Playing 67 holes over two days in the muggy heat of mid-July would sap the energy of most golfers, but Jackie Rogowicz did not find the weather to be an issue during the final rounds of the Philadelphia Women’s Match Play Championship at Saucon Valley Country Club.
Rogowicz, a former Penn State standout and the event’s qualifying medalist, ignored the steamy conditions again Thursday and closed out her week Thursday by taking the championship, 3 and 2, over defending champion Samantha Perrotta.
Rogowicz, of Commonwealth National, needed 33 holes to win her quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Wednesday on the Grace course at Saucon Valley, and captured Thursday’s match with a par on her 34th hole.
“It’s kind of like a long week, a lot of golf,” Rogowicz, a Pennsbury High School graduate, said in a telephone interview after the match. “[Wednesday] was 36, today was 36. So it’s just trying to stay patient through all of it, and with match play, it can kind of go back and forth at times. So overall it feels great to win.
“The heat wasn’t bad. I’m used to it playing all summer, especially in college we would play 36 often. In general, I don’t really mind the heat. Actually I think it could have been hotter. It didn’t feel that hot for me.”
In the morning, Perrotta, a two-time Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia player of the year from Philmont, was 2-up after 10, but Rogowicz won three holes — two with birdies — to take the lead before her opponent tied the match at No. 18.
Rogowicz won the first hole of the afternoon round to grab an early advantage. With the match tied after the seventh hole, Rogowicz parred No. 8 and birdied No. 10 to go 2-up. The next five holes were halved with pars.
“They were kind of stress-free pars, which is nice because I felt if she was going to win a hole, she would have to make a birdie,” Rogowicz said. “I feel like that’s important in match play for me, not giving away any holes, just being pretty steady.”
Rogowicz had the advantage off the tee at the 380-yard, par-4 16th hole after Perrotta found the bunker with her drive and blasted out 50 yards short of the green. Perrotta wound up missing a 15-foot putt for par and after a chip, Rogowicz sank a 5-footer for the win.
It was the latest achievement in a successful summer for Rogowicz. Last month, she won the Donna Andrews Invitational at Lynchburg, Va., and qualified for her fifth U.S. Women’s Amateur, which will be played next month at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y.