Hong wins WOGA Stroke Play Championship, Dierinzo takes sixth straight Mid-Am title

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By Ken MacLeod

Rising Norman high school junior Juliana Hong shot a 2-over 74 Tuesday at Muskogee Golf Club to go with an opening 76 Monday, good for a 2-shot victory over Michaela Dierinzo in the Women’s Oklahoma Golf Association Stroke Play Championship.

Dierinzo finished as the Mid-Amateur Champion in that event held simultaneously, her sixth consecutive title in that event. Her name is beginning to occupy quite a bit of space on the impressive Mid-Amateur trophy which has been in her possession since 2018.

Juliana Hong tees off on the 16th hole at Muskogee Golf Club

Hong, who recently won the Class 6A girls high school championship, finished runnerup in the OGA Junior Boys & Girls Championship and then won the U.S. Junior Qualifier against a tough field at Dornick Hills, battled windy conditions and firm, fast greens at the classic Perry Maxwell layout to put her name in the WOGA record books.

First-round leader Natalie Blonien of Altus, who will play for the University of Arkansas in the fall, opened with an even-par 72 but skied to an 82 Tuesday to fall back into a tie for third with Jessica Osden (80-74) of Rogers State University. Blonien won the stroke play title at the OGA Junior and recently picked up her second consecutive victory in the Texas-Oklahoma Junior at Wichita Falls, Texas. She and her sister Megan, champion in 2011-2012, are the only sisters to win the TO Junior in back-to-back years.

Hong made three birdies, a double bogey and three bogeys in her round of 74. The final birdie on the par-5 15thhelped cement her victory. Dierinzo actually took three shots to extricate herself from a fence on Monday’s round or could have been tied. She also made three birdies in her Tuesday round, including the final one at the par-3 17th. Needing a birdie on the par-4 18th to tie, she made bogey.

Hong was interested to learn after the round that the winner of this year’s WOGA State Amateur July 22-25 at Stillwater Country Club receives an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Amateur Aug. 5-11 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. That news sent her and her father into reevaluation mode on the remainder of her summer schedule.

WOGA President Louise Johnson with Stroke Play Champion Juliana Hong.
Sisters Megan and Natalie Blonien are the only sisters to win the Texas-Oklahoma Junior in consecutive years, Megan in 2011-12 and Natalie in 2023-24.
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Ken MacLeod

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