Kasey Petty went from heartbreak to absolute joy in less than a week, as one door in the 2012 Groveport Madison High School graduate's life closed and another opened.

Kasey Petty went from heartbreak to absolute joy in less than a week, as one door in the 2012 Groveport Madison High School graduate's life closed and another opened.

Competing in the NCAA Division II women's golf championships held May 18-21 in Aurora, Colorado, the 2016 University of Findlay graduate held a one-shot lead with two holes to play at CommonGround Golf Course but ended up losing by a stroke.

Petty, who finished the four-round tournament with a school-record 5-under-par 283 (73-71-69-70), shot par on her final two holes to finish second to Grand Valley State's Gabrielle Shipley, who birdied her final two holes.

"It was devastating," Petty said. "I finished on No. 9 and she was on No. 18. We went to our final holes knowing what we needed to do. I saw that she had a 7-foot straight putt. I had a 7-footer left with a little break. My putt lipped all the way around the hole and out. She made her putt."

Three days later, however, Petty qualified for the U.S. Women's Open by winning a qualifying tournament held May 23 and 24 at Westwood Country Club in St. Louis. She topped the field of 63 golfers with a 3-over-par 147 (74-73).

The top two finishers qualified for the U.S. Women's Open, which will be held July 7-10 at Rosewood CordeValle in San Martin, California.

"Winning was unexpected, which is a little ironic," Petty said. "I went into the national championship expecting to win, knowing I could. I finished ninth last season, so there was pressure. I went into (the qualifier) just expecting to enjoy the golf, have fun and just do what I could. I wasn't thinking 'I've got to do this and get into a major championship.'"

Petty was in fourth place after the first round of the qualifier, one shot behind three others. She said her caddie, Findlay coach Dominic Guarnieri, told her to remain calm and just repeat the effort the next day. Petty had four birdies and three bogeys in the second round.

"When I finished, I tried to stay loose for a possible playoff," Petty said. "I got time in on the driving range, on the putting green, and (Guarnieri) kept checking the (tournament) website for the scores. It seemed like such a long wait. Finally, he came to me and said that I not only wouldn't need a playoff and that I was in (the U.S. Women's Open), but that I had won. What an incredible feeling and crazy week."

Petty, who earned Division II All-American honors, reached the NCAA championships by finishing second in the three-round Super Regional held May 2-4 at Panther Creek Golf Club in Springfield, Illinois. She finished with a 1-under-par 215 (67-74-74), setting the program record in the first round.

Ashland's Ali Green (213) won the regional.

Petty, who helped Findlay finish ninth (1,206) in the 12-team NCAA championships behind champion Rollins College (1,173), earned Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year honors and averaged 73.97 strokes per round for the entire season to rank fourth in Division II. She tied for seventh in Division II with a total of 74 birdies and ranked fourth with a 4.93 scoring average on par-5 holes.

Despite her collegiate success, Petty had planned to remain an amateur, but winning the qualifier for the U.S. Women's Open changed her mind.

"I just turned professional," she said. "I called the USGA and got it finalized. If I do well, maybe I can get some exemptions and make some prize money that I can use for qualifying school in the fall. I hope to eventually join the (LPGA) Tour."

Petty, who earned her degree in early childhood education, had been hedging about her future in golf. Winning the qualifier also made the decision a little easier.

"I wasn't really 100 percent sure about whether I wanted to pursue golf dreams or get into teaching immediately," she said. "But now I think I have to give myself three or five years to see where golf takes me. I can always go the other route down the road.

"I've always had these golf goals and dreams, but I didn't know if they were truly attainable. There were a lot of Division I golfers at the qualifier and it showed me that it doesn't matter how big your school is. I competed with some very good golfers. Now I'm interested in seeing how well I can do against the best in the world."