Hailey Borja Lake Forest and Michigan and Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tenn., and Stanford both went down to defeat in the semifinals of the 123rd United States Women’s Amateur Championship on Saturday at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
Megan Schofill (pictured) of Monticello, Fla., and Auburn got past Borja, 2 and 1, while Latanna Stone of Riverview, Fla., and LSU defeated Heck, 3 and 2.
“I’ve just dreamed about this,” said Stone, who will enter her fifth year at LSU this fall. “This is always how I think about how much it takes (to win) and, oh my gosh, I can’t imagine playing all those matches, but here I am playing all these dang matches.
“The gears up here in my head have been really turning this week. I’m just really believing in myself, because I feel like I’ve had kind of a hard time believing in myself and thinking that I can do it.”
Schofill, who like Stone is playing in her sixth Women’s Amateur, never trailed in her semifinal match against Borja.
On the first hole, Borja lost her ball on her approach shot and Schofill would extend the lead to 2-up after singing a 40-foot birdie putt on the par-3 third hole. However, Borja wouldn’t go down without a fight, winning Nos. 4 and 6 to tie the match before Schofill won the next hole with a birdie and led the test of the way.
“I’m just really thankful for the golf I played so far, and regardless of the outcome tomorrow, it’s been a great week,” said a tearful and emotional Schofill. “I feel like there are no words that can describe it. Every girl in this field, obviously this was their goal. Obviously the ultimate goal is to go out there and try and play my best tomorrow, but regardless of the outcome I think it’s still a great week.”
Said Borja: “I kind of want to believe that I was a little bit of the underdog here, just some really good players out here. This gave me some more confidence that I can compete with everyone.”
Heck said: “This has meant a lot to me. Genuinely, I’m just super proud of myself. It’s been a really hard year, hard year and a half. So just to feel like myself again and to feel healthy is great. I mean, I’ve learned that the happiness that comes from winning is very fleeting, but the happiness that comes from just being healthy and being surrounded by people I love and doing what I love, that’s the good stuff. I’m really happy.”
For Stone and Schofill, Sunday’s pairing will be a comfortable one, since the two have been close friends since meeting in the eighth grade.
The 36-hole championship match will begin at 9:45 a.m. PDT and is scheduled to resume after a lunch break at 3 p.m. Golf Channel will broadcast it live at 4-7 p.m. PDT.
For complete results, visit: https://championships.usga.org/uswomensamateur/2023/scoring.html