It was an impressive final round for Vanderbilt sophomore Tillie Claggett.
She fired a tournament-record 9-under 61 on Sunday to win the women’s division of the 2023 Patriot All-America, a year-end amateur tournament filled with plenty of the best amateurs from across the country in Litchfield Park, Arizona.
Claggett entered the final round six shots back of the lead, but nine birdies later on the Wigwam’s blue course she walked away with her name in the record books and the Folded Flag trophy and Bomber jacket.
“I’ve kind of been waiting for an individual win since I moved out of my junior career into my amateur career, so this definitely feels good,” Claggett said.
She finished at 12-under 198 for the tournament, two shots in front of South Florida’s Melanie Green, the 36-hole leader.
Meanwhile, Florida junior Ian Gilligan shot 2-under 68 in the final round at the Golf Course to cap his wire-to-wire victory, finishing at 12 under. He bested Notre Dame’s Parker Jackson, the event’s only five-time participant, by three shots.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m stoked,” said Gilligan, the reigning Big West Conference individual champion. “I didn’t get off to an amazing start – it was a little slow – but I stuck around and waited for my opportunities. I was lucky to get a hole out, which helped, and then hung in there at the end. But I’m extremely to win this event.”
The Patriot All-America Invitational features PING All-Americans from the previous season in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and NJCAA; as well as 2022 First Team All-America Seniors from the AJGA and other special invitees. The 54-hole amateur event is known as the first of its kind to combine the talents of 150 nationally recognized men and women golfers simultaneously at one tournament.
Conducted in a partnership with the GCAA, WGCA, the West Valley Mavericks, The Patriot All-America LLC and the Arizona Golf Association, The Patriot All-America honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers and first responders in collaboration with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The golfers receive a golf bag provided by PING Corporation at the event’s opening ceremony emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story so they can become familiar with that soldier. The golf bags are then sold by the players’ college or university with proceeds donated to Folds of Honor to support the families affected.