After Sophia Schubert birdied two of her final three holes in the second round of stroke play in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at San Diego Country Club, she convened with her mother, Delisa, and checked live scoring on her phone. It was early in the day, but mother and daughter agreed that Sophia’s 36-hole total of 4-over-par 148 would be good enough to advance to match play.
Six wins later, the 21-year-old University of Texas student was a national champion with a world of opportunities open to her, including an exemption into this week’s 73rd U.S Women’s Open at Shoal Creek. Like several top female golfers today, Schubert’s ascendance began long before her triumph in San Diego, with her participation in the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.
Delisa registered Sophia at age 4 for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program in Knoxville, Tenn., about a 30-minute drive from the family’s home in Oak Ridge. The rest is history that is still being written.
The USGA partners with the LPGA Foundation to bring LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, the country’s flagship junior golf program for girls, to 70,000 girls annually. The program, which has locations in more than 450 communities in the U.S., instills confidence, enriches lives and prepares girls for a lifetime of enjoyment of the game. Girls Golf has seen exponential growth in recent years and the USGA is committed to help expand the program and increase girls’ participation in golf across North America.
“LPGA-USGA Girls Golf made the game fun for me and provided competition at a young age,” said Schubert. “Seeing progress in myself kept me wanting to play more. I also remember going to an LPGA Tour event with our group of girls. Watching the women play inspired me to continue to work hard.”
Some of the players Schubert watched at that LPGA Tour event could have been Girls Golf alumni, as Schubert is simply the latest name on an impressive list of players involved with the program. Fellow U.S. Women’s Amateur champions Morgan Pressel (2005), Amanda Blumenherst (2008) and Hannah O’Sullivan (2016) participated in the program. Additionally, five LPGA Tour stars serve as national spokeswomen for LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, including major champions Lexi Thompson, Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome, as well as two-time U.S Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Tiffany Joh and Lizette Salas. And in 2017, alumnae or current members of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf combined to secure 133 berths in USGA championships, including 13 at the U.S. Women’s Open.