LEAGUE CITY – Hanna Alberto of Kingwood leads the 2018 Women’s Stroke Play Championship at 5-under-par 139 after a long, hot day at Magnolia Creek Golf Club. 
(Click here for scoring.)
Due to severe weather conditions, the first round that was scheduled to be played on Thursday was postponed. Instead, the 55-player field endured a 36-hole marathon on Friday for Rounds 1 and 2. 
With a heat index reaching 107 degrees, Alberto proved to have stamina after firing a bogey-free 4-under second round. 
“I was speeding up a lot because it was hot,” said Alberto, the Sam Houston State junior, who was one of three co-champions in the 2017 edition of the Women’s Stroke Play Championship. “Keeping a good, fast pace helped me out a lot.”
Macy Holliday of Dallas, the leader after Round 1, rallied on her back nine to get herself within one shot of Alberto. After starting out 3-over after 5 holes, she was able to switch gears and finish her round at 1-under. Katy’s Madison Luitwieler holds third place after rounds of 70-72 on the wind-blown, links-style course. The 2-under 142 total has her just three shots off the lead. 
Also in contention through 36 holes in Hailee Cooper, the incoming University of Texas freshman who shared co-champion honors with Alberto in this championship last year sits at even-par 144 after rounds of 71-73. Cooper is five shots off the lead, but she has the winning pedigree to mount a final round charge. Back in 2016, Cooper teamed with current Texas sophomore Kaitlyn Papp to win the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball Championship.
Mission’s Stephanie Blount leads the race for Low Mid-Amateur honors through 36 holes at 5-over 149. 
After the morning’s first round, Holliday led with a 3-under 69. She carded four birdies, three of which were on her back nine.  
“In the practice round I thought that the back nine was a little bit easier,” Holliday said. “So after the first nine was done, I knew that the back nine was going to be an easier set of holes.”
The Ole Miss freshman chipped in for birdie on the par-4 15thhole, and followed that up with another birdie on the 18thhole to turn in the low round of the morning. 
Luitwieler and Kendall Wisenbaker of Spring were one shot behind Holliday at 2-under par after the morning session concluded.
Magnolia Creek Golf Club is a 27-hole links-style course. The three sets of nine-holes were strongly influenced by St. Andrews, North Berwick, and Royal County Down and capture the best of the British Isles. With spacious fairways, countless pot bunkers, wind that always seems to blow, and a world-class, 22-acre practice facility Magnolia Creek is an ideal spot to host a championship.
The final round of the Women’s Stroke Play Championship will start tomorrow at 8 a.m. For more information, click here.