Ina Kim-Schaad quit golf for 11 years before returning to the course three years ago and is playing perhaps the best golf of her life.
The 35-year-old Kim-Schaad, a native of Los Angeles who lives in New York, captured the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship with a 3-and-2 victory over Talia Campbell, also of New York, at Forest Highlands Golf Club https://fhgc.com in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Kim-Schaad earned an exemption into the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, plus exemptions into the next two U.S. Women’s Amateurs. She also can play in the Women’s Mid-Amateur without going through qualifying for the next 10 years.
“I’m sure it will sink in tonight or maybe later in the week, but it’s pretty amazing,” Kim-Schaad, a graduate of Northwestern, said while holding the Mildred Prunaret Trophy. “The women I got to play with this week have been amazing. The golf course was amazing. It’s just a pretty surreal experience overall.
“I had closed that chapter of the book, and I kind of moved on. I was doing so many other things with my life, and then I met Ian (her husband), and he was the one who got me back interested in it.
“It happens very quickly, it really does. The first few birdies and then, you know, you’re hooked again.”
Kim-Schaad, who was runner-up at the 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and has captured the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association Met Amateur Championship three of the last four years, won the first hole against Campbell with a par and never trailed.
Campbell, 25, a graduate of Notre Dame said she simply couldn’t make the putts she needed to catch up.
“I had a lot of good birdie looks but I just was not able to convert the 10-to 20-foot putts this week,” said Campbell, who was competing in her fourth USGA championship and first since the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“That was kind of the theme of my week, because most of the birdies I did get were more or less tap-ins or inside of six feet. It’s just the 10-to-20-foot range that wasn’t there this week.”
In the semifinals, Kim-Schaad downed Meghan Stasi of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 4 and 2, while Campbell slipped past Lauren Greenlief of Ashburn, Va., 1 up.
For complete results, visit https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/championships/2019/u-s–women-s-mid-amateur.html#!scoring