100th Women’s Texas Amateur Set for July 6-9
In celebration of its Centennial Championship, the Women’s Texas Amateur is returning to the place where it all began. From July 6-9, River Crest Country Club will host the 100th Women’s Texas Amateur, 105 years after the storied club staged the first-ever championship.
“We are so excited to be at River Crest Country Club for the 100th Women’s Texas Amateur,” said Amy Worthington, TGA Director of Women’s Operations. “The fact this historic club hosted the inaugural championship over a century ago and we have the opportunity to come back and play the 100th edition on the same course is remarkable. I’m certain River Crest will provide the ideal test in identifying a worthy champion, just as it has proven many times in the past.”
The 1916 championship at River Crest was the first event conducted by the newly formed Women’s Texas Golf Association, which had been established earlier in the year by a group of pioneering women from the host club and neighboring Glen Garden Country Club for the purpose of advancing golf opportunities for women in Texas.
The championship has been on a remarkable journey in the ensuring years since the final putt was holed in the inaugural event. The trip has included stopovers at the best clubs all across the state, from Amarillo to the Rio Grande Valley, from Midland to Texarkana, from major metropolitan areas to pastoral small towns and all points in between.
“Returning to where it all started for the Centennial Championship is a true privilege and helps connect the past to the present,” said Stacy Dennis, TGA Executive Director and two-time Women’s Texas Amateur champion (2004, 2009). “It is a unique moment in time to not only honor all those who contributed to the growth and success of women’s golf in Texas, but also to celebrate the future and the opportunities it will bring.”
This will be fifth Women’s Texas Amateur and eighth TGA major championship overall held at River Crest Country Club. In addition to the inaugural championship, the club hosted the Women’s Texas Amateur in 1922, 1932 and 1949. River Crest also hosted the Texas Amateur in 1917, 1922 and 1954.
“River Crest Country Club has a rich history in women’s golf in the state of Texas,” said Reid Parrish, Head Golf Professional at River Crest. “It is the birthplace of the Women’s Texas Golf Association in 1916 and counts several Women’s Texas Amateur past champions as River Crest members, including Pauline Stripling French, Babe Zaharias, Anelia Goldthwaite and Polly Ann Riley. We are honored to continue this history hosting the best amateurs in the state at this year’s 100th Women’s Texas Amateur.”
The list of state amateur champions who have won at River Crest includes three dominant players of their era and who are now enshrined in the Texas Golf Hall Fame: Edna Lapham, Charles Dexter and the great Betsy Rawls, who also is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
River Crest opened for play in 1911 and was designed by Thomas Bendelow and A.W. Tillinghast. The course has undergone several renovations over the years, most recently in 2018 overseen by Colligan Golf Design to highlight the bunkering, contoured greens and narrow fairways of the original design.
Measuring just 6,368 yards from the back tees and playing to a par 70, River Crest emphasizes the notion that something does not need to be big in order to be good. The layout exudes sportiness, with precision and steady nerves required on every shot to consistently hit the twisting fairways, which are edged by trees and OB stakes, and consistently hold its small, canted greens, which are guarded by yawning bunkers.
Length off the tee mean less than creativity and course management skills at River Crest, which contestants will find out for themselves once the championship starts.
The 100th Women’s Texas Amateur will feature a starting field of 88 golfers, comprised of the state’s most accomplished juniors, collegians, mid-amateurs and seniors. The championship format is 18 holes of stroke play qualifying on Tuesday, July 6, with the low 32 scores advancing to the Championship Match Play Bracket. The remaining players are seeded into additional match play flights. First- and second-round Championship matches will be played Wednesday, July 7; quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, July 8; and the final on Friday, July 9. All matches are 18 holes.
Bentley Cotton of Austin, who won the 99th championship last year at The University of Texas Golf Club, will be back to defend her title. Cotton, a sophomore on the UT Women’s Golf Team, will attempt to become the first back-to-back champion in more than 20 years. The last to accomplish the feat was Texas Golf Hall of Famer Mina Hardin in 1999-2000.
Among the prominent college players who will look to dethrone Cotton at River Crest include two top finishers from the 99th championship: runner-up Makenzie Niblett of Austin, a sophomore at Texas A&M, and semifinalist Kennedy Pedigo of Fort Worth, a senior at SMU. Also expected to make a spirited run at this year’s title are Xavier University sophomore Emma McMyler of San Antonio, winner of last week’s TGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship and Dallas Baptist University junior Faith Delagarza of Midland, who in May helped lead the Patriots to their first NCAA II Women’s Golf National Championship.
Live scoring updates and daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available once the action gets underway from River Crest Country Club.