Hanna Alberto Leads Women's Stroke Play
SAN ANTONIO – Hanna Alberto of Kingwood has been in this position before: atop the leaderboard at the Women’s Stroke Play Championship. The 2017 champion fired a 3-under-par 69 on Friday to hold a one-stroke lead at Briggs Ranch Golf Club.
Alberto began Round 1 with a bogey on the par-4 first hole. Unfazed by the rough start, the 53rd ranked amateur in the world birdied the par-4 fourth and par-4 sixth to go out in 1-under 35.
Alberto dropped another shot on the par-4 10th, but her round got going on the par-5 13th. The rising senior at Sam Houston State University reached the green in two and drained a 20-foot eagle putt to improve to 2-under. She capped off her impressive start to the Women’s Stroke Play Championship with a birdie on the par-4 18th.
“I bogeyed the 10th hole and so I was back to even,” Alberto said. “To eagle and be 2-under with five holes left I think it really helped.”
Alberto has plenty of memories from the Women’s Stroke Play Championship. She won in 2017 at Kingwood Country Club’s Island Course and followed it up last year with a runner-up finish at Magnolia Creek Golf Club. Coming off one of her best collegiate seasons, she is looking to become the first player to win multiple Women’s Stroke Play Championship titles.
“Last year, I lost in a playoff, and my coach is always bugging me about winning this tournament so it would mean a lot,” Alberto said.
During the 2018-2019 season, Alberto won three individual titles. She also played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, earned Southland Conference Women’s Golfer of the Year honors and helped lead the Bearkats to a Southland Conference Championship title.
Annika Clark is another recognizable name among the state’s best women amateur golfers. The 2019 Texas Christian University graduate carded a 2-under-par 70 in Round 1. She got off to a hot start with a bogey-free 3-under 33 on the front nine, but two bogeys on her closing loop left her one shot back.
The 94th Women’s Texas Amateur Champion plans to turn professional in August, but is hoping to use her experience to fuel one more amateur win before taking her talents to LPGA Tour Q-school.
“I mean you get into these tournaments and there is so many good girls playing and you know the pressure,” Clark said. “It’s good to have been in that position before and experience and kind of step back and take a deep breath.”
The low mid-amateur following Round 1 in the Championship Flight is Melissa Loh. The Dallas native carded a 1-under-par 71 and is tied for third. Chandler Rosholt of Cedar Park, Kenlie Barrett of The Woodlands, Jenna Phillips of Leander, Sydney Garber of Fate and Lauren Cox of Orange are all tied with Loh at 1-under par.
Claudia Ramirez of San Antonio leads the First Flight. She carded a 2-over-par 74 and holds a two-shot lead heading into Saturday’s second round.
The Tom Fazio Golf Course at Briggs Ranch Golf Club was built in 2001. The course features zoysia tee boxes, fairways and rough with bent grass greens. According to Golf Digest, Briggs Ranch Golf Club is the 19th best course in Texas. This is the club’s first time to host a TGA major championship, and Head Golf Professional Adam Devine says Briggs Ranch enjoys the opportunity to share its facility with some of the state’s best women amateur golfers.
“We are excited to have all the ladies here,” Devine said. “Having an event like this is a great way to grow the game, and we know the golf course will be a fair test and that the women will enjoy it.”
The 2019 Women’s Stroke Play Championship features a 78-player field. Sixty-five players are competing in the Championship Flight and 13 players in the First Flight. Round 2 will begin Saturday at 8:00 a.m.
For more information on the Women’s Stroke Play click here.