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McMyler Crowned Champion of the 2021 Women’s Stroke Play

KERRVILLE – Emma McMyler of San Antonio clenched her victory Sunday at the Women’s Stroke Play at The Club at Comanche Trace. The Xavier University soon-to-be sophomore finished the final round of the 54-hole championship even-par 72 for an overall score of 4-under 212. She won with a four-stroke lead over Hailey Jones and Elina Sinz who tied for second and ended the tournament with an even-par 216.

Leading since the second round, McMyler stayed focused as the field fought to overtake her first-place spot.

“I played pretty solid golf, just kept hitting greens and 2-putting every time,” McMyler said of her round today.

McMyler dropped her last putt on the par-4 18th carding a bogey for her last hole, leaving her to shoot an even-par 72 and remain at her round two total of 4-under after 54 holes.

“I was a little nervous on the last hole,” McMyler said of her confidence coming up the final stretch. “I just kept breathing and stuck to my game plan.”

After being in the lead after the first round of the Women’s Stroke Play Friday, Jones fought hard to climb the leaderboard today. She started off hot on the front nine, birdied holes no. 4 and no. 6 turning at 2-under 34. However, as she made her way to the home stretch, she struggled, making back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes.

Fighting just as hard as Jones was Auburn University rising sophomore Elina Sinz. Sinz had a tough start to her round Sunday with 2 bogeys, a double bogey and only a single birdie on the front nine. She battled back on the back nine, earning three birdies with only one bogey on the par-5 13th.

Nonetheless, even-par rounds couldn’t reach McMyler’s 4-under round.

McMyler joins past winners of this championship, including professional golfers Kaitlyn Papp who won the inaugural Women’s Stroke Play in 2015 and Hanna Alberto and Julie Houston who were two-thirds of the three co-champions of 2017. Other past winners include elite college golfers Hailee Cooper and Serena Shah.

The Flights division was split into 2 separate flights by the player’s 36-hole scores. Kelley Nittoli was crowned champion of the first flight with scores of 73-69-76 for an overall score of 2-over 218. In the second flight, Lecia Alexander finished the 54-hole championship with a total 248 and claimed the title with scores of 86-81-81.

Only six years old, the Women’s Stroke Play was created to give women another major tournament in Texas. Since its inception, the Women’s Stroke Play consistently attracts a field of elite female golfers of all ages and is celebrated state-wide.

The TGA Staff extends its sincere gratitude to The Club at Comanche Trace, its members and staff, as well as the TGA volunteers, who all played integral roles in hosting a memorable championship.

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Women’s Stroke Play Set for June 25-27

KERRVILLE – The 2021 Women’s Stroke Play Championship will be played June 25-27 at The Club at Comanche Trace.

This will be the first Women’s Stroke Play and seventh TGA major championship overall to be hosted by Comanche Trace. The 2017 Texas Mid-Amateur, won by Colby Harwell, was the most recent TGA major contested at the storied Central Texas club.

The Club at Comanche Trace is a sprawling 27-hole complex set amid 1,300 acres overlooking the Guadalupe River in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Women’s Stroke Play will be held on The Hills and The Valley nines, the original 18 holes at Comanche Trace, designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Kite, along with Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell. The Creeks nine, added in 2008, was designed by the father-son team of Jay and Carter Morrish.

“Comanche Trace has a proud championship history, and we are confident the golf course will test the players’ skill and help to identify a worthy champion,” said Jeff Hunter, Director of Golf at Comanche Trace. “Our membership really enjoys hosting major events. They are very welcoming and love watching great players in action. We are certain this year’s Women’s Stroke Play Championship will be an exceptional experience for everyone.”

The Women’s Stroke Play is the newest major on the women’s schedule and was first played in 2015. The championship annually attracts the state’s best amateurs across all age divisions, from juniors and collegians to mid-amateurs and seniors.

“Since the event was established six years ago, the field has continued to get stronger and stronger and has been a showcase for the most talented players in the state,” TGA Director of Women’s Operations Amy Worthington said.

This year’s 75-player starting field is one of the deepest ever assembled.

Oklahoma State University sophomore Hailey Jones of Dallas makes a reappearance in the Women’s Stroke Play after finishing tied for sixth last year. Jones is a three-time Legends Junior Tour Player of the Year and a two-time Texas Junior Amateur champion. During her sophomore year at OSU, Jones posted a 74.67 stroke average, ranking fifth on the team that secured a spot in the NCAA Championships this past May.

Montgomery’s Hailee Cooper was declared one of three co-champions at the 2017 Women’s Stroke Play when the sudden-death playoff was canceled due to severe weather. The UT junior also won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball with partner and UT teammate Kaitlyn Papp of Austin, who won the inaugural Women’s Stroke Play Championship in 2015.

