Lauren Greenlief defeated defending champ Margaret Shirley, 2 and 1, to become the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur.
The Women's Mid-Amateur is open to players age 25 or older with a USGA handicap index of 9.4 or lower. At 25 years and 25 days, Greenlief is three months younger than Sarah LeBrun Ingram was when she won the title in 1991.
“It's the coolest feeling ever," Greenlief told reporters. "I think every golfer, especially every amateur golfer, really dreams of being a USGA champion, because it's really the pinnacle of amateur golf.”
Greenlief, who works as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, stormed out to an early lead at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La. She won three of the first five holes against Shirley and never trailed during the 18-hole final, closing out the match with a birdie on the par-5 17th hole.
Shirley also lost in the Mid-Am final in 2013. While she failed to defend her title, she did become just the 12th player to reach the match-play final of the same USGA event in three consecutive years, joining the likes of Tiger Woods, Juli Inkster and Hollis Stacy.
"When you're 3 down after five, to try to battle back on a golf course like this when someone is not making any mistakes, it's hard,” Shirley said.