PONTE VEDRA, Fla., Nov. 6, 2022 – It turned out to be a Cinderella story finale after all at the 2022 PXG Women’s Match Play Championship. 16th seed Josee Doyon of Quebec, Canada knocked off the first, eighth, fourth and finally the tenth seed in the Championship Match to take home the $15,000 Champion’s check, her share of the $60,000 overall purse.
Doyon won emphatically, with birdies on six of the last seven holes in the final match against Singapore’s Amanda Tan, the tenth seed. One down in the Championship Match through seven, Doyon squared the match with a birdie on 8. She then birdied on holes 9,11,12,13 and 14 on her way to a 4&3 upset. The 29-year-old Doyon who played her college golf at Kent State and won three straight NCAA tournaments said, “It was just great. It started a little slow this afternoon but then I put the pedal to the metal and made some birdies. I was just feeling it, feeling the putts, feeling the shots. It was good golf. I am very happy.”
Tan, 22, turned professional out of high school in 2019, when she won the Singapore qualifier for the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s Championship. She’s made her living on the Asian Tour and is now in her first year of playing professional golf in the United States. “America is where we need to be playing,” said Tan. “I came into this event to prepare for the second stage of LPGA Q-School, but this is a real event,” she added following her match with Doyon, noting the strong field of LPGA and Epson Tour players as well as NCAA Champions and 2022 U.S. Women’s Open Qualifiers. “Josee played incredible golf today. She was fun to watch, and no one was beating her today.” Doyon also beat the 4th seed, Ji Eun Baik, 4&3, in the morning’s semifinal match. Baik is a three-time winner on the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour of which the PXGWMPC is an official event. Doyon’s toughest match was Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinal match against local favorite 8th seed Auston Kim. That match went the 18-hole distance in a see-saw battle, in which she needed five birdies to overcome the six made by Kim. Kim grew up in Ponte Vedra (FL) and attended Nease Highschool. She’s played many matches at the World Golf Village Slammer & Squire Course on which the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship was contested.
The match to decide third and fourth place was a State of Georgia showdown, pitting LPGA veteran Jean Reynolds against Baik. Down since the first hole and eventually 4 down through 11, Baik fought back hard, whittling it to just one down going to 16. Reynolds drained her fourth birdie of the match on 16 and closed out the match on 17 to finish third in the unique match play tournament. The order of finish was Champion Doyon, Tan, Reynolds and Baik.
87 women started the tournament on Tuesday, 82 of them professionals and five among the most elite amateurs in the world, including the world’s top ranked junior and Alabama commit, Jacksonville’s Kaitlyn Schroeder. Players from 15 countries and 18 U.S. states were in the field. Sponsor exemptions were also given to two local college players, Christin Eissebeiss of the University of North Florida, and Jan Browne of Flagler College. After a two-day, 36-hole qualifier, the field was cut to the top 64. On Friday, those 64 were cut again through 27-holes of group play, called The Battle Round in which the players were split into 16 groups of 4 and played each other in 9-hole matches round robin style. Each hole was worth a point. The player in each group with the most points advanced to the Sweet 16 in traditional match play.
The Final Four – Doyon, Tan, Baik and Reynolds each endured 138 holes during the week, playing 36 holes on Saturday and again on Sunday. In the morning’s semifinal matches, Doyon knocked off Baik 4&3 and Tan beat Reynolds 2&1 to set up the Finals. The last woman standing was Doyon.
After a high five and a long hug with some shared tears of joy with caddie, boyfriend Andre Giroux, Doyon said, “It’s cheesy to say, but it is life changing. We don’t make much in women’s golf and that’s a lot of work for $15,000 and I am just very happy and I will put this towards the next season and keep working at it.”
Tournament creator and owner of the ECWPGT, Mark Berman, commented during his closing ceremony address that a $60,000 purse and a $15,000 purse is significant when one considers the number one player in the country at this developmental level earned just $39,000 this year. A $15,000 check he noted is equal to a third place Epson Tour finish, the level just above the ECWPGT and a 30th place finish in a typical LPGA event. “Our mission with what started last year with the PXGWMPC, which then inspired the ECWPGT, is to illuminate this level of women’s pro golf, to elevate their playing experience to one that celebrates who they are as some of the best athletes in the world and among the best at their craft, and to eventually graduate them to the LPGA Tour,” he added. “We’re doing our small part to ensure the best players get to the biggest stage, not just the ones who can afford it. I know Josee’s story, and she is not of the means to chase this dream. $15,000 pays for an entire year of entry fees in 2023, and a few hotel rooms along the way, especially coming from Canada where, like most of these players, travel is their biggest expense.”
The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship is an official event on the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour, one of just three developmental tours for women in the United States. The ECWPGT and the tournament mission are to create more and better playing opportunities for women aspiring to the LPGA Tour. With the goal of putting developmental women’s golf on a big stage and shining a light on the next level of LPGA players. The inaugural PXG Women’s Match Play Championship was held in 2021 and was the first professional women’s golf tournament in the Jacksonville market since 1976.
Proceeds from ticket sales go to the St. Johns County non-profit, Investing in Kids, the tournament’s Official Charity Partner. Follow all the action on social media at @PXGWMPC or @ECWPGT.
Founded by entrepreneur and self-proclaimed golf nut Bob Parsons, PXG embodies his belief that every new product – from golf clubs to sport fashion apparel – should be markedly better. Every innovation should noticeably improve your performance. And every moment of impact should elevate your enjoyment. Today, PXG offers a complete lineup of right- and left-handed golf clubs, including drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters, as well as high-performance, sport fashion apparel and accessories. For more information visit PXG.com.
About the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour
The ECWPGT has a dual mission of creating more and better playing opportunities for women aspiring to the LPGA Tour and to create career connections and pathways outside the ropes for female athletes. Based in Florida, the ECWPGT is one of only three women’s developmental tours in the U.S and serves the eastern part of the country with 15 events each year and its Q-School prep events in California. Players come from 26 states and more than a dozen countries. Seeing through his own daughter’s eyes the limited opportunity for women to chase their professional dreams, particularly in comparison to their male peers who have more than 30 “mini tours” leading to the PGA TOUR, Mark Berman, with more than 25 years of golf industry marketing experience, launched the Tour in January The ECWPGT is open to developmental professional players including those on the Epson Tour and Ladies European Tours and is also open to elite level amateurs and college players. Website www.ECWPGT.com. Follow at @ecwpgt.