Annika Clark Leads Women's Stroke Play
SAN ANTONIO – Annika Clark stood frustrated on the 15th tee at Briggs Ranch Golf Club (her sixth hole on Saturday). After missing four straight birdie putts inside 10 feet, she flared her tee shot into a deep greenside bunker. She was 1-under on the day and tied for the lead but not satisfied.
“I wasn’t making the putts,” Clark said. “I kind of started to get frustrated but I was able to really just keep it under control and…keep giving myself opportunities.”
The 21-year-old splashed her bunker shot out to 15 feet and drained the par putt to remain 1-under on the day. She followed with confident play and carded five birdies over her closing 12 holes en route to a bogey-free 6-under 66. The 2019 Texas Christian University graduate leads the field by one stroke at eight under par.
“I kind of learned that from yesterday, don’t get aggravated,” Clark said. “It was really a momentum shift I think for me to see a putt go in, especially for par.”
Clark, who plans to turn professional in August, is used to the pressure. She enjoys being atop the leaderboard and knows that playing tomorrow with the 36-hole lead is only going to help her in the future.
“It’s such high competition here playing in these events,” Clark said. “I think it’s just great experience for what I want to do for the rest of my career.”
The 94th Texas Women’s Amateur Champion will look to add another TGA major championship victory to her incredible amateur resume.
Hanna Alberto of Kingwood is just one shot off the lead. The highest-ranked amateur in the field carded a 4-under-par 68 in Round 2. The rising senior at Sam Houston State University plans to lean on her ability to scramble in the final round.
“My putting really helped,” said the 2017 Women’s Stroke Play Champion. “My short game and chipping were really good.”
Alberto will have the chance to become the first player to win multiple Women’s Stroke Play Championships and is looking forward to competing in tomorrow’s final round.
“I’m excited to win and see what the course has to offer,” Alberto said.
Jenna Phillips of Leander is currently solo third at three-under par. Hannah Holzmann of San Antonio and Midlothian’s Jasmine Zhang are tied fourth at two-under par.
Melissa Loh of Dallas remains low mid-amateur in the Championship Flight through 36-holes. She finished with 2-under 34 on her back nine to post 1-over 73 in Round 2 and even par for the championship.
In the First Flight, San Antonio’s Kelley Nittoli shot a 3-over 75 to take the lead by one stroke over Olive Henry. Nittoli, who played on the LPGA Tour and twice qualified for the U.S Senior Women’s Open, will look to add another win to her impressive golf career.
The final round begins on Sunday at 8 a.m. For more information on the Women’s Stroke Play, click here.
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