Olivia Herrick shot a final round 1-over 73 to hang on and win the 2018 Minnesota Women’s State Open at her home course Dellwood Country Club. Herrick, an amateur that owns and operates her own graphic design company, edged out two past champions in Sarah Burnham and Lisa Grimes by one shot to claim her second Women’s State Open title.
“I felt that I played pretty solid. I have been playing out here a ton—we had our Club Championship last weekend, so I’ve been able to get a good feel for the greens and get a good idea of the course conditions,” said Herrick. “I still left a few out there, but I knew if I could shoot around even-par I would definitely be in contention.”
Burnham, a recent graduate and former player at Michigan State University, carded the low round of the day with a 5-under 67. She will be attempting to qualify for the LPGA at Q-School this coming Monday, August 20 at Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah and Palmer Courses) in Rancho Mirage, Ca. and Shadow Ridge Golf Club in Palm Desert, Ca.
Herrick’s road to victory was not an easy one. She struggled on the front nine and couldn’t post a birdie. Most notably, she missed a short birdie on the par-4 9th after a great approach.
Anni Heck finished solo fourth at 2-over. Heck, a member of the University of Denver Women’s Golf team, started the day one shot off the lead but dug herself a hole with a double-bogey at the 2nd and a bogey at the 3rd. She responded nicely birdieing three of her last five to make the turn still one shot off the lead. Grimes, who began the day two back, had three birdies on the front on her way to a 1-under front nine good enough for a share of the lead.
With the championship up for the taking, Herrick nailed a 25-foot birdie from the fringe on the par-3 12th to jumpstart her round and take a two-shot lead over Heck. It didn’t take Heck long to answer as she birdied the 13th and 14th to pull even with Herrick.
“I had a lot of pars and then a bogey [at the 8th]. I felt that I missed a really short one on 9 for birdie, and kind of how golf is, the long putt on 12 goes in and you think ‘maybe the universe isn’t against me today,’ Herrick said smiling. “That putt was definitely good for morale.”
After the amateurs Herrick and Heck parred 16, Herrick nearly holed out her tee shot on the short par-3 17th and tapped in for birdie. Meanwhile, Heck had a costly three-putt for bogey which put her two shots back with one hole to play. Grimes, who had no birdies on the back, also began the final hole two shots off the lead.
Realizing what she was on the cusp of accomplishing, Herrick let her nerves get to her a bit as she hit an errant tee shot on the par-4 18th and had to punch out in the fairway. In what was arguably her shot of the day, she sticks her third shot a couple feet from the hole. Grimes and Heck eventually would par leading to an easy two putt and Herrick’s second Women’s State Open in front of a gallery of her supporters.
“We had the State Am out at Dellwood about 5 or 6 years ago and I really wanted that one but just didn’t finish well on the final day. Ever since then, I have felt that I had a little chip on my shoulder,” she emphasized. “This is really special to me because I get to play against professionals and amateurs—the State Open is a big tournament for all of us so to be able to win here I am so grateful for it.”