MOBILE, ALA. (June 24, 2011) -- Kathy Hartwiger has been down this road before…nine times in fact.
Friday morning she captured her record ninth title in the 79th Women’s State Amateur Championship at Heron Lakes Country Club in Mobile, