Women’s Senior Stroke Play Set for Oct. 11-13
ARLINGTON – Shady Valley Country Club will be the host site for the 33rd Women’s Senior Stroke Play, the second to last event of the year on the Women’s schedule conducted by the Texas Golf Association. The 54-hole championship, which features the state’s top amateur golfers aged 50 and older, will be held Oct. 11-13.
“We are so excited to bring this event to Shady Valley Country Club,” said Katie O’Connell, TGA Tournament Coordinator. “It’s a fantastic venue for our ladies to come compete at. They have been a joy to work with.”
This championship has seen many highly touted players come away victorious. The 2022 field is no different as a multitude of players with impressive resumes will look to add to their illustrious careers.
The following player profiles have been created as a preview to some of the top storylines coming into this year’s championship.
►Anna Schultz, 67, of Heath, is one of the most accomplished golfers in the state and a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame since 2013. A three-time winner of this event, Schultz captured the USGA’s 2007 U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur title. Her resume would put any golfer in awe as it features incredible success at the local, state, and national level.
►Mina Hardin, 62, of Fort Worth, is the defending champion and a two-time winner of this event. Last year, Hardin pulled out the victory by two strokes at 11-under for the championship. Most notably, Hardin’s resume includes a win at the USGA’s 2010 U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur. A five-time Women’s Texas Amateur champion and a member of the Texas Golf Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, Hardin’s career also features a runner-up finish at the USGA’s 2001 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
►Marian Barker, 68, of Lubbock, is back in the field this year after missing the 2021 championship. The four-time winner of this event will look to capture the title for a fifth time. Her most recent victory was in 2020. A highlight of Barker’s impressive career is advancing to the match play rounds of the USGA’s U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur in 2004, ’09, and ’16.
►Kelley Nittoli, 59, of San Antonio, is fresh off capturing her second WSGA Women’s Southern Senior Amateur title this week. Nittoli, who played for a short stint on the LPGA Tour right after college, is married to Jim Nittoli, Director of Golf at San Antonio Country Club. Nittoli’s impressive play this year also features advancing to match play at the USGA’s U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur in September.
►Marilyn Hardy, 62, of Magnolia, was the 2011 champion of this event and a runner-up in 2019. She has made impressive runs in several of the USGA’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur championships. In 2020 and 2021, Hardy finished runner-up at the WSGA’s Women’s Southern Senior Amateur.
Shady Valley Country Club is a privately owned club in Arlington that was founded in 1959 by golf enthusiast Howard Wilemon, Jr. The course is fun and challenging as it features a tight layout and stays true to its name with many trees.
The 16 players with the lowest Handicap Indexes® at the Women’s Senior Stroke Play will be required to play from the Championship Tees (approx. 5500-5700 yards). All other players may select which tees they wish to play from – the Championship Tees or the Flights Tees (approx. 5100-5300 yards). Upon completion of Round 2, the field will be broken into flights based on 36-hole scores.
Live scoring updates, daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available on the TGA website once the action is underway from Shady Valley Country Club.
For more information on the 33rd Women’s Senior Stroke Play, click here.
Madison Head and Meagan Pistone Lead at Women’s Four-Ball After First Round
Briefly: Madison Head of Haslet and Meagan Pistone of Montgomery fired off a 6-under 66 to take the solo lead after the first round of the Women’s Four-Ball Championship.
1 Head + Pistone Montgomery, Haslet 66
T2 Azarcon + Cassity Katy, Grand Prairie 69
T2 Jones + Jones Austin 69
T3 Delagarza + Smith McKinney, Midland 70
T3 Bianchi + Choi Allen, Pflugerville 70
T3 Campise + Stramel Allen, Lewisville 70
Round 1 Results | Round 2 Pairings
Golf Course: Founded in 1969, Royal Oaks Country Club is nestled between luscious trees and serene lakes in the heart of Dallas. Today, the club has become one of the premiere golf courses in Texas. With its opening design by Don January and Billy Martindale, the course was tough enough and made even more challenging by the renovation by Jay Morrish in 1985. Royal Oaks has been host to many TGA majors, including the 2010 Texas Amateur and the 2015 Texas Mid-Amateur.
Weather: The temperature reached 96 degrees with steady winds at 13 mph and gusted up to 26 mph out of the south.
In Contention: Grand Prairie’s Aysis Azarcon and Grace Cassity of Katy are three shots off the lead entering the clubhouse at a 3-under-par 69, tied with the Jones duo, Shanna and Madelyn, of Austin. There’s a three-way tie for third, all teams sitting at 2-under 70. Allen’s Allie Bianchi and Pflugerville’s Hannah Choi, Simone Campise of Lewisville and Sidney Stramel of Allen and defending champs Faith Delagarza of Midland and Amari Smith of Mckinney are all in the hunt for the title.
What’s Next: Round 2 starts Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Royal Oaks Country Club.
More Info: For more information on the 2021 Women’s Four-Ball Championship, click here.
Preston Stout Leads Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Championship
DALLAS – Preston Stout from Richardson birdied his final hole Tuesday at Lakewood Country Club to take a one-shot lead after one round at the 2021 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. Stout, an incoming junior at J.J. Pearce High School, shot a 5-under-par 66 that included an eagle-2 on the par-4 13th hole.
“I’m trying to win the golf tournament,” Stout said of his expectations for the week. “I’ve been hitting the ball well lately, so I was hoping to keep the good ball-striking going.”
Mission accomplished though 18 holes. Stout began his round on the back nine and quickly birdied his first hole, the par-4 10th. After the eagle on No. 13, Stout added a birdie on the par-5 17th and made the turn bogey-free and 4-under par. He made two more birdies on his second nine, offset by his lone bogey on the 211-yard, par-3 fifth hole.
“I kept it in the fairway and hit a lot of greens,” said Stout, who finished T39 in the 2020 Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. “I like this course because it’s tight, and I’m pretty straight off the tee. It’s a nice course, a lot of fun to play.”
Stout came into the championship riding a heater of momentum. He won the American Junior Golf Association’s Carolina Trace Junior in late March. In early May, Stout was victorious at the TaylorMade Junior Open at Texas Rangers Golf Course in Arlington. A couple weeks after that, he finished as a runner-up in UIL Class 6A Individual State Championships.
Stout leads a pair of Austin juniors, Andrew Tan and Zachary Kingsland. They both shot 4-under 67 on Tuesday. Tan, a junior at Vandegrift High School, poured in six birdies on Lakewood’s pure rolling bentgrass greens. Kingsland, a junior at Westlake High School, also made six birdies in the first round. Kingsland in May helped lead Westlake to its fourth consecutive (and 11th overall) UIL Class 6A state championship with an 18-shot victory at Legacy Hills Golf Club in Georgetown.
Three players share fourth place at 3-under 68. Ben Gregg from Dallas, Ty Holbrook from Granbury and Westy McCabe from Dallas are all just two shots behind Stout headed into Wednesday’s second round of the celebrated 54-hole championship.
As it has been virtually all year, weather was a factor on Tuesday. After nearly 2 inches of rain fell on Monday, and another half inch on Tuesday morning, the Legends Junior Tour staff moved back first round tee times by 30 minutes, but another 30-minute delay was needed to let the course dry out.
Lakewood has received more than 10 inches of rain since May 1.
For the first time in tournament history, the LJT conducted a Monday Qualifier for the final four spots into the 90-player field. Elijah Estonilo from Allen won the Qualifier with a 2-under 69. Matthew Foster from Dallas (-1), Grant Yerger from Austin (+1) and Luke D’Alise from Lubbock (+1) also played their way into the championship on Monday.
In each of the past few years, the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship has received registration entries from more than 350 juniors from across the state. With a 90-player cap to the starting field, most who try to enter don’t get in.
“We decided to do a Monday Qualifier this year to help meet the demand for entries,” LJT Tournament Director Kevin Porter said. “We also wanted to give the championship more of a professional feel to it. The Monday Qualifier helps there, too.”
Estonilo, who won the Qualifier, was one of those juniors who, in years past, couldn’t get into the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship. He said the experience was stressful, but he added that the addition of a Monday Qualifier to what he considers to be the best junior tournament in Texas only makes the event more special.
“I think it was an amazing decision to add the Monday Qualifier,” Estonilo said. “With the Qualifier, you can prove yourself on this course, which is very difficult. You can prove that you belong in this tournament with the best players in Texas and in the entire U.S., perhaps.”
Round 2 of the Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship starts Wednesday at 8 a.m. For more information, including complete scoring, click here.
Men’s Championship Updates (COVID-19)
For the first time in just under three months, the TGA returned to conducting first-class competitions for the benefit of its membership. With new health and safety protocols in place, the 21st Veritex Bank Byron Nelson Junior Championship, held June 2-4 at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas, went off without a hitch.
The gradual easing of state and local lockdown restrictions, coupled with the successful implementation of new tournament safety guidelines for players, staff, volunteers, spectators and host club staff, has allowed the TGA to revisit and make adjustments for the upcoming Men’s Championships listed below.
Texas Father-Son (July 10-12, Omni Barton Creek, Austin)
With the state moving into Phase 3 of reopening, the Texas Father-Son starting field size will be expanded to the original 80 teams (160 players). The championship will also be played under the original format. There will also be shared carts and the utilization of double-tee, double-wave starting times.
For more information about the Texas Father-Son, click HERE.
West Texas Amateur (July 17-19, Bentwood CC, San Angelo)
The West Texas Amateur will be played under the original format and will return to the original field size of 144 participants in three divisions (Championship, Senior and Super Senior).
Entries will now be accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Those that have earned an exemption will have a reserved spot in the field provided they register by the Exempt Entry Deadline. With the expanded field size there will be a cut following 36 holes of play. There will also be shared carts and the utilization of double-tee, double-wave starting times.
For more information about the West Texas Amateur, click HERE.
Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play (July 23-26, Willow Brook CC, Tyler)
The Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play will be played under the original format and original field size (84 players). Shared carts ridership will be allowed throughout the championship, including the Stroke Play Qualifying Round.
For more information about the Texas Mid-Amateur Match Play can be found HERE.
111th Texas Amateur (Aug. 6-9, Boot Ranch GC, Fredricksburg)
When the decision was made in April to reschedule the 111th Texas Amateur to August 6-9, 2020, the starting field size was reduced from 144 to 120 participants. At the time, this change was seen as necessary because of the expected lower qualifying numbers as a whole, given the reduced number of sites and new dates for the qualifying rounds.
However, due to higher than anticipated qualifying numbers, the TGA will be increasing the field size to 132 players. The field size cannot increase to 144 players due to roughly 45 minutes less daylight in August as opposed to June.
For more information about the 111th Texas Amateur, click HERE.