Top seeds move on at Women's Texas Amateur
Megan Thothong
Megan Thothong

WACO, Texas — Overall No. 1 seed Megan Thothong from Dallas took care of business Tuesday with a 3&2 victory against Grace Choi in the 94th WTGA State Amateur’s Round of 32.

Thothong earned the Championship Flight’s top seed with a 4-under-par 68 that earned medalist honors in Monday’s stroke play Qualifying Round. In Tuesday’s first match, she jumped to an early 2-up lead after consecutive three-putt bogeys from Choi, who is also from Dallas. As the match wound through the tree-lined, lakeside Ridgewood Country Club course, Choi only got as close as 1 down on the front side.

Thothong closed out the match on the 16th green. She estimated that she played 2-under par during the match.

“It was difficult today,” said Thothong, a sophomore at Houston who finished second at the 92nd WTGA State Amateur in 2013. “Match play puts you in a different mindset. I’ve known Grace a long time, and she struck the ball really well today. I kept calm and made the putts I had to make.”

Thothong set the tone for the day, as each of the top 12 seeds in the Championship Flight advanced through the Round of 32. Qualifying Round runner-up and overall No. 2 seed Emily Gilbreth from Bellaire defeated 31st-seeded San Antonio’s Kristin Glesne, 4&3.

The Woodlands’ Kelly McGovern, the No. 3 seed and runner-up in last summer’s 93rd WTGA State Amateur, rallied to score a 4&3 victory against Denise Hachtel from Allen. Hachtel was 2 up through seven holes, but McGovern’s 10-foot par save on No. 8 and birdie on the ninth swung the match to all square at the turn.

“That gave me the momentum headed into the back nine,” said McGovern, who put Hachtel away with a par on the 15th green.

McGovern said she expected to see the higher seeds advance into the Round of 16, which begins Wednesday at 8 a.m.

“It’s not surprising because the top girls in this tournament are all really good players,” said McGovern, a junior at TCU. “They’re all competing hard and getting it done.”

That group includes six-seeded Maggie Byers from San Antonio. A freshman at Baylor, Byers and her college teammates call picturesque Ridgewood home throughout the year. Byers has played the hilly course many times; she needed all 18 holes to defeat Kalli Jennings from Andrews, 1 up.

The first upset in the Round of 32 came when 20th-seeded Megan Woods from Spring Branch defeated No. 13 seed Ann Holcomb from Crockett, 1 up. Only two other lower seeds advanced. Rylee Pedigo from Fort Worth, the No. 18 seed, defeated No. 15 seed Maty Monzingo from Corpus Christi, 2&1. Seventeenth-seeded Kirsten Pike from Ovilla also scored a 1-up victory against 16th-seeded Camry Tardy from Arlington.

ABOUT THE Texas Women's Amateur

Field Limit: Lowest handicap indexes in multiples of 8 with a maximum of 88 players. In the event the championship becomes over-subscribed, entries will be accepted in order of handicap index.

Format: The 32 players with the lowest qualifying scores will fill the Championship flight and contend for the title. The qualifying round is optional for all but the players with the 32 lowest handicap indexes. The 16 players eliminated in the first round of Championship flight match play may participate in an 18-hole Stroke Play consolation round. Remaining players will be flighted into seven flights of eight based on handicap. The four players eliminated in the first round will proceed to a consolation match play bracket for each flight.

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