UT freshman Bentley Cotton of Westlake is the reigning Women’s Texas Amateur champion and Texas Women’s Player of the Year. She also has qualified for multiple USGA national championships, including the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur.

At the 2020 Women’s Stroke Play, held at Crown Colony Country Club in Lufkin, then SMU junior Serena Shah of Carrollton carded rounds of 76-71-77 to finish 8-over 224 and earned a one-stroke victory over runner-up Zoe Slaughter of Houston. Shah is unable to defend her title, setting the stage for a new champion to be crowned at Comanche Trace.

Format for the championship is 54 holes individual stroke play. The top 30 players with the lowest World Handicap System Indexes must compete in the Championship Flight. All other players will have a choice to play in the Championship Flight. Those players who do not wish to play in the Championship Flight will be split into additional flights after 36 holes.

Live scoring updates, daily recaps, as well as tee-times and pairings, will be available at txga.org once the action gets underway from The Club at Comanche Trace.

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Serena Shah Wins Women’s Stroke Play Championship

Briefly: Serena Shah of Carrollton won the Women’s Stroke Play Championship after a final round 5-over-par 77 at Crown Colony Country Club. The Southern Methodist University junior finished at 8-over overall and one stroke better than the field. Nancy Beck of Dallas and Olive Henry of Ennis are co-champions for the First Flight, winning the flight by four strokes. Beck carded a 12-over 84 and Henry carded a 15-over 87 in the final round. Xuesong Hollier of Tomball won the Second Flight by nine strokes after rounds of 94-93-87.

Leaderboard:
1)
Serena Shah               Carrollton              76-71-77 | 224
2) Zoe Paige Slaughter   Houston                75-77-73 | 225
3) Jennie Park                 Carrollton              76-74-77 | 227
4) Nicole Vivier               Austin                    76-76-78 | 230
5) Brooke Nolte               Melissa                  80-74-77 | 231
T6) Amelia McKee          Spring                    77-78-77 | 232
T6) Madison Freeman    Spring                    76-80-76 | 232
T6) Hailey Jones              Dallas                    75-79-78 | 232

Final Results

Golf Course: Nestled in the tall pines of East Texas, Crown Colony Country Club originally opened for play in 1979. The beautiful and challenging layout located in Lufkin is a Robert von Hagge and Bruce Devlin design that has been rated by Golfweek as one of the top destination golf courses in Texas. The 18-hole championship golf course has played host to eight TGA Major Championships (the 1982 and 1988 Texas Amateur, 1989 and 2007 Women’s Texas Amateur, 1994 Texas Mid-Amateur, 1983 Texas Senior Amateur and the 2012 and 2017 Texas Four-Ball). Now, it adds the Women’s Stroke Play Championship to its decorated history. The Final Round was contested at 6,052 yards for the Championship Division.

Weather: The temperature reached 89 degrees with steady winds at 5 mph out of the northwest.

Winner’s Info: Shah fired a 5-over 77 in the final round to post 8-over for the championship and win by one stroke. The Southern Methodist University junior remained near the top of the leaderboard throughout the entirety of the championship and found the number one spot late in the second round. Although Zoe Paige Slaughter gave it a good run carding a 1-over-par 72 in her final round, Shah maintained her composure and stuck to her game plan of keeping it simple. This is Shah’s first Women’s Stroke Play Championship win.

“This is a really tough course and it’s tight off the fairway, so just going in with the same mentality I did from the practice round to the first round to the second round was just to keep things simple,” Shah said. “Hit the fairway, hit the green and two putt from there.”

Shah completed the last four holes of her second round on Saturday morning. Not too long after that, she kicked off her Final Round at 10:24 a.m. She carded a 2-over 38 on the front nine and started off with three bogeys at the turn. Although the back side didn’t start as planned, she finished her round strong with birdie-par-par.

“Everything was going pretty well on the front nine and then on the back nine I had a little trouble,” Shah said. “I had a couple bogeys on 10, 11 and 12 and then I think the real turning point was on 16 where I had a birdie putt that I made from 8 feet and that just kind of helped with my momentum going into the last 2 holes. I think that really helped just finish off the last three holes in a good style.”

In Contention: Zoe Paige Slaughter of Houston posted a 9-over 224 for the championship and finished solo second. Jennie Park of Carrollton finished at 11-over to take third. Nicole Vivier of Austin carded a 14-over 230 to take fourth. Brooke Nolte finished at 15-over 231 to take solo fifth. Three players in the Championship Division tied sixth at 16-over 232.

What’s Next: The 2020 season continues with the Women’s Four-Ball at Midland Country Club in Midland August 10-11. You can view the entire Texas Golf Association calendar here.

More Info: The Texas Golf Association extends its sincere appreciation to the staff and members of Crown Colony Country Club as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the Women’s Stroke Play Championship a memorable and successful event. For more information on the Women’s Stroke Play Championship, click here