Kuznik and Sarkar Grab Early Lead at MGA Women's Four-Ball

July 31, 2022 | 3 min.
By Nick Hunter

   MONTICELLO, Minn. – A bogey-free 4-under 67 Sunday at Monticello Country Club helped the twosome of Camille Kuznik and Aayushi Sarkar take the early lead at the 2022 Minnesota Golf Association Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

Kuznik and Sarkar combined to tally four birdies over their first 13 holes and will now carry a three-stroke lead over the team of Emma Davies and Katie Foley to Monday’s final round.

“I feel like we had really good damage control today,” Kuznik said Sunday. “If one of us hit into trouble, it wasn’t that big of a problem. The other always seemed to be in contention for birdie. There wasn’t much stress."

“Scrambling was our best part of it. We got up-and-down to save par and were still able to get some birdies,” said Sarkar. “One person goes for it and the other plays it safe—that’s how it goes.”

Entering the week following her fourth-place finish at the MGA Women’s Amateur Championship at Rochester Golf and Country Club Friday, Sarkar showcased a strong iron game Sunday, hitting three approaches inside of five feet during her front nine to help put her team at 3-under for the tournament through eight holes.

Just off the 13th green with her approach, Sarkar chipped in for birdie to put her team up by four and they would cruise over their last five holes to post an opening-round 67.

“I knocked some shots in close—my irons were going pretty good today,” Sarkar said. “We were trying to go as low as we could.”

“I hit a lot of shots to about 10 feet and all of my putts went right over the edge [of the cup]," Kuznik added. "It could’ve definitely been lower today.”

Sarkar, who will begin her junior season at Drake University this fall, is in search of her first win since 2018, winning the Twin Cities Junior Championship at Victory Links Golf Course.

Kuznik, a soon-to-be sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, won back-to-back Minnesota State Junior Girls’ titles in 2018 and 2019.

The following season she claimed the Minnesota Junior PGA ‘Sota Series Girls’ Match Play Championship at Cragun’s Legacy Courses. Kuznik notched three straight Minnesota Public Golf Association Junior Public Links Championship victories from 2019-2021.

Teaming up at the championship last season at Northfield Golf Club, Kuznik and Sarkar posted back-to-back rounds of even par 72 to finish tied for fourth.

Davies and Foley, both incoming freshman at the University of St. Thomas this fall, carded two birdies against two bogeys during their front nine to turn in even par Sunday before settling into their respective rounds by converting a birdie chance at the 11th to move into red figures.

The two combined to card consecutive pars over their last seven holes to finish the opening round at 1-under 70, three shots off the lead.

The teams of Kathryn Reeves and Jaycee Rhodes and Claudia Kim and Paige O’Neal each posted rounds of even par 72 Sunday and will begin the final round Monday three strokes back.

The twosome of Jacqueline Santopietro and Merridith Joly carded three bogeys during their back nine Sunday to fire an opening-round 73 to earn a share of the lead with the team of Ann Feitl and Kara Salava in the First Flight.

In the Second Flight, Mary Butkovich and Carla Rudesill combined for a 13-over par 84 Sunday to take a two-stroke lead over the teams of Denise Cosgrove and Nikki Heilskov and the pairing of Cheryl Lombardi and Sally Platt.

The 2022 MGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship continues Monday when the final round begins at 7:30 a.m. at Monticello Country Club.


Nick Hunter

Nick Hunter got his start covering sports for the Mankato Free Press while attending Minnesota State University, Mankato. 

He then contributed to several online outlets, including Bleacher Report, prior to turning his focus to golf.

Hunter enters his 12th season covering golf in Minnesota as news editor for the MGA website. He resides in New Prague with his wife and two sons.

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