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Ledwein, Welch duo reach quarterfinals at USGA Amateur Four-Ball tournament

Bradley’s Taylor Ledwein and Megan Welch qualified for the USGA Women’s Amateur 4-Ball Championship. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics

After the annual U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the tournament made its return on April 24 through April 28. 

The sixth edition of the event, held in Carrollton, Texas at the Maridoe Golf Club, featured 64 teams of two golfers, with 128 participants in total. Included in the group were senior Taylor Ledwein and junior Megan Welch of Bradley’s women’s golf team. The two Braves shot one-over-par in stroke play, which earned them the 24th seed in the tournament out of 32 qualifying teams. 

In the round of 32, Leidwein and Welch never trailed in their match and defeated ninth-seeded Lauren Clark and Kaitlyn Schroeder by one stroke on Monday. 

The Bradley duo only needed 17 holes to conquer eighth-seeded Thienna Huynh and Sarah Im in the round of 16. A 2&1 win helped the Bradley tandem become one of the final eight teams standing.

In the quarterfinals, however, Leidwein and Welch never found themselves with a lead. The duo lost by a margin of 3&2 to top-seeded Paris Hilinski and Alexa Pano in 16 holes. 

Both semi-final matchups required two playoff holes after being tied through 18 holes. First, the Hilinski/Pano duo was knocked off by fourth-seeded Jillian Bourdage and Casey Weidenfeld. Theremaining ticket to the final round was punched by 26th-seeded Savannah Barber and Alexa Saldana, as they took down third-seeded Gianna Clemente and Avery Zweig

Among a semifinal field that featured three of the top four teams from stroke play, it was the 26th seed that claimed the title of 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball champions. In the final round, Barber and Saldana took care of Bourdage and Weidenfeld in only 14 holes, netting a 5&4 victory. 

With the Barber/Saldana victory, it marks two straight tournaments where Bourdage and Weinfeld have fallen just short of winning the title. In 2019, then-reigning champions Megan Furtney and Erica Shepherd defeated Bourdage and Weinfeld in the final round.

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