Auburn’s Megan Schofill climbs to U.S. Women’s Amateur title at historic Bel-Air

Megan Schofill hits her shot from the rough on the hole 32 hillside during the first round of stroke play of the 2023 U.S. Women's Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif. on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023.

Megan Schofill had to climb a hill to hit her second on the 32nd hole.


The only thing that could slow down Megan Schofill Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur final was climbing the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.

After blowing her tee shot well right on Bel-Air Country Club‘s 14th hole, the 32nd of the 36-hole final, Schofill delicately climbed up a mulch-covered hill some 30 feet to play her second shot.

The 21-year-old just barely got her ball back to the rough next to the fairway below her and made a bogey to drop to 3 Up with four to play over LSU’s Latanna Stone. However, she came right back on the very next hole stuffing her approach from 165 yards to five feet, good enough to win the hole and the match 4 and 3 and claim the 123rd U.S. Women’s Amateur title.

“It’s definitely a dream come true, but I’d be lying if I wouldn’t say I’m still in shock,” Schofill told NBC Sports after the match. “I feel like I can’t put into words the emotions I’m feeling and it’s such an honor to be able to say that I won this year.”

She becomes the first player from Auburn to win a U.S. Women’s Amateur title and just the third female from the school to win a USGA title. It all came after the Monticello, Florida native, who will return to Auburn for a fifth season later this month, defeated potential future teammate Anna Davis in the quarterfinals.

Sunday’s 36-hole final began as a tight battle as both players birdied the opening hole and were still tied through 14 holes. But after Stone bogeyed 15, Schofill began her charge, making birdies at 16 and 17 to hold a 3 Up lead going into the second round.

“I felt like the momentum was on my side because I won 15, 16 and 17,” Schofill said. “18 holes, a lot of golf can happen … I just kept reminding myself that we were all square and just try to forget about the first 18.”

When the players came back out of the afternoon lunch break, Stone birdied the 19th and 24th holes to cut into the lead, but Schofill responded each time by winning the next hole, draining a long-range birdie on the 25th. At the 26th, both players reached the par 5 in two, but Stone three-putted after Schofill made her longer birdie putt.

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Despite being hobbled, noticeably more as the match went on, by a right leg injury, Stone continued to give herself birdie chances with her irons and wedges, but couldn’t convert many of her four-to-eight-footers.

“I was walking really slow, but I was really trying,” Stone told NBC Sports. “I know I lost some power in my swing. Trying to get through the ball really hurt. That’s all I could have done.”

She was far from the same player who defeated the Nos. 7, 10 and 25 players in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, among other former USGA Champions, on her way to the final. In Saturday’s semifinal, she defeated 2021 NCAA Champion Rachel Heck.

Meanwhile, Schofill looked unflappable, making just one other bogey, besides the 32nd, in her final 23 holes Sunday. Both players were making their first appearance in the final match in their sixth tries at the event.

It was only fitting, that after Schofill missed her birdie try on the 33rd and Stone lipped out on her par attempt, Stone looked at her close friend since eighth grade, smiled and conceded Schofill’s remaining par putt. The two stood over the cup, sharing a long embrace.

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