Stakes Raised for 95th WTGA State Amateur
DALLAS—There’s more on the line than ever before at the 95th WTGA State Amateur Championship. Not only will the state’s oldest women’s championship be held at one of its most historic courses, it also will dramatically impact the inaugural Women’s Player of the Year race.
Scheduled for July 26-29 at iconic Brook Hollow Golf Club, the winner of the 95th WTGA State Amateur will be awarded 100 Player of the Year points. That’s the largest allocation for any statewide event this year. Only a top-five finish or better at the U.S. Women’s Open or a semifinals victory in the U.S. Women’s Amateur carries more weight.
“We want the person identified as our Player of the Year to be the best player in Texas,” said Stacy Dennis, the TGA’s Managing Director of Membership Programs and a two-time WTGA State Amateur champion. “Since the Stroke Play and State Am are where we find most of them on the same golf course at the same time, a player wanting to be considered the Player of the Year is required to perform well in that environment against that field of rivals.”
Megan Thothong of Dallas earned 60 points for her June victory at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship. A two-time collegiate winner at the University of Houston, Thothong shot 8-under-par 208 at Pine Forest Country Club to win the 54-hole championship by two strokes over Amber Wang from Sugar Land. Thothong moved her total to 80 points after her second-place finish at the Texas Women’s Open. Headed into next week’s WTGA State Amateur, four players are tied for second place in the Player of the Year Standings. Allie Anderson from The Woodlands, Kelsey Badmaev from Boerne, Katherine Patrick from Houston and Amber Wang from Sugar Land all have earned 30 points so far this season.
Last year at the WTGA State Amateur, Annika Clark of Highlands hoisted the trophy after a 3-and-2 victory against Maddy Rayner from Southlake in the Championship Match at Ridgewood Country Club in Waco. Clark, a sophomore at TCU, will be back to defend her title. She recently qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa. The USGA Championship gets underway on Aug. 1, the week after the WTGA State Amateur. First she’ll tackle Brook Hollow, a course Clark said she’s always wanted to play.
“I’ve heard nothing but great things about Brook Hollow, so I’m excited to get to play here,” Clark said in early July. “I’m also super excited to get to defend my title. I’m very confident in my golf game right now, and I know that I still have some time to improve. My first year at TCU helped me extremely in my short game, as well as with my mental game. Coach (Angie) Larkin and Coach (Danny) Randolph helped me immensely in those two areas.”
The championship’s field consists of 88 of the state’s best amateurs. The format entails one round of qualifying stroke play to determine the 32 seeds in the Championship Flight for match play. The remaining 56 players are seeded in flights based on GHIN Handicap Indexes. Players in the Championship Flight who lose their first round matches are invited to play in an 18-hole stroke play Consolation Round.
Also in the deep field are Rayner, the 2015 runner-up and a junior at the University of Houston; Allie Anderson, a 2015 quarterfinalist and recent UH transfer; Anna Schultz from Rockwall, the 2007 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion; Carolyn Creekmore from Dallas, a Brook Hollow member and the 2004 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion and a host of other worthy contenders.
Designed in 1920 by A.W. Tillinghast, Brook Hollow has stood the test of time. Highlighted by tree-lined fairways, bunker-protected greens and contoured putting surfaces, the course demands exactness and thoughtful course management skills. Always a friend to the amateur game, the classic layout once again puts itself front and center for a major championship. The 95th WTGA State Amateur returns to Brook Hollow for the third time and the first since 1940.
Brook Hollow also has played host to a record nine Texas Amateur championships, most recently in 2014, as well as the 1987 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the 1928 Southern Amateur and seven Trans-Mississippi Amateur Championships.
The yearlong celebration of the 100th year of Women’s Golf in Texas – known as Breaking 100 – continues during the 95th WTGA State Amateur. Icons of the game Sandra Haynie, Kathy Whitworth and Marty Leonard will be on hand at Brook Hollow. For more information on Breaking 100, including how to secure tickets for the Nov. 1 Gala in Houston, click here. For more information on the 95th WTGA State Amateur, click here.
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