Samantha Troyanovich was as surprised as anyone when she learned that she was heading into a playoff in the 2012 Phil Kosin Illinois Women’s Open July 29 at Mistwood Golf Club.
The Grosse Pointe Shores native started her final round three shots back, but fired a 3-under 69 to catch Samantha Postillion and Lauren Mielbrecth to set up a three-way sudden death playoff.
“I really wasn’t even thinking about it when I started my round. I wanted to take it one shot at a time, and I had tunnel vision the whole time. I didn’t even look at a scoreboard, so I had no clue where I was,” the 2007 Grosse Pointe University Liggett graduate said. “Someone said to me, ‘Get ready to go play. You’re in the playoff,’ I was like, ‘What!’ I was in shock.”
Moments later, Troyanovich was in even more disbelief as she birdied the par-5 No. 3 for the championship, winning the largest women’s professional tournament in the Chicagoland area.
“It was pretty surreal. It had not set in whatsoever at that point,” she said, remembering holding the trophy for the first time. “I was even dumbfounded I was even in that situation. I just wanted to go out and do my own thing and put a good score in.”
Troyanovich passed on the $5,000 purse for winning, instead electing to keep her amateur status.
She’s just finished her four years of eligibility at Tulane University, in New Orleans, where she earned a degree in business management, but plans on playing in amateur events while she pursues her master’s degree in accounting.
“I just think it’d be kind of foolish to turn professional right now. When I turn pro, I want to dedicate all my time towards it. I can’t do that while I’m still in school,” she said. “I mostly likely will stay an amateur next summer, so I can play in some events and try to improve. If things keep going in a positive direction, I’d go to Q-school next fall.”
In her career with Tulane, Troyanovich was named to the Conference USA second team twice. This past May, she was selected, along with senior classmates Ashley McKenney and Stephanie Wagstaff, for the Kim Moore Spirit Award by the National Golf Coaches Association.
The trio was the first class for the Tulane golf team after the suspension of play because of Hurricane Katrina.
Troyanovich’s career has taken her from Liggett to The Big Easy. Where it takes her next, she doesn’t know. But she’s looking forward to finding out.
“The sky is the limit for me and golf. I know that sounds cliché, but I really think it is,” she said. “I try to work as hard as I can at my game, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future. Talent and physical potential can only take me so far. Hard work, dedication, mental fortitude and some good luck will carry me the rest of the way.”