DALLAS (July 28, 2014) - Heather Shake from Pearland and Jessa LaBarbera from Allen each shot 1-over-par 72 at Bent Tree Country Club to earn co-medalist honors in the opening round of the 93rd Women's State Amateur Championship.
Sixty-six women teed off Monday for the stroke play portion of the five-day championship. The top 32 women advanced to the Championship Match Play Bracket, which begins Tuesday. The rest of the field was slotted into three other match play flights based off their GHIN Handicap Indexes.
Shake stumbled a bit early and suffered a double-bogey six on the 371-yard, par-4 second hole. The sophomore at the University of Houston-Victoria bounced back immediately, however, with a birdie on the 448-yard, par-5 third hole. Shake went on to play the next 15 holes at even-par to post her 72.
"I just thought to myself, 'Keep playing your game and don't focus on that one hole,'" Shake said. "I told myself to keep making pars and if some birdies come, then that's a bonus."
LaBarbera, a senior at Colorado State, made three birdies against four bogeys for her 72.
"I putted really well today," she said, "but I also hit a lot of fairways."
Shake and LaBarbera snagged the top two seeds in the Championship Match Play Bracket. Three players finished one shot behind them: Maddie McCrary from Wylie, Portland Rosen from Houston and Courtney Tibiletti from Huntsville each shot 2-over 73s.
McCrary, an incoming freshman at Oklahoma State who won the Legends Junior Tour's 2012 Girls Invitational, carded five birdies.
"I played pretty good after a rough start," McCrary said. "I was a little unfamiliar with the greens, but I got used to them. I adjusted my grip a little and started making some putts."
Thirty-two players shot 10-over 81 or better to advance to the Championship Match Play Bracket, including sisters Sarah and Brenna Moore from Burkburnett. They posted matching 8-over 79s.
This year's Women's State Amateur Championship marks the second time Bent Tree Country Club has hosted the annual event. Bent Tree also hosted the Women's State Amateur in 1993, when Fort Worth native Tony Weisner won the title. The private north Dallas club has a proud history of hosting elite tournaments, including the 2006 TGA Mid-Amateur, 2010 TGA Senior Amateur, LPGA Tour's Mary Kay Classic from 1979-82 and two Champions Tour events.
The tight, tree-lined parkland course has produced worthy champions such as Tom Watson, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Jan Stephenson. Bent Tree played as a par 71 and measured 5,907 yards for this year's Women's State Amateur.
Play continues at 8 a.m. Tuesday with the Round of 32 for the Championship Match Play Bracket and Round of 16 for the other three flights.
View results for Texas Women's State Amateur Golf Championship