Recap: 89th Annual Sacramento City Women’s Golf Championship

Recap: 89th Annual Sacramento City Women’s Golf Championship

The Sacramento Golf Council (SGC) proudly announces the results of the 89th Annual Sacramento City Women’s Golf Championship. The Council wishes to thank every player that participated in the event as well as all the staff and volunteers from the SGC and from Morton Golf at Bing Maloney that helped make this another wonderful golf tournament. 64 ladies registered to play in the tournament. After some withdrawals and a no show, we had 39 players complete two rounds in the Championship Flight, playing at gross, and 18 players in the Handicap Division, playing at net in two separate flights. The Championship Flight played from the gold tees at about 5900 yards, and the handicap flights played from the red tees at about 5250 yards, both at Par 72.

Sean Wong, tournament director, would like to especially thank all the spectators and players for their support, and special thanks to all the out of area players for making the long trip to Sacramento. Special thanks also to tournament co-directors, SGC members Janice and Allen Luis, Peggy Chan, Deb Kanner, Mike Fleming and Mark Perry, and tournament volunteer, Riley Wong, for their hard work. Also thanks to Mychal Weitzman, the tournament director at Bing Maloney. Larry Glasmire was also helpful as usual with the Golf Genius software.

As has been the case for the last several years, the quality of the field was incredibly strong, with more than half the players in the Championship Flight playing to a zero or plus handicap index, as well as diverse, with top high school players, college players, some post-graduate players and seniors. We had college players from UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UC Davis, UN Reno Washington State, Fresno State, Sacramento State, Chico State, Seattle University, Eastern Washington, Morehead State, Cal State East Bay, Grand Canyon, Prairie View, Biola, William Jessup, Westmont, Drew University, Napa Valley College, Sierra College and Delta College. We also had top high school students from Oak Ridge, Vacaville, Pleasant Grove and Whitney.

We had a very hot weekend with temperatures over 100 on Saturday and near hundred on Sunday. On the first day, Emily Guan, a junior at Oak Ridge High School, carded 6 birdies on holes 3, 7, 9, 12, 14 and 18 to go with an eagle on 11 and bogeys on tough holes 2 and 17 before finishing with a 6 under par round of 66 and taking a two-shot lead over Petra Yee, from Pleasant Grove HS and Amelia Garibaldi, a Sophomore at Fresno State. Sneha Sharon, the reigning Big Sky player of the year from Sac State, led a group that shot two under 70s, including Sophie Cook, Petra’s teammate at Pleasant Grove, Gabriella Ilardi, a sophomore at Eastern Washington, and Janna Andaya, a sophomore at UC Riverside.

Defending Champion Sienna Lyford, of Roseville, had it to 2 under after a birdie on 15, but two late bogeys on holes 16 and 17, kept her 6 back at even par. Several other players played well on Saturday shooting one under 71s or even par 72s, including high school phenom Erica Villegas of Vacaville, Niki Chindavong, a sophomore at UN Reno, Annika Cruz of Seattle University and Brie Briggs of Prairie View College.

On the second day, the weather was a few degrees cooler, but the players stayed hot, with some players back in the pack challenging Emily Guan’s first day lead. After a bogey on the second hole, Sienna reeled off 6 birdies in the next 11 holes, but a short, missed birdie putt on 9 and a bogey on 15 stalled her title defense. She finished at 3 under. Janna also carded five birdies, but her round was also hurt by two bogeys on the back at holes 10 and 16. She finished at 3 under. Niki got it to 6 under par at one point after three straight birdies on 12, 13 and 14, but a late bogey on 17 derailed her chances. She finished at 5 under. Amelia similarly got it to 7 under, but costly double bogey on 15 dropped her back and she finished at 6 under.

After Emily birdied the 14th hole, she got it to 10 under and it looked like the tournament was over. However, Sneha, after birdies on holes 3 and 9, made a serious back nine charge with birdies on 10, 11, 14 and 16 to go with zero bogeys, a clean card. Emily felt some pressure, and after a bogey on 16, her comfortable three shot lead shrunk to one. Playing in the final group, Sneha and Emily both parred the 17th hole. Coming into the 18th with a one shot lead, Emily needed to match Sneha to win the tournament. On 18 with the pin just five paces from the right front, Emily pushed her approach just right of the green and Sneha stuck it to about 8 feet. Emily hit her chip a little right of the flag and she was just outside of Sneha. Emily knew she had to make the putt to force Sneha to make her putt for a playoff. Emily just missed her putt for par and tapped in for bogey to finish at 8 under. Sneha now had a chance to win the tournament with a birdie. Breaking a little more than she thought, Sneha just missed her birdie on the low side, and she tapped in for par.

Like last year when Sienna outlasted Amelia on the second playoff hole, we had our second straight playoff. After confirming their scores and clearing the 17th hole, a crowd of players, friends and family, had gathered to watch the playoff. Emily was first on the tee and piped her driver with a tight draw down the right fairway inside the 100 with just a wedge to the green. Sneha, however, pulled her fairway wood in the left first cut rough and had about 160 to the back middle pin. Sneha hit a great shot on the stick but could not stop her ball from rolling off long off the green. Emily was next up and maybe she had too much adrenaline, and also went long with her wedge. Sneha was in a little thicker rough, and made a good chip to about 4 feet. Emily made a great chip and tapped in for par. Sneha, who had a clean card up to then, just pushed her putt right and missed the putt.

The Sacramento Golf Council proudly welcomes Emily Guan of El Dorado Hills as the 2024 Sacramento City Women’s Champion, joining a long list of accomplished women that includes former LPGA Major Champion Alice Miller, former US Girls Junior Amateur Champion Jamille Lee (Jose), former Big Break Kaanapali Champion and former Tour player Kim Welch, and four-time California Women’s Amateur Champion Lynne Cowan.

Before the drama on 17 and 18 in the afternoon, the Council also crowned new champions in the handicap flights earlier in the day. In the President’s Flight, handicaps below 20, Julie Quinn of Sacramento came from behind and carded a net 6 under par round of 66 to beat Karen Graser of Gold River by 3 strokes at 5 under par for 36 holes. In the Director’s Flight, handicaps above 20, Moe Hannan, carrying her bag both days, played solidly both days with a 69 and 72, 3 under par score, to win by four strokes over Karen Biscaha of Fair Oaks.