Tyree comes through with heat on in Women’s Western Am  

Writing from Long Grove, Illinois

Friday, July 19, 2019

When the temperature of 94 and the heat index is 105, even a breeze doesn’t help unless it’s to imitate standing in front of a blast furnace.

Even the players in the Women’s Western Amateur who hail from warmer climates than Chicago were feeling it on Friday.

“I don’t think I’ve sweated that much in how long,” Brooke Tyree of Sulphur, La., said after her 1-up victory over Tristyn Nowlin, last year's runner-up, at Royal Melbourne Country Club.

Tyree knows heat and humidity, so going to Texas A&M – College Station, Tex., is not known for cold fronts – was a natural for her. But Friday was something else.

“It was hotter here than Louisiana,” Tyree said.

Tyree was feeling it down the stretch. She built a 3-up lead on Nowlin through 13 holes, but lost the par-3 14th, and the two par-5s on the back nine, the 15th and 17th, with 6s to Nowlin’s 5s.

“I hit a bad chip on 14 and three-putted 17,” Tyree recalled.

Both players were reeling, but Tyree came up big at the last, with a 143-yard knockdown 8-iron that stopped eight feet from the cup, the shot that secured an eventual par and a 1-up victory.

Tyree plays Antonia Matte of Chile at 7:08 a.m. Saturday. Matte beat Daphne Chao of New York 5 and 3 to advance.

The other semifinal, a 7 a.m. start, pits Maria Bohorquez of Bogota, Colombia, against Sarah Shipley of Hastings, Mich., whose hot-weather experience comes from playing for Kentucky. Still, playing two matches on Friday – Shipley beat Catherine Caudill, 3 and 2, in the Round of 16 before dispatching Julie Houston of Allen, Tex., 2 up in the quarterfinal cauldron – took a toll.

“In school, we play a lot of 36-hole matches, but not in 100-degree heat,” Shipley said. “The mindset is after 18, you don’t even think about it. You think you’re making the turn.”

Shipley never trailed Houston, but needed a birdie at the last to finish her off because she missed an uphill 5-foot putt to win the match on the 17th green.

Bohorquez, a 17-year-old entering her junior year of high school, has yet to convince her mother that attending an American college will be more worthwhile than turning pro immediately. Her play this week, which included a 5 and 4 quarterfinal victory over Caroline Wrigley of Wexford, Pa., might help swing the tide in her favor. She too has survived the heat.

“In Colombia, it’s not that humid,” Bohorquez said.

She was convinced to play in the Women’s Western by caddie Andres Echavarria, who played in the Western Junior and Western Amateur before turning pro. He has two wins on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica to his credit, including one this year, and is working as Bohorquez’ caddie while that tour is on hiatus during the South American winter.

Around Royal Melbourne

Medalist Ela Belen Anacona of Buenos Aires was hit with a one-hole penalty in her quarterfinal match against Wrigley after discovering a 15th club in her bag – and not one of hers – on the second tee. Nobody knows how it got there. Anacona squared the match at the ninth hole, but Wrigley won the 12th, 13th and 15th holes en route to a 3 and 2 victory. ... Houston beat Penelope Tir of Winnetka, 4 and 2, in her Round of 16 match. ... Lemont’s Lauren Beaudreau, the other local hopeful, fell 5 and 4 to Chao in the Round of 16. ... Nowlin beat Tess Hackworthy of Madison, Wis., in the Round of 16, while Tyree dismissed Ana Laura Collado Diaz of Xalapa, Mexico, 4 and 2. ... Saturday’s final is expected to start at noon.

Tim Cronin

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