USGA CHAMPIONS
Four-Ball Success Abounds for USGA Champs February 20, 2018 By David Shefter, USGA

Matt Parziale continued his winning ways with a victory in the International Four-Ball Championship. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Looking for a side to watch in the 4th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball this spring? The duo of 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Lauren Greenlief and Katie Miller certainly fit that bill.

Greenlief, 27, of Oakton, Va., and Miller, 33, of Jeannette, Pa., shot a final-round 8-under 64 to claim the 71st Women’s International Four-Ball Championship at The Wanderers Club in Wellington, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The duo recently formed a partnership, and last fall qualified for the Women’s Four-Ball, to be played at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif.,  April 28 - May 2. Their final-round performance catapulted them to a five-shot victory over Tara Joy Connelly and 2000 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Ina Kim.

It was the third straight year Miller had won the title, having partnered with Charlotte Daughan in 2016 and 2017.

Miller has qualified for all four U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championships, but with different partners each time. Greenlief and fellow Virginian Alexandra Austin advanced to the semifinals in 2016 at Streamsong Resort, the same year Miller and partner Kristin Obush reached the quarterfinals. 

Miller has qualified for all four U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championships, but with different partners each time. Greenlief and fellow Virginian Alexandra Austin advanced to the semifinals in 2016 at Streamsong Resort, the same year Miller and partner Kristin Obush reached the quarterfinals.

On the men’s side, reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale got in the victory celebrations, as well, rolling to a five-stroke victory with fellow Massachusetts native Herbie Aikens. The 54-hole, three-day event, which also ended on Feb. 14, was contested on three different golf courses: Old Palm, Banyan Cay and Mayacoo Lakes, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Parziale and Aiken posted a 4-under 67 at Mayacoo Lakes in the final round to hold off the Iowa duo of Gene Elliott and 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Mike McCoy., for a winning total of  18-under 197.

The duo has enjoyed plenty of success together. They claimed the Massachusetts Four-Ball title in 2016 and 2017, and qualified for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball in 2016 and 2017.

As the reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion, Parziale will be competing in the Masters in April,the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in June, and the U.S. Amateur in August.

In the senior division, 2013 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Doug Hanzel, of Savannah, Ga., and his partner Buzz Fly, of Memphis, Tenn., earned a two-stroke victory over Virginians Keith Decker and Matt Sughrue, the 2016 U.S. Senior Amateur runner-up. Hanzel celebrated his 61st birthday on Sunday.

First for Papp

University of Texas Longhorns freshman Kaitlyn Papp, who won the  U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with partner Hailee Cooper at Streamsong in 2016, earned her first collegiate victory on Monday, Feb. 13. Papp shared the title at the NorthropGrumman Regional Challenge at Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., with Olivia Mehaffey (Arizona State) and Lilia Vu (UCLA). The trio posted 1-under 212 in the 54-hole competition. 

“Kaitlyn had just a terrific week,” said Longhorns coach Ryan Murphy. “To finish the tournament under par on Palos Verdes Country Club was outstanding golf. It is one of the most difficult courses we will see this year – perhaps the most difficult. Kaitlyn's approach to the game and her work-ethic paid off this week.”

David Shefter is a senior writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.

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