Barker Wins Women's Senior Stroke Play Championship
HOUSTON – Marian Barker of Lubbock shot a final round 77 on Wednesday to cap off a wire-to-wire victory at the 2018 Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship. Barker won by six strokes after shooting 74-76-77—227 overall. This marks her third career victory at this event and her first since winning back-to-back in 2008-09. However, that didn’t make the victory any less important to her.
“This is such a prestigious event, and you look at the names on the trophy,” Barker said. “It’s pretty special.”
Stephanie Blount tied for the low round of the tournament with a 74 on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Barker’s sterling performance. Blount finished second, six strokes behind. Jan Rapp and Meg Christensen finished tied for third, and Marlene Summers came in fifth.
Wet and cold conditions were prevalent throughout the 54-hole event, making it tough for the field to shoot low. Barker was the only player to shoot all three rounds in the 70s. She said her hometown conditions might have given her the advantage she needed to play so well all week.
“I practice and play in Lubbock,” she said with a laugh. “So it really wasn’t all that different.”
That familiarity gave her all the confidence she needed. Her goal on each hole was just to hit the ball solidly, get on the green and two-putt. Clearly, her plan worked. It worked so well, in fact, that she entered the final round in an unfamiliar position.
“I had never been in a place where I had a nine-shot lead,” she said. “It was kind of uncomfortable.”
If she did feel nerves with a big lead, , it didn’t reflect in her play. She attributes that to sticking to her game plan and taking it one hole at a time.
After winning her fourth Texas Golf Association state championship, Barker has her sights set on something bigger.
“I’d like to try for the (U.S. Women’s) Senior Open someday,” Barker said.
Jan Rapp, who finished tied for third overall, won the Super Senior division (65-70) by 37 strokes after shooting an overall total of 240, highlighted by a final round score of 76. She finished her week on a high note with consecutive birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.
In the Super Super Senior Division (71+), Pam Almandoz came back in the final round to knock off two-time defending champion Nannette Wheelis. Almandoz shot a final-round 83 to win comfortably in her division. She was all smiles after her strong finish in her first ever TGA championship.
The Texas Golf Association would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the membership and staff at Northgate Country Club for their hard work and hospitality throughout the week. The grounds crew did a fantastic job of keeping the course in great condition despite all the rain.
Click here for full championship details and final results.