Craig, Lehigh Sisters Record-Setting Medalists at Oak Hills C.C.

By David Shefter, USGA

| May 12, 2024 | San Antonio, Texas

Craig, Lehigh Sisters Record-Setting Medalists at Oak Hills C.C.

What Happened

They say everything is bigger in Texas. That slogan certainly is apropos for what transpired on Sunday in the second and final round of stroke play at the 9th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Oak Hills Country Club.

Records were flying like a Black Friday sale. Leading the way were two sets of dynamic sisters: Caroline, 23, and Catie Craig, 20, of Sautee Nacoochee, Ga., and Loveland, Colo., natives Katelyn, 20, and 23-year-old Lauren Lehigh.

The Craig duo, which shared the 18-hole lead with twins Janae and Jasmine Leovao, backed up their opening-round, 8-under-par 63 with a 65 for a 14-under-total of 128. The Lehigh tandem registered one of four 9-under 62s on Sunday to reach 128, and shatter the previous 36-hole championship mark of 130 set by Faith Choi and Aneka Seumanutafa five years ago at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla.

They finished two strokes better than three other sides, including 2024 U.S. Women’s Open qualifier Asterisk Talley, 15, of Chowchilla, Calif., and 17-year-old Sarah Lim, of Saratoga, Calif. Also posting 12-under 130 were college assistant coaches Addie Baggarly (University of Louisville), 24, of Clarksville, Tenn., and Kendall Griffin (Indiana University), 25, of Sebring, Fla.; and 2024 Georgia Southern signee Mary Miller, 18, of Savannah, Ga., and 2024 Georgia Southern graduate Abby Newton, 22, of Statesboro, Ga.

Two other sides posted 11-under 131: 2021 champions Alexa Saldana, 20, of Mexico, and Savannah Barber, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas, and the 20-year-old Leovao sisters from Oceanside, Calif.

Catie (left) and Caroline Craig continued to make their own history on the golf course, posting 14-under 128 to share medalist honors. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Catie (left) and Caroline Craig continued to make their own history on the golf course, posting 14-under 128 to share medalist honors. (USGA/Chris Keane)

While the forecast called for rain and possible thunderstorms, the day remained overcast and humid with very little breeze, allowing for great scoring.

Neither of the two record-setting sister duos had any idea they were making history. But in the past two seasons, Catie Craig has made her mark at Western Kentucky, becoming the first player to win the Conference USA individual title (2023) and qualify for regionals in consecutive years (2023-24). She also established the 18-, 36- and 54-hole school scoring mark at WKU’s tournament earlier this spring. Caroline Craig, who transferred to Indiana after four years at the University of Georgia, helped the Hoosiers win their first Big 10 title in 26 years while sharing the individual championship with two other players.

On Sunday, however, they got off to a sluggish start with a bogey on the par-3 second hole. Catie then converted a 20-foot, uphill birdie on the third hole and Caroline followed with three consecutive birdies, and they added three more on Nos. 10, 14 and 15.

“This field is great,” said Caroline. “There are so many amazing players, so we knew we had to make as many birdies as we possibly could.”

Added Catie, who reached the Round of 16 in last year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur: “I wasn’t thinking about the leader board. I was just having fun with her.”

The Lehigh duo also had no idea where they stood on the leader board. They just knew they were playing well. Lauren, a 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur quarterfinalist at Chambers Bay who just graduated from the University of New Mexico where she established a school single-season stroke average mark of 71.67, stuffed her approach on the par-4 17th to 2 feet for an easy birdie. Then little sis Katelyn, a rising junior at Fresno State, converted a 15-footer on the par-3 closing hole. It was only when informed by a USGA official that they were record-setting co-medalists that they understood the magnitude of their accomplishment.

“We’ve done nothing as cool as this,” said Katelyn, who won her lone collegiate tournament last September in Utah.

Said Lauren: “Everything kind of went our way today. It was just smooth and easy.”

Division I assistant women's golf coaches Addie Baggarly (left) and Kendall Griffin showed they still have plenty of game, posting 12-under 130. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Division I assistant women's golf coaches Addie Baggarly (left) and Kendall Griffin showed they still have plenty of game, posting 12-under 130. (USGA/Chris Keane)

Baggarly and Griffin, a six-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball participant who earned medalist honors in the inaugural championship in 2015, were trending towards medalist honors when they got to 8 under for the day after Baggarly, who played at Florida and Baylor, holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-5 10th hole. Two holes later, Griffin, a former standout at both Louisiana State and Louisville, chipped in for birdie on the par-4 12th. Baggarly wound up with five birdies and an eagle.

But they both missed the green on the par-3 13th, resulting in a bogey, and Griffin three-putted No. 15, leading to another bogey.

Miller, the 2023 Georgia 3A high school individual champion from Savannah Christian, and Newton played alongside the college assistants, fed off the momentum of each other’s stellar play. Miller had seven birdies on her own ball in the team’s 62.

“Whenever someone is making birdies, you want to make birdies with them,” said Newton. [Mary] just tore it up today.”

Talley, the 2024 Sage Valley Invitational winner and member of the USGA’s inaugural U.S. National Junior Team, and Lim, who plans to attend Princeton in 2025, also fed off their fellow competitors, combining with 2022 semifinalists and Sam Houston State teammates Amelia Guo and Grace Jin to shoot 15 under par. They held the clubhouse lead for medalist honors most of the day. Guo and Jin shot a 65 to share 11th at 9-under 133.

A pair of 16-year-old Greensboro, Ga., residents, Kallyn Black and Lili Nelson, shared ninth at 10-under 132 with New Mexico State teammates Emma Kaisa Bunch, of Denmark, and Alexandria Armendariz, of Las Cruces, N.M. Black came into this event fresh off winning an American Junior Golf Association event in Owensboro, Ky., while Bunch won five times this season for the Aggies, including the Conference USA Championship and was named among the 10 players on the Annika Award watchlist for being the top player in collegiate women’s golf.

What’s Next

The championship now switches to match play on Monday with the Round of 32 set to commence at 9 a.m. CDT. Match play continues through Wednesday’s semifinal and 18-hole championship matches. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

U.S. National Junior Team member Asterisk Talley (left) is thoroughly having a blast with fellow Northern Californian Sarah Lim at Oak Hills. They shot 62 on Sunday to finish tied for third in stroke play with a 36-hole total of  12-under 130. (USGA/Chris Keane)

U.S. National Junior Team member Asterisk Talley (left) is thoroughly having a blast with fellow Northern Californian Sarah Lim at Oak Hills. They shot 62 on Sunday to finish tied for third in stroke play with a 36-hole total of 12-under 130. (USGA/Chris Keane)


  • The cut for match play came at a record 3-under-par 139 with four sides playing off for the final three spots. Southern Californians Abra Richmond and Andee Avery garnered seed No. 30 by making birdie on the par-5 10th hole. University of Delaware teammates Christina Carroll and Marissa Malosh got seed No. 31 with a birdie on the par-4 eighth, the second playoff hole. North Carolinians Emerson B. Dever and Grace Ridenour, the last side into the field as a late replacement, earned the final spot in the draw with a birdie on the par-3 ninth hole.

  • Plenty of proud moms have been on the grounds of Oak Hills C.C. this week watching their daughters compete. But there was only one mom actually competing. It was a cool Mother’s Day for five-time participant Olivia Herrick, whose daughters Ruthie (5) and Nell (2) were home in Roseville, Minn., cheering from afar with husband and former NCAA Division III golfer, Bror Herrick. Herrick, a 35-year-old who operates her own graphic design business, and fellow Minnesotan Samantha Sommers, failed to make match play, shooting 1-over 143.

  • To commemorate Mother’s Day, the USGA handed out pins in the same manner it does on Father’s Day, which always falls on the final Sunday of the U.S. Open.

  • Anna Kate Nichols and Sofia Cherif Essakali played as a twosome during stroke play. Nichols’ partner, Claire Henson, injured her left arm in a fall last Monday, while Essakali’s partner, Aphrodite Deng, decided not to attend the championship. Wearing a sling, Henson walked all 36 holes with Nichols. Under the Rules for four-ball, she could assist her partner with strategy and decision-making. Essakali, meanwhile, shot an even-par 71 on her own ball, a round that included six birdies.

  • Two mid-amateur (25 and older) sides advanced to match play, including the second-oldest in the field. Portland, Ore., residents Gretchen Johnson (37) and Amanda Jacobs (36), who posted 7-under 135, advanced for the first time in three appearances. Johnson is a director of business development for a capital management company and Jacobs is the president of the family-owned Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. Twins Sarah and Jessica Spicer, 26, of Bahama, N.C., was the other mid-am side to qualify.

  • All six sets of sisters in the field advanced to match play, including inaugural U.S. National Junior Team member Emerie Schartz, 15, and her 14-year-old sibling Avery. The Wichita, Kan., residents carded a second-round 66 for a 6-under total of 136.

  • Kary Hollenbaugh and Anna Ritter, semifinalists in 2022 in Puerto Rico, carded a championship-record 29 on the outward nine. Seven sides had previously posted 30s. Hollenbaugh and Ritter, both from New Albany, Ohio, play for Ohio State and Illinois, respectively.

  • The youngest side in the field, 14-year-old Southern Californians Rina Kawasaki and Clairey Lin, qualified with a 36-hole total of 134.


“She’s a long-ball hitter. She’s a good ball-striker and her putting has gotten a lot better this year. [But] her biggest asset is her mental game. She’s really, really good at staying in her process, staying in the present and believing in herself.” – Indiana assistant coach and 2024 Four-Ball competitor Kendall Griffin on Caroline Craig, whom she coached this past season

“That’s a record? Oh my gosh!” – Caroline Craig

“It was a little bit more of a struggle, but I am happy we didn’t make any bogeys that counted,” said Bunch, a rising junior who is on the Danish National Team. “I don’t think we thought about [backing up our low round] too much out there. We just didn’t have as many birdie chances today.” – Emma Kaisa Bunch on trying to follow up the side’s 64 from Saturday

“We both haven’t been hitting it great this week, especially me, but we’ve kind of been sister-in-lawing it. Our games complement each other.” – Lili Nelson on playing with best friend Kallyn Black

“We were laughing and having a lot of fun. It wasn’t like super stressful. There’s a lot less pressure on yourself when you have two scores [to choose from].” – Sarah Lim on playing with Asterisk Talley

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