POINT CLEAR, Ala. (June 20, 2013) — There will be a new name on the Women’s State Amateur trophy.
Friday sees the 18-hole final between Cammie Gray and Lea Green in the 81st playing of this storied championship. Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear is the host.
Leading stroke play qualifier Northport’s Cammie Gray, who just concluded her redshirt freshman year on the golf team at Alabama and won last year’s State Stroke Play Championship, will battle McCalla’s Lea Green, who has won the State Four Ball three times. She won it in 2009 and 2010 with Kathy Hartwiger; and 2011 with Linda Jeffery of Millbrook.
Gray took down 10-time champion Kathy Hartwiger in 19 holes, while Green beat her namesake, but no relation, Virginia Green 5 & 3.
Gray, 19, led Hartwiger by 3 up with three to play, but Hartwiger did not go down without a fight. She chipped in to win 16, Gray missed a short putt to tie the hole and win the match on 17, and Hartwiger won 18 with a clutch up-and-down to send the match into extra holes.
“Things were definitely spiraling a little bit, but I told myself I had to refocus and forget everything,” Gray said.
“The first playoff hole was No. 1 and I knew I had an edge as I could reach this par five in two and Kathy could not.”
Both players hit good drives, with Hartwiger laying up her second and Gray hitting her second shot near the green. After Hartwiger left her third 25 feet from the hole, Gray chipped very close. Her tap-in birdie won the match.
“I knew I would be in a battle with Kathy. She’s such a great player and has a vast amount of experience. I learned a lot from playing with her and want to continue taking it one shot at a time in the final.”
Green has never been in the State Amateur final either, but has long been a strong player.
“My goals starting the week were to qualify well in stroke play and make it to the semi finals. I’ve exceeded both my goals and being in the final is gravy.
“I want to continue playing steady as I have thus far.”
She bested hometown favorite Virginia Green, who is just 14 and has a bright future ahead of her.
“Virginia had been just a birdie machine in previous matches, but didn’t have such a good day. It’s so fun to see the youngsters coming through and playing so well.”
Leah Green teaches at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, so the final will have a Tuscaloosa flavor to it. Her schedule is such that she gets summers off and can play in some tournaments. She plays mostly at Bent Brook in Bessemer.
There are six other flights and they are being contested via double elimination match play Wednesday-Friday.
View results for Alabama State Women's Amateur Golf Championship