blackhawk CC+47F+16829388263 
29Kimberly Dodd  Brookfield, WI, The Legend Clubs+52F+19898891268 
30Madison Bowers  Mineral Point, WI, Dodge Point CC+61F+16969388277 
31Lauren Haen  Appleton, WI, Ridgeway CC+79F+27989899295 
32Jordyn Fitzgerald  Marshfield, WI+81F+2410010196297

First flight

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
Strokes
 
T1Grace Suter  Oconomowoc, WI, North Hills CC+20F+137985164 
T1Karen Schmid  Waukesha, WI, The Legend Clubs+20F+128084164 
3Julie Schroeder  Oregon, WI, The Legend at Bergamont+21F+98481165 
4Lynn Lenz  La Crosse, WI, Coulee Golf Bowl+24F+118583168 
5Treva Dodd  Brookfield, WI, Wisconsin PGA Junior GC+29F+158687173 
T6Lillian Knetter  Madison, WI, Blackhawk CC+31F+178689175 
T6Jessica Rudnicki  Sun Prairie, WI, Eau Claire G&CC+31F+139085175 
8Megan Koch  Franksville, WI, Meadowbrook CC+32F+178789176 
9Klairissa O'Reilly-Dye  Madison, WI, Monona GC+33F+178889177 
10Susan Slater  Racine, WI, Johnson Park GC+36F+189090180 
11Katie Gerschke  South Milwaukee, WI+54F+2610098198

Second flight

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
Strokes
 
1Peg Carlson  Madison, WI, Odana Hills GC+28F+128884172 
2Ann Bonner  Platteville, WI, Platteville G&CC+31F+158887175 
3Deb Toll  Appleton, WI, Chaska GC+44F+219593188 
4Susan Crowson  Madison, WI, Meadows of Sixmile Creek+45F+249396189 
5Sandra Nass  Elkhorn, WI, Johnson Park GC+48F+239795192 
6Terry Ziegelbauer  LaCrosse, WI, Coulee Golf Bowl+50F+259797194 
T7Carla Konet  Oconomowoc, WI, Deertrak GC+51F+2895100195 
T7Wendy Proctor  Brookfield, WI, Brown Deer Park GC+51F+2210194195 
9Grace Warrner  Lakewood, WI, McCauslin Brook G&CC+52F+2110393196 
10Rita Cooney  Colgate, WI, Songbird Hills GC+56F+3098102200 
11Connie Hillmann  Germantown, Brown Deer Park GC+59F+29102101203 
12Pat Kraft  Brookfield, WI, Chenequa CC+62F+28106100206 
13Julie O'Connor  Oconomowoc, WI, Morningstar GC+69F+37104109213

Third flight

Pos
Player
Total
Thru
Today
R1
R2
Strokes
 
1Andrea Schleeper  Fitchburg, WI+37F+179289181 
2Dawn Thiel  Appleton, WI, Mid Vallee GC+52F+2995101196 
3Jeanne Whitish  Cross Plains, WI, Meadows of Sixmile Creek+57F+29100101201 
4Karen Weiss  Racine, WI, Johnson Park GC+59F+30101102203 
5Cathi Baus  La Crosse, WI, Drugan's Castle Mound CC+67F+36103108211 
T6Rosalind Gusinow  Madison, WI, Odana Hills GC+72F+40104112216 
T6Kathy Algiers  Appleton, WI, Chaska GC+72F+32112104216 
8Sue St John  Brookfield, WI, Brown Deer Park GC+74F+43103115218 
9Vita Paukstelis  Racine, WI, Johnson Park GC+76F+42106114220 
10Claudia Standorf  Madison, WI, Odana Hills GC+82F+38116110226 
11Micki Hill  Madison, Wisconsin, Monona GC+89F+45116117233 
12Gretchen Styles  Wauwatosa, WI, Brown Deer Park GC+90F+43119115234 
13Claudia Berges  Rolla, MO, Johnson Park GC+114F+56130128258 
 
 

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