Memphis golfer Rachel Heck loses in U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinal
Memphis native Rachel Heck’s run through the U.S. Women’s Amateur came to an end Saturday with a loss to Latanna Stone in the semifinals.
Heck, who went to St. Agnes and now is at Stanford, advanced from match play and beat Catherine Rao on Friday in the quarterfinals, but fell to LSU’s Stone, 3 and 2. Still, it was an impressive performance from Heck at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
Heck, the 2021 Commercial Appeal Sports Person of the Year, battled back from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, which involved removing her first rib. She went to Los Angeles after graduating from the Air Force’s grueling ROTC field training at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama just before the tournament started.
“This meant a lot to me,” Heck told Golf Channel after the match. “I’m genuinely just super proud of myself. It’s been a really hard year, hard year and a half, so just to feel like myself again and to feel healthy, I’ve learned that the happiness that comes from winning is very fleeting, but the happiness that comes from being healthy and being surrounded by people that I love, doing what I love, that’s the good stuff.”
After winning four state titles at St. Agnes, Heck was dominant as a freshman for the Cardinal. She became just the third freshman to sweep the NCAA golf postseason, winning the conference championship, the NCAA regional title and the national championship.
She was only the second freshman to win the ANNIKA Award, given annually to the best women’s Division I golfer. Her scoring average in 25 rounds of college golf (69.76) is also the lowest in NCAA history.
She’ll be back at Stanford for her senior season this fall.
Reach sports writer Jonah Dylan at email@example.com or on Twitter @thejonahdylan.