Three junior teams from Arizona qualify to play in the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship

L-R: Ashley Menne and Lauren Metcalf

On February 3, six junior golfers from Arizona qualified to compete in the second-annual U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship to be held May 21-25, 2016 at Streamsong Resort, in Streamsong, Florida.

The team of Ashley Menne and Lauren Metcalf took Medalist honors at the USGA qualifying tournament held at Longbow Golf Club by posting a 3-under-par 68. Two teams finished tied for second place with an even-par 71 – Mikayla Fitzpatrick and Alisa Snyder as well as Elizabeth Caldarelli and Emily Mahar. The fourth qualifying team was made up of two adult amateurs, Thuhashini Selvaratnam and Mari Miezwa. Coincidentally, Selvaratnam is the Girl’s Golf Coach at Xavier College Preparatory, where Fitzpatrick, Snyder, Caldarelli and Menne attend high school and are members of the golf team.   

“We’re very encouraged by the performances of these talented teams,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the Junior Golf Association of Arizona.  “They have all played well in JGAA events this season, and we feel that they’ll match up favorably against the stiff competition they’ll face at Streamsong. Congratulation to them and good luck to all.”

Held for the first time last year, the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship (and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship) is the newest national championships to be conducted by the USGA. The event replaced the now-retired U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships, which were conducted for the final time in 2014.

The creation of the two competitions was announced on February 11, 2013 as the first additions to the USGA roster of national championships since the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 1987.

Four-ball has become a widely popular format for state and regional golf associations across the United States. In 2012, more than 150 championships, either strictly four-ball or as part of a competition format, were conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the creation of national four-ball championships, given the popularity and enjoyment of this competitive format at the amateur level,” said then-USGA vice president Thomas J. O’Toole Jr., who chaired the Championship Committee at the time of the 2013 announcement. “Because the four-ball format lends itself to spirited team competition and aggressive risk-reward shotmaking, we are confident these championships will deliver exciting amateur golf to the national stage for both players and spectators alike.”

Last year Mika Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga defeated Hannah O’Sullivan and Robynn Ree, 4 and 3 at Bandon Dunes Resort (Pacific Dunes), Bandon, Oregon.