Danae Rugola, winner of the Second WPGA Girls' Match Play Invitational

Rugola claims WPGA Girls' Match Play title
By WPGA • July 15, 2019

It was Danae Rugola’s year at the second playing of the WPGA Girls’ Match Play Invitational at Latrobe Country Club. With the 2018 champion, Caroline Wrigley, not in this year’s eight player match play bracket, Rugola, last year’s Runner-Up, knew she had to be the frontrunner. After battling through two days and three rounds of match play, she can now call her herself the Champion.

In Monday’s first round, Rugola got off to fast start and built a lead that Abby Zambruno could not overcome. After making birdies on five of the first six holes, she held a 5 up lead and eventually would go on to win 7&6 and face the winner of Natalie Brosig vs. Christinia Lewis, a match that Lewis controlled right from the start. She won the first three holes and went on to win 6&4 and earn her spot in the semifinals.

On the other side of the bracket, Adena Rugola, took on Paige Scott in the first quarterfinal match. It was the most tightly contested matchup of the first round, one that Scott would take in the end 3&1. In the last first round matchup, State College’s Alexandra Voight-Shelley squared off with a semifinalist from last year, Vileska Gelpi. Gelpi wasn’t able get anything going early, losing six of the first seven holes, and from there, Voight-Shelley cruised to a 6&5 victory to set the stage for a semifinal matchup with Paige Scott.

On Tuesday, Danae Rugola once again started fast against Christinia Lewis. She took a 4 up lead to the 12th tee and looked like she would seemingly earn another big victory. However, Lewis capitalized on a couple Rugola mistakes and made some birdies of her own to tie the match after seventeen holes. In the end, Rugola made birdie on the reachable par-5 18th hole and won the match 1 up. The second semifinal match between Paige Scott and Alexandra Voight-Shelley was much more of a back-and-forth battle the whole way. Scott seemed to take control with a 20-foot putt to save par and win the 9th hole for a 2 up lead. However, Voight-Shelley fought back to tie the match with two holes to go but a bogey the 17th hole gave that one to Paige Scott, who also parred the 18th hole for a 1 up victory.

This setup a matchup between Youngstown State women’s golf commit, Rugola, and 15-year-old, Scott. A matchup that looked like it would come down to the final few holes right from the start certainly did not disappoint. Rugola took the lead after she birdied the par-5 6th hole, but Scott bounced right back with a beautiful par save on the 7th hole to tie the match. The match remained square all the way to the 15th tee when Rugola took advantage of a Scott three-putt to pull ahead. Again, Scott came back and birdied the 16th hole to tie the match. On 17, Rugola made a nice par save from just off the green and took that 1 up lead to the final hole. With matching birdies on the 18th hole, Rugola was victorious with a final score of 1 up.

Now in its second year, the WPGA Girls’ Match Play Invitational was added to the schedule to mirror the C.R. Miller, and fantastic play once again made the event a success.

The WPGA would like to thank Latrobe Country Club for hosting this year’s event. The next women’s event on the schedule is the Isaly’s Women’s Amateur Championships at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Registration will remain open for that event until July 31st. For all the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association updates, follow the WPGA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.