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 2021 Wisconsin State Women’s Open.

If for no reason other than karma, Milton’s Mia Seeman was thrilled to hear the Wisconsin Women’s State Open will return to the Golf Courses of Lawsonia in Green Lake in 2022.

The reigning champion also applauded the move to expand the championship to 54 holes.

“I think expanding the State Open to 54 holes is a good idea because almost all college events are 54 holes,” said Seeman, who is in her fourth season at South Dakota State. “So, it would help us out when preparing for our college seasons endurance-wise. I love Lawsonia, so it’s great we will be going back there even if it’s not the same track we played (in 2021).”

Indeed, shifting the Women’s State Open from the Links Course – where Seeman edged Grace Suter of Oconomowoc in a two-hole playoff in 2021 – to the adjacent Woodlands Course for the June 14-16 Women’s State Open is just one unique wrinkle to the women’s golf schedule this year.

Adding a third day to a championship that has traditionally been completed in two is perhaps the most significant change to what is annually the signature event on the Wisconsin women’s golf calendar. It also reflects an administrative trend in women’s golf heading into 2022, with the Wisconsin Women’s State Amateur, to be held July 12-13 at West Bend Country Club, returning to a 54-hole format that includes a 36-hole opening day for golfers competing in the championship flight.

“I’d personally thought about it a little bit, but not much,” WPGA executive director Joe Stadler said of the Women’s State Open expansion. “I’m like ‘Well, I don’t know.’ Had never really talked to anybody about it. But (during the 2021 championship) I had like five different participants ask me about it. The reason they stated was, first of all, they’d like to play a 54-hole championship and, secondly, on the amateur side, an event like that has to be 54 holes in order to get World Amateur Golf Ranking points, which I didn’t even know because it’s not a world I deal with.”

With nearly 200 Wisconsin natives competing in women’s college golf and dozens more high schoolers looking to test their games against older golfers and tougher set-ups, interest in the top women’s championships continues to increase. Over the last five years, participation in the Wisconsin Women’s State Amateur has jumped from 27 golfers in 2017 to 58 in 2021 while championship flight for the WSGA Women’s State Match Play has grown from 16 to 29.

In addition to restoring the 54-hole format for the Women’s State Am in July, the WSGA is taking it to West Bend Country Club – a 94-year-old Langford and Moreau classic that will play host to the men’s State Amateur in 2026.

Tournament manager Thomas Fazio, who administers the women’s championships for the WSGA, also hopes to see the field size for the Women’s State Match Play grow for the third year in a row by taking it to Watertown Country Club, a frequent host for USGA qualifiers that the WSGA runs, in early June for the first big event on the 2022 schedule.

“When we took over (administration of) the tournaments, we could kind of tell that women’s amateur golf in Wisconsin was pretty dominated by the senior players,” said Fazio. “In the last couple of years, we’ve really strived to try and increase the experience of the Women’s State Am along with the Women’s Match Play. They’re really the premier events of the year.”

He said that the support of Women’s State Am sponsor West Bend Insurance – the long-time sponsor of the Men’s State Amateur – has helped make the women’s events stronger.

The rest of the 2022 WSGA women’s schedule isn’t too shabby, either.

The Women’s State Four-Ball Championship, which expanded to a 36-hole event in 2021, will be played July 5-6 at La Crosse Country Club in Onalaska and two other team events – the State Women’s Scramble (Aug. 14) and the Patti Pelischek Solheim Cup (Aug. 21) – will be contested on consecutive Saturdays in August. The Women’s Senior Am is June 20-21 at Reedsburg Country Club and the Women’s Senior Four-Ball is Sept. 18-19 at Lawsonia’s Woodlands Course.

“This year, especially, (WSGA director of rules and competitions) Geoff Pirkl in making the schedule found that a lot of courses are really, really excited about the women’s events and reached out to us, wanting to host those major events,” Fazio said.

2022 Wisconsin Women's Amateur Golf Schedule

Dates Tournament Site City
June 6-8 Wisconsin Women's State Match-Play Championship Watertown CC Watertown
June 14-16 Wisconsin Women's State Open Championship GCs of Lawsonia/Woodlands Course Green Lake
June 20-21 Wisconsin Women's Senior Amateur Championship Reedsburg CC Reedsburg
June 27-28 Brown County Women's Amateur Tournament Brown County GC Green Bay
July 5-6 Wisconsin Women's State Four-Ball Championship La Crosse CC Onalaska
July 12-13 Wisconsin Women's State Amateur Championship West Bend CC West Bend
July 25-26 Badger Mutual Insurance Women's Amateur Tournament Brown Deer Park GC Milwaukee
Aug. 9 Wisconsin State Father-Daughter Championship Lake Arrowhead GC/Pines Nekooa
Aug. 14 Wisconsin Women's State Scramble Championship Meadows of Sixmile Creek GC Waunakee
Aug. 21 Patti Pelischek Solheim Cup Rolling Meadows GC Fond du Lac
Aug. 24 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Qualifying Naga-Waukee GC Pewaukee
Sept. 11 Wisconsin State Husband-Wife/Couples Championship Legend at Bergamont GC Oregon
Sept. 18-19 Wisconsin Women's State Senior Four-Ball Championship GCs of Lawsonia/Woodlands Green Lake

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

Rob started covering the state's golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. He joined Killarney Golf Media in 2015 and helped develop Wisconsin.Golf's extensive coverage of junior, high school, college, amateur and pro golf.

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