Plainfield’s Kayla Benge won the 2019 IWGA Match Play Championship in 1-Up, comeback fashion over Julia Potter-Bobb at Old Oakland Golf Club.
Benge trailed Potter-Bobb 2-down standing on the 16th
tee with two par five’s and a par three left to play. Benge proceeded to birdie 16 to win the hole and followed it up with another birdie at the par 3, 17th
“After a good drive on 16, I knew I had to go for the green and have an eagle chance and make birdie,” Benge said. “I had been short on 17 in the morning because of the wind so I wasn’t going to be short again. To stick it like that, that was pretty clutch.”
All-square on 18, Potter-Bobb went out of bounds down the left side of the hole with her second shot leaving the door open for Benge to win her third hole in a row and take the match. Benge played the hole safely, the way she had all week, and made par which was good enough to win the hole.
Potter-Bobb’s 1-up lead through nine holes almost stretched to two on the par 4, 11th
. She stuck her approach to just two feet with Benge off the back edge of the green. Benge chipped in from the back of the green to halve the hole with birdies keeping her deficit at one.
“It was a ‘I have to make it’ sort of chip,” Benge said. “In the semifinals, I chipped in for birdie on seven, and it was the same club and similar kind of chip. I knew it was in after the first bounce. It was so clutch.”
While the lead grew to two on the par 3, 13th
, the chip-in kept Benge in striking distance and she capitalized on good shots in the last three holes.
Just a year after losing in the quarterfinals, Benge won her semifinals and finals matches one up after rolling through the first two matches 4 &3 and 6 & 5.
“Last year, I played really well and lost in the round of 8, it was nice to know I’m still playing well and up to par with everyone else in the state,” Benge said.”
For final results from the 2019 IWGA Match Play, click here: https://iga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/iga19/event/iga1936/index.htm