Alabama Women's Amateur: Hartwiger vs. Oubre in the final

MOBILE, ALA. (June 23, 2011) -- It will be youth versus experience in the final of the 79th Women’s State Amateur Championship at Heron Lakes Country Club in Mobile, with 17-year-old Gabri Oubre from Mobile against eight-time and reigning State Amateur champion Kathy Hartwiger of Birmingham.

Both had monumental semifinal matches, with Hartwiger beating Alison Hovatter of Meridianville on the 19th hole and Oubre beating Suzanne Stanley of Decatur, also on the first extra hole.

Hartwiger was one down on the final hole of regulation, but a par on No. 18 won the hole and then she made a birdie three on No. 1, the first extra hole, to beat Hovatter, who will be a freshman at Ole Miss.

“I was three down through eight holes, but won nine and 10 with birdies to get back in the match. It was back and forth from that point,” Hartwiger said.

She made a fighting par on No. 18 hitting a 4-hybrid from a fairway bunker close to the green and getting up and down for par, while Hovatter made bogey.

Then in the playoff she hit two quality shots leading to a six foot putt that she made for birdie to close out the match.

Oubre, who will be a senior and is home schooled, was two down through 12 holes; fought back to be 1 up playing the final hole, but lost that hole. She then parred the first extra hole, which was good enough for the win.

Oubre, who qualified last week for the U.S. Junior Girls Amateur by shooting 75 at Shoal Creek, beat reigning State Stroke Play champion and former University of Mobile golfer Maegan Rice of Florence in the quarterfinals. She then beat Stanley, who concluded her college career at Mississippi State last year, so she has seen off two college players, but now faces the toughest of competitors in Hartwiger, who won the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

The 18-hole final tees off 7:30 Friday.

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