Eleven months ago, Rachel Kuehn was riding the bench as the Wake Forest women’s golf team made its 2019-20 debut. The freshman from Asheville, North Carolina, didn’t qualify for the event.
“She came into my office and asked ‘What do I need to do, coach?’” said head coach Kim Lewellen. “I said, ‘You’ve got to make it where I can’t not take you.’”
Kuehn did just that, winning her college debut wire-to-wire at the 2019 ANNIKA Intercollegiate – arguably the most competitive regular-season tournament in women’s college golf – and has since made a name for herself as one of the nation’s best amateur players.
U.S. Women’s Amateur: Tee times and TV info
“It showed me I can compete on a national stage and that I can compete with the best players in the country. It was more of a confidence thing than anything,” said Kuehn of her debut victory. “Now that I’ve been able to put myself in that situation a couple times in the past year, it’s done wonders for my confidence and game.”
This week, just outside the Washington, D.C., she’ll have a chance to officially claim the title of nation’s best as Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, plays host to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Aug. 3-9, with Kuehn and defending champion Gabi Ruffels highlighting the loaded field. Kuehn enters the week in impressive form, winning her last two events: the prestigious North & South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst and the Ladies National Golf Association Amateur.
Kuehn’s pandemic-shortened freshman campaign featured the win at the ANNIKA and two more top-10s in just five events. She didn’t finish worse than 17th and led the Demon Deacons with a 71.23 scoring average.
“We have a really competitive team. Any five of us can travel on any day and we can have a chance to compete for a win,” said Kuehn. “So it’s definitely motivating to know I have to be able to go out there and play my best just to even qualify, let alone play well in the tournaments.”
On the bag this week will be her older brother, Corrie, who played golf at Rhodes College in Memphis and previously caddied for his sister at the U.S. Girls’ Junior three years ago.
“He keeps me really loose on the course,” said Rachel. “He keeps my mind off golf when I’m walking between shots and when I get to my ball he’s like, ‘Alright time to buckle down and focus.’ And he is really good at helping that transition and keeping me loose and not so nervous.”
“Goofy 1 and Goofy 2 when they’re together,” chimed in their mother, Brenda, an All-American golfer and five-time winner as a senior for the Demon Deacons in the 1980s.
The Siblings Kuehn will have their work cut out for them this week. Here’s everything you need to know – including a few more players to watch – for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Fourth time’s a charm?
Marissa Wenzler is about to
By: Adam Woodard
Title: U.S. Women's Am Preview: Rachel Kuehn comes in on a hot streak; Marissa Wenzler debuts
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/08/02/u-s-womens-am-preview-rachel-kuehn-comes-in-on-a-hot-streak-marissa-wenzler-debuts/
Published Date: Sun, 02 Aug 2020 12:00:45 +0000