Cooper, Alberto, Houston Win Women's Stroke Play Championship
Cooper, Alberto, Houston Win Women’s Stroke Play Championship
KINGWOOD – Julie Houston of Allen, Hailee Cooper of Montgomery and Kingwood’s Hanna Alberto win the 2017 Women’s Stroke Play Championship after finishing in a tie at 3-under-par thru 36-holes. Dangerous weather characterized Saturday morning at The Clubs of Kingwood – Island Course. The TGA staff delayed the final round of the championship at 7:44 a.m. and ultimately called off competition at 12:30 p.m.
Steady showers throughout the afternoon and electricity in the sky ruled out a potential sudden death playoff. Cooper, Houston and Alberto will be awarded the same amount of TGA Women’s Player of the Year points as individual state champions.
Houston, the 2016 WTGA State Amateur runner-up, began the Women’s Stroke Play with a 4-under-par 69 to lead the field. She carded a 1-over-par 74 yesterday to finish the 36-hole championship tied at the top.
“We have competed for a long time against each other, so being able to play side by side in this tournament was amazing,” said Houston, the 2015 Eclectic champion. “Winning with these girls is an honor.”
It’s been quite the week for the UTSA men’s and women’s golf teams. On Sunday, Zander Lozano, a two-time winner on the men’s team, won the 108th Texas Amateur by four shots at historic Lakewood Country Club in Dallas. The next day, incoming freshman Chad Sewell won medalist honors and qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur at Champions Golf Club. Now Houston, a UTSA junior, finishes co-medalist at the season’s first TGA Women’s major championship.
“Picking small targets was really big for me this week,” Houston said. “I just tried to play smart.”
Cooper, 17, carded rounds of 75-68 en route to posting 3-under-par for the tournament. The Legends Junior Tour standout and 2018 University of Texas commit now etches her name into TGA Women’s history.
“Texas is such a great golf state because were so competitive,” Cooper said. “It was great competition all week, so it is awesome finish on top with them.”
Cooper, the 2015 UIL State Champion, will begin her senior year at Montgomery High School in the fall.
Alberto, a sophomore at Sam Houston State, grew up playing The Clubs of Kingwood. She had many family members following her throughout the tournament and they were there to celebrate her victory. The Kingwood Park High School alum posted 70-73 en route to co-medalist honors.
“There is so many great players in this state and I am glad I got to compete with them,” Alberto said. “On this golf course you must pin point where you are going to leave your ball, and I tried to manage that difficultly.”
Alberto and Houston are scheduled to compete in the 96th WTGA State Amateur Championship at Traditions Club in Bryan July 18-21.
Megan Thothong, the 2016 Women’s Stroke Play champion, finished solo fourth at 1-under-par after rounds of 71-74. Rounding out the top-5 was Oklahoma State senior Maddie McCrary at 2-over-par 148.
Lucy Nunn, the University of Houston assistant women’s golf coach, finished as the low mid-amateur. She posted rounds of 74-76 to finish 3-over and tied for seventh place overall.
The TGA extends its warmest and most sincere appreciation to the staff and members of The Clubs of Kingwood, as well as our volunteers, for their integral part in making the 2017 Women’s Stroke Play a memorable and successful event. For more information about this championship click here.