Hailey Jones wins Texas State Junior Girls Championship
2015 champion Hailey Jones (TGA photo)
2015 champion Hailey Jones (TGA photo)

HORSESHOE BAY, Texas — Hailey Jones of Dallas was two strokes behind leader Hanna Alberto of Kingwood as she headed into her final two holes of play at the 89th Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch. With Alberto directly behind her, it was up to Jones to make a move.

After making birdie on the par 3, 17th, Jones made another challenging eight footer on the 18th green to make her second consecutive birdie and tie the lead at 6-under-par. Jones finished the final round with an impressive 4- under-par 68 to add to her previous rounds of 2- under 70 and even-par 72, bringing her total score to 6-under 210.

“I honestly just tried to make as many birdies as I could and eliminate the stupid mistakes,” said the 14-year-old Jones. “I was able to get up and down a lot and chipped in for birdie on nine to get myself to 1-under. That really helped get my momentum going.”

Although Jones felt good about her round, Alberto was still left to play. Having twelve feet left on the 72nd hole, Alberto had a chance to close out the tournament and claim the title. It fell short.

Jones and Alberto were tied at 6-under and would head into a playoff to decide the Girls 15- 18 champion.

On the first playoff hole, after a wayward tee shot into a fairway bunker on the par-4 18th, Jones thought her chances were over while Alberto lay nicely in the fairway. However, Jones managed to scramble and make a clutch bogey putt while Alberto three putted, continuing the playoff.

The second and final playoff hole saw Alberto make another bogey while Jones made a routine par and claiming her first Legends Junior Tour title.

“It’s awesome! Just so much fun,” said the newly crowned champion, “To win and have my name on the trophy with girls like Courtney Dow, and others, it’s really cool.”

Hanna Alberto finished second in the Girls 15-18 division and joined her younger sister, Leah, in bringing home a crystal trophy from the Championship. Leah finished third in the Girls 14 & Under division Tuesday.

Also bringing home a trophy was 12-year-old Sadie Engelmann of Austin who impressively finished solo third at 2-under 214 and Emma Ballard of Kingwood at 1-under 215. McKinney’s Kenzie Wright was the fifth and final girl to be awarded a trophy at even-par 216 after narrowly defeating Erin Fahey of Austin in a scorecard playoff.

The 89th Texas State Junior Championship is the first of three LJT major championships this year for the girls, and the Slick Rock Course at Horseshoe Bay Resort has played a large role in its success. The Legends Junior Tour would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Horseshoe Bay Resort, its staff, and all volunteers for their excellent service and hospitality in hosting the 89th Texas State Junior Championship.

ABOUT THE Texas State Junior

The Texas Boys Junior Championship is one of the largest in the country. Past champions of this prestigious event include Ben Crenshaw, Jeff Maggert, Bruce Lietzke, and Scott Verplank. 54-hole stroke play championship with a cut after 36 holes. All players must be a resident of Texas and have not yet enrolled in college.

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