MistwoodCrestLogoDSDSC04826 (1) Mt. Prospect new sign DSPrint The Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, home of the Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open congratulate’s Madasyn Pettersen winner of the 2015 PK-IWO. Visit Mistwoodgc.com to book your next round of golf or call (815)-254-3333. The Mt. Prospect Golf Club opens this weekend from renovation, call (847)-259-4200 for tee times and more. The Western Amateur tee’s off August 4th and concludes with the championship match at Noon on Saturday August 8th. www.thewesternamateur.com for details and information. Parking and admission are free courtesy of the WGA and Mr. Jerry Rich owner of Rich Harvest Farms, Home of the 2016 UL International Crown.       ______________________________________________________________________

IWOLogoCroppedDSDSC04998 Madasyn Pettersen and Jim McWethy DS  The 21st Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open has crowned it’s youngest champion ever. 15 year old Madasyn Pettersen of Rockford (Above with Mistwood Owner Jim McWethy on the Champions Bridge at the Mistwood Golf Club). Pettersen locked in a tight battle late in the final round, exploded through “Kelpie’s Corner” without needing an “Amen” with Five Straight birdies, to cruise to a Five shot win after carding a six under par 66.

DSC04983 Stephanie Miller and Ember Schuldt DS

Team Illinois, Illinois Junior Stephanie Miller (L), and Illinois Alum Ember Schuldt (Daily Herald hat) after the final round.

The top players in golf are getting younger, even 26 year old Rory McIlroy has been making jokes about these young kids coming after him. The same can now be said about the top veteran LPGA players, because the young kids are coming after them as well.

In Illinois and maybe beyond, there is a new force in golf to be reckoned with, Madasyn Pettersen from Rockford is only 15 years old. She is going to be a Sophomore in high school this fall. She is your Illinois Women’s Open Champion, and yes she is going to be a Sophomore in high school this fall. College coaches will now start lining up in Rockford with golf scholarships in hand. In fact she may not be the last Pettersen family member to be a good golfer. Her younger sister Isabella is 9 years old, she just won a long-drive contest and a putting contest, but for now she caddies for her big sister, and Madasyn wouldn’t have it any other way. This is starting to sound like a golf reality show in the making. The Golf Channel might have “Big Break,” the Pettersen’s have “Big Sister.”

Illinois State Women’s Assistant Coach Chelsea Harris was in the final group with Pettersen, afterwards Harris admitted if she is a head coach before long, she might just be calling Pettersen herself.

The championship wasn’t over all that quickly however, after four holes Pettersen was at -2 after a bogey on four, and Harris was at five under. Pettersen slowly fought herself back into a tie by the 14th tee with Harris, who won low-professional, and (a) Brooke Ferrell who was T-2 with Harris. Then Pettersen went on her late birdie binge and it was game over.

Ember Schuldt who started the final round tied for first, could only manage an even par round of 72 and ended up alone in fourth place. University of Illinois Golfer Dana Gattone of Addison shot a 3 under par 69 to finish fifth. Biltmore club professional Katie Pius who is expecting her first child, also carded 69 and finished 12th.

Pro-am winning professional Mckenzie Lyng rallied with four late birdies, but that only equaled out her four early bogeys. She carded a par round of 72 and ended up in 8th place, she heads out to LPGA Q-school this next week in California.

Click here to hear interviews with IWO Champion Madasyn Pettersen, and runner up Chelsea Harris.

While Harris got the first place professional check of $5,000 from the purse of $25,000, Pettersen went over and posed for a picture with LPGA UL International Crown Trophy, that made a trophy tour appearance at Mistwood during the final round.

Someday if her game keeps progressing, Pettersen might just be holding that trophy as part of team USA. After her play at Mistwood, nobody would be the least bit surprised if Pettersen could see a bit of her future while looking at the trophy created by Tiffany’s for the LPGA Tour, and one of the world’s biggest women’s golf championships that takes center stage here at Rich Harvest Farms in July of 2016.

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About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both Chicagoland Golf and the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine. Rory has played over 460 courses in 37 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, in the golf industry.