Emily Goldenstein has claimed her second state women’s amateur championship.
Goldenstein, a recent University of Memphis graduate, has won the 2018 Missouri Women’s Amateur Championship.
The former Parkway West standout claimed the 88th iconic event that was played at St. Joseph Country Club in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Goldenstein, of Chesterfield, carded an overall score of 216 to win by four strokes. Her rounds were 72-74-70. She tallied an impressive five birdies, nine pars and four bogeys in the final round of 70.
Goldenstein, who was the 2016 Amateur champion and tied for second last summer, fought hard to win another championship. She finished with her best score of the tournament with a final round total of 70.
Goldenstein had played just once before the tournament. Still, she believed she would do well.
“You have to go into a tournament believing in yourself and believe that you are good enough to compete and win,” Goldenstein said. “That is the most important thing I learned after four years of college and it definitely helped me win this tournament.”
Finishing second was Kelly Osborne, of Ballwin. She shot 74-73-73, which left her with a 220 total to claim the runner-up position. Osborne is a former Parkway South and University of Missouri graduate.
Goldenstein capped the tournament with a birdie on No. 18. Goldenstein didn’t really need the birdie. She was three shots ahead of Osborne despite making three consecutive bogeys at Nos. 15-17.
Her first two rounds gave Goldenstein a good chance heading into the final round.
“I was very pleased with my first round,” Goldenstein said. “I was not happy with the way I started my second round. However, I was able to finish the round strong.”
The leading group for the final day consisted of Goldenstein, Kayla Eckelkamp [Washington], and Reagan Zibilski [Nixa]. Each player was 4-over after the second day, diving into the final round with some very close competition.
“I loved going into the last day in a three-way tie and the group ahead of me were all in the fight as well,” Goldenstein said. “I felt much more comfortable going into the final round tied for the lead rather than a solo lead. I feel there is more pressure to maintain the lead.”
Goldenstein liked how she played her final 18 holes.
“Overall my final round was very good. I started off very strong and didn’t miss a green until hole 14,” Goldenstein said. “That is when I started to feel the pressure and I started to know I was getting close to winning. It was difficult to stay in the moment and I think that was the cause of some of my bogeys at the end.
“I made sure to take a few deep breaths before teeing off on 18 and told myself to continue to believe in myself. I finished 18 with three really good shots to leave me with a 4-or-5-foot birdie putt to end on a high note.”
Eckelkamp made an impressive comeback with a score of 69 in the second round after a 77 on the first day. She ended up finishing in third overall with a 76 on the final round with a 9-over 222 total.
Eckelkamp, who works as an emergency room nurse in Washington, won this year’s Missouri Women’s Mid-Amateur. She was the 2015 Missouri Women’s Player of the Year after winning the Women’s Mid-Amateur that season, too. She also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 2015, and advanced to the first round of stroke play before falling to eventual champion Julia Potter. Eckelkamp has played in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Am each year since.
Zibilski, who is only 14 years old and will be entering her freshman year of high school, shot an impressive, consistent score of 73-73 in her first two rounds. She ran out of gas in the third round and ended up shooting a 79 on the final day, leaving her at a 225 three-day score total.
Zibilski took home the Low Junior Award at this year’s championship.
Defending champion Jess Meek, of Carnoustie, Scotland, and a former member of the University of Missouri women’s golf team, tied for ninth place at 15-over.
“There were several great golfers playing this year,” Goldenstein said. “It was a lot of fun playing.”
St. Joseph Country Club presented the women with a good test.
“I enjoyed the course; nothing was straightforward,” Goldenstein said. “The par-5s were not automatic birdie holes like the past few courses. Being able to place your tee shot and layups were extremely important here. The pin locations were tricky throughout the entire week; there were so many tucked pins. This made the course challenging but not impossible, placement was key and having confidence on the greens.”
Goldenstein’s recent senior season at Memphis went very well. Goldenstein earned all-conference honors from the American Athletic Conference. It is the first career all-conference honor for her.
Goldenstein’s 73.45 scoring average this season is the best in Memphis history. Goldenstein also set a school record with 16 rounds under par this season. Her 89 birdies in 2016-17 rest at the top of the Memphis record book.
Goldenstein graduated with a degree in accounting. She ended her career with four straight top-six finishes, including the sixth-place finish in The American Championships.
She was a two-time AAC Player of the Week this season and will wrap her career with 108 competitive rounds played with 13 top 10 finishes in 39 career tournaments.
“My last semester of college was my best semester of all which allowed me to have a really good mindset going into the tournament even though I had only played once,” Goldenstein said. “I had all of my swing thoughts written down and I was able to replicate everything as if I had still been practicing all summer. I grew a lot as a golfer at the end of college.”
Goldenstein capped her college career by being named as one of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association [WGCA] All-American Scholars, for having a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher through this past season.
Goldenstein’s fourth consecutive WGCA All-American Scholar athlete recognition caps what was a record-setting senior season at Memphis.
Her immediate future does not include golf for the rest of this year.
“I am not playing in any other events this year,” Goldenstein said. “I am getting my master’s in accounting at Maryville University.”