So much of the upcoming fall college golf season will be about individual competition. With so many teams – whole conferences of them – opting out of the fall portion of the season, many players will turn to one-off events.
That’s not how you’d traditionally describe the Women’s Amateur Championship, the premier event for female amateurs on the R&A schedule. But with new dates that fall much later in the year than normal (thanks to the COVID-10 pandemic), this week’s championship at West Lancashire had a college feel – particularly when it came to Saturday’s final match.
Stanford’s Aline Krauter and Florida’s Annabell Fuller were the last two women standing after 90 players started the week. Germany’s Krauter prevailed, knocking off Fuller on the last hole of the 18-hole final.
Fuller, ranked No. 41 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking compared to Krauter’s position at No. 71, got off to an early start, winning three of the first four holes. But Krauter fought back and had squared the match just before the turn. Krauter had a 1-up lead entering the last hole and won when both players made par.
Aline Krauter wins The Women's Amateur Championship Hear the reaction from our 2020 Champion pic.twitter.com/Gu1MgVUBVl
— The R&A (@RandA) August 29, 2020
“It’s my biggest win, 100 percent,” Krauter told the R&A after her win. “I won the German Girls in 2016 and then I’ve played decently in some college tournaments in the U.S. but not been close in one.
“I felt under control out there. I’m not sure what did the trick, but I was quite unfazed on the course which I think helped me in the wind and the conditions. It was so fun to play in the final.”
Krauter had to knock off defending champion Emily Toy in the semifinals just to get to the title match.
As for Fuller, who represented the GB&I team at the 2018 Curtis Cup, the loss was tough to take but her climb to the final match still inspired confidence.
“I played my best, a couple of shots leaked here and there, but nothing major,” she told the R&A. “She played great golf. I tried my best to the very end and if I had holed my birdie putt it could have been different. This week has given me more motivation to practice even harder and achieve more.”
Krauter, 20, becomes the second German player to find big success in the women’s game in the past week. Her win comes on the heels of countrywoman Sophia Popov’s AIG Women’s British Open title. She said she watched Popov’s win on TV last week.
Krauter, at least, won’t be playing college golf in the fall as the Pac-12 Conference, of which Stanford is a member, has halted all sports competitions through the end of 2020. But the next year of her life looks promising, what with all the exemptions she earns courtesy of her Women’s Amateur victory. Among those perks are spots in the AIG Women’s Open and, traditionally, the U.S. Women’s Open, Evian Championship and Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.