SAN ANTONIO – Four of the top five seeds in the 97th WTGA State Amateur Championship Bracket advanced to the Quarterfinals on Wednesday after a long, hot day of match play at San Antonio Country Club.
(Click here for Match Play Bracket.)
The biggest upset of the tournament happened early in the day in the Round of 32, when 32nd-seeded Grace Cassity defeated the No. 1 seed and Qualifying Round Medalist Brooke Nolte in 19 holes. Cassity, a freshman at Houston Baptist University, overcame a 2-down deficit after six holes to pull even on the back nine.
Nolte forged ahead again with a 1-up lead through 17 holes, but Cassity’s two-putt par on the par-5 18th hole extended the match. She won with another par on the 19th hole.
“It was a close match,” said Cassity, who advanced to the UIL Class 6A Regionals as an individual all four years she played at Katy High School. “I think the turning point was when I made my par on 18. It was close all the way through.”
Cassity lost in the Round of 16, however. UT-San Antonio junior Madison Kidd, the 17th seed from Lake Jackson, ended Cassity’s unlike run with a 6-and-4 victory in the afternoon.
Jenna Phillips, a Sam Houston State senior from Leander, is the highest-ranked player remaining in the Championship Bracket. Phillips, the No. 2 seed, scored two 5-and-4 victories on Wednesday. She trailed Lauren Mancha of Spring Branch, 1 down, through five holes. She pulled even on the picturesque par-3 sixth hole and never trailed again the rest of the day. After taking care of Mancha in the Round of 32, Phillips dispatched Brooklyn Sutton of Spring Branch on the 14th hole.
“I was trying not to get too far ahead myself,” Phillips said of her mindset during her two-match day that saw temperatures crest at 99 degrees with a Heat Index of 102 at 5 p.m. “I was pretty consistent with my driver, and my lag putting was good. If I knew par was going to be good, I would lag it up there. I didn’t get too greedy.”
Third-seeded Lauren Cox survived a marathon match in the hottest part of the day. The North Texas junior from Orange needed 22 holes to defeat Texas A&M sophomore Ariana Saenz from Porter. The match finished close to 6 p.m., meaning much of their match took place during the triple-digit Heat Index.
Fourth-seeded Sadie Englemann from Austin and No. 5 seed Amber Park from Allen both advanced to Thursday’s Quarterfinals. Englemann, a Westlake High School junior who has verbally committed to Stanford, defeated former Stanford lacrosse player Kyle Frazer of Fort Worth, 3 and 2, in the morning’s Round of 32. Englemann scored a 3-and-2 victory in the afternoon’s Round of 16 over Camryn Carreon of San Antonio.
Park, a Texas A&M sophomore who last summer reached the Semifinals of the 96th Women’s State Amateur, defeated 28th-seeded Scarlett Eaton of Mineral Wells, 2 and 1, in the Round of 32. Park also outlasted Isha Dhruva of Katy, 3 and 2, in the Round of 16.
In all, six of the top 10 seeds made it through to Thursday’s Quarterfinals.
There were two big upsets in the First Flight. Top-seeded Autumn Bynum from Spring lost to eighth-seeded Illiana Stowers from Montgomery, 2 and 1. The No. 2 seed in the First Flight also fell on Wednesday. Seventh-seeded Kelley Nittoli, a San Antonio CC member and the Senior Medalist from Tuesday’s Qualifying Round, defeated second-seeded Austin’s Jordan Shackelford, 1 up. Brett Permann from Frisco, the No. 3 seed, defeated sixth-seeded Amber Kuykendall from Pearland, 2 and 1. No. 4 seed Margaret Cowart from New Braunfels scored a 2-up victory over fifth-seeded Calyee Senn from Richmond.
In the Second Flight, three of the top seeds advanced to Thursday’s Semifinals Matches. Camry Tardy from Arlington, the top seed, defeated Aimee Aleman from San Antonio, 2 and 1. Third-seeded Lexi Reed knocked off Kassidy Chance from Magnolia in 19 holes. Launa Wilson from Lantana, the No. 4 seed, defeated fifth-seeded Cynthia Doughtery from Corpus Christi, 2 and 1. Only the No. 2 seed, Kathy Crumley from San Antonio, was upset in the Second Flight. She lost, 3 and 1, to No. 7 seed Claudia Ramirez, who is also from San Antonio.
In the Third Flight, top-seeded Leslie Henry from Ennis advanced with a 3-and-2 victory against No. 8 seed Madeline Zimmerman from Lufkin. No. 2 seed Jennifer Hoyt from Horseshoe Bay beat seventh-seeded Jacque Cooper from Heath, 5 and 4. Carol Turnage from Anna, the No. 3 seed, scored a 1-up victory against sixth-seeded Cindy Gilkeson from Sugarland. No. 5 seed Krista Newman-Manning advanced to the Semifinals when she took down No. 4 seed Janie Guynes from Fredericksburg, 4 and 3.
In the Fourth Flight, No. 1 seed Caitlyn Cassity from Katy defeated No. 8 Linda Sackett from Boerne, 5 and 4. No. 4 seed Lori Daniel from Athens scored a 5-and-3 win over fifth-seeded Donna Brady from Fair Oaks Ranch. Both the second and third seeds were upset in the Fourth Flight. No. 7 seed Nina Cardenas from San Antonio knocked off No. 2 seed Wynter Flores from San Antonio. Finally, sixth-seeded Lindsey Mitchell from Montgomery beat No. 3 seed Ashley Hawkins from Fort Worth. All the Fourth Flight winners will play in Thursday’s Semifinals Matches.
For more information on this championship, click here.