Around the Green
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Jones Wins Texas Girls' Invitational
Pearland, Texas – Dallas’ Hailey Jones won the Texas Girls’ Invitational at Golfcrest Country Club Monday afternoon, finishing the tournament at 2-under-par overall.
The win marks Jones’ second victory in the Texas Girls’ Invitational and her first win on the Legends Junior Tour in 2019.
“It feels awesome to win this tournament for the second time,” said Jones, “I always wanted to win this event since I was younger and it feels special to win it for a second time.”
The three-time Girls Division Player of the Year shot 1-over-par 73 in the final round of the 10th Texas Girls’ Invitational and was the only contestant under par after 54 holes. After going bogey free on Sunday, she opened her third round with a birdie on No. 1 and five straight pars until a double-bogey on No. 7. She settled down with five more pars before a bogey on the tough 13th hole. She finished strong however with four pars and a birdie on No. 18, which is a 356-yard par 4 with a creek that crosses just in front of the green.
The win makes Jones the second player to win the Texas Girls’ Invitational multiple times, joining Makenzie Niblett, who won in 2017 and 2018. Jones finished runner-up in last year’s event at Sugar Creek Country Club, losing to Niblett in a playoff. In 2017, she finished tied for fifth at Crown Colony Country Club and in 2016 she won at Bentwater Yacht & Country Club.
The windy conditions on Monday, made things difficult for the field. Temperatures were in the 40s to start the day with a steady wind of 15-25 miles per hour throughout the day and gusts that reached upwards of 35 mph.
Katy’s Elina Sinz finished runner-up in the Texas Girls’ Invitational after posting rounds of 74-71-80 to get to 225 overall. Frisco’s Caroline Kent finished third at 227 overall, while Temple’s Julia Garcia and Austin’s Jensen Jalufka finished tied for fourth at 228 overall.
Zoe Slaughter of Houston finished sixth in the event, followed by Trophy Club’s MacKenzie Moore in seventh, Plano’s Olivia Mitchell in eighth, Houston’s Allyn Stephens in ninth and Houston’s Ashley Yen in 10th.
This was the first year that the Texas Girls’ Invitational was contested over 54 holes of stroke play competition. The Legends Junior Tour moved the event up in the year to accommodate the extra round of golf and add the World Amateur Golf Ranking to the tournament along with being ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard and Golfweek.
Golfcrest Country Club hosted the Texas Girls’ Invitational for the first time in the tournament’s 10-year history. The course stretched out to 6,061 yards for the tournament and the course proved to be a great test for some of the best players in the state.
Along with Jones and Niblett, other past champions of the Texas Girls’ Invitational include Maddie McCrary, Lakareber Abe, Vanessa Ha, Jaravee Boonchant and Anne Chen.
This was the first Major Event on the LJT schedule in 2019. The next one up for the Girls Division is the Texas Junior Amateur, which will be held at The Clubs at Kingwood on July 22-24. The event will feature 60 girls in the division.