Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Exposito Wins the 15th Texas Girls’ Invitational

BULLARD – Veronika Exposito of The Woodlands wins The 15th Texas Girls Invitational. Exposito started the day with a two-shot lead over the rest of the field. The University of Louisville commit gets her first-ever win on the LJT and takes home the first major of the LJT season.

The 2024 grad grew her lead to 3 shots at one point throughout the round but still had the field chasing her, especially through the back nine. She never let that bother her though as she tapped in for par on the 18th green to claim the Nez Muhleman Trophy. “It’s so awesome to have my name on that trophy. I was so glad I could push through and get the win,” shared Exposito.

“It was a fight all day long. Congrats to Claire, she fought hard and was great competition today. It was a blast,” Exposito shared. “You never know what can happen, especially on the last hole like it did today. It’s about being present.” Exposito made par on three of the four toughest holes of the final round. She had one bogey on the front nine that helped maintain the lead going into the back nine. With this victory, the senior will get exemptions into the Bluebonnet Championship, the 98th Texas Junior Amateur and the George Hannon Junior Invitational

Finishing runner-up was Austin’s Claire Wan after a total of 14-over par for the tournament. Wan went hole for the hole with Exposito all day. On the 17th hole, Wan hit her approach shot from 130 yards to six feet and would make par on the hole and give her a chance to win going into the final hole.

Dresden Bounds of San Antonio finished third at 15-over par. Bounds had three birdies in four holes on the front nine to finish strong on the final day. In a three-way tie for fourth were Flower Mounds’ Emile Chile, Jersey Villages Daniela Palmeros, and Coppell’s Alicia Bellendir. Chile had an incredible final 36 holes that moved her position from 43rd to 4th in the final 2 rounds.

Conditions lightened up on the course for the final day. After a frost delay that pushed tee times back an hour, temperatures remained in the 40’s. Afternoon temperatures reached the low 60s with wind ranging from 5-10 mph and gusts reaching 15 mph.

The Par 4 10th hole played the hardest again today. The wind switched to a Southwest direction which challenged the players tee shot and approach shot.

The Texas Girls’ Invitational was the first of two majors for the girls this season. The 98th Texas Junior Am is scheduled for July 29-31, 2024.

Legend Junior Tour would like to thank Eagles Bluff Country Club for being a wonderful host and providing a wonderful experience for the players, staff, and volunteers.

For more information on the Texas Girls’ Invitational, click here.

Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Suhey

Steve Suhey’s father introduced him to the game of golf when he was 6 years old in 1956. They spent Sunday evenings looping the nearby course in central Pennsylvania. Today, Suhey continues to create lasting memories on golf courses more than 1,500 miles away from where he grew up and learned to play.

“I love the challenge of golf throughout your lifetime,” Suhey said. “It’s a game you can play your whole life, and as you grow older you face new challenges. I’ve really enjoyed that.”

In 1982, Suhey and his wife, Louise, moved to Texas. The avid amateur golfer played in competitive events across the state, including championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. He’d always loved and appreciated the Rules of Golf, but it wasn’t until met Marty Javors that he began to get involved as a Rules official.

“In the late 1980s, I met Marty, who had been a TGA and USGA Rules official for many years,” Suhey said. “He encouraged me to get involved with the Rules, but because of my businesses and travel schedule, I could never do it. I promised Marty that when I retired I would turn my attention to the Rules and get involved as a Rules official.”

In 2016, Suhey delivered on his promise. Following his retirement as an insurance broker, he attended his first USGA/PGA Rules of Golf Workshop, took his first Rules of Golf exam and volunteered with the TGA.

“When he finally pulled the trigger he didn’t hold back at all,” Javors said. “He’s a very smart guy and learned the Rules very quickly. He loves the game and he’s been a huge help to the golf community in Texas.”

Over the years, Suhey has become one of the most dedicated TGA volunteers. In 2020, he officiated over 40 days at local and statewide men’s, women’s and junior championships.

“As a volunteer, my goal is to help the competitors play by the Rules,” Suhey said. “In order to do that, you have to ask a lot of questions to find out the exact situation and make sure the player knows what his options are.”

Suhey values the interactions he has with players, working with TGA staff and building relationships with other volunteers. His “team-first” mentality has not gone unrecognized by the TGA.

“Steve’s presence makes our championships better and our job as a staff easier,” TGA Tournament Director Ian Davis said. “It doesn’t matter what his assignment is for the day, he is the first one on site and he is the last to leave. Steve is a staunch individual and you can always count on him. He’s always available to stick around for a playoff or help with packing up the equipment when we finish.”

Golf is an ever-evolving game. It teaches lessons on and off the golf course, and Suhey has been a part of unique lessons for so many amateur golfers across the state. Sixty-four years since he touched his first club, Suhey continues to grow from the lessons of golf.

“Because of what golf has given me over the years, this is my way of giving back,” Suhey said. “I learn something at every tournament I officiate and every meeting I attend. And like the game of golf itself, you keep learning and learning and learning and it never stops throughout your life.”

The TGA extends its sincere appreciation to Steve for his efforts in making our championships a success. The work and dedication from all our volunteers allows the TGA to grow and continue to support the game we all love.

To learn more about the TGA Volunteer Program, click here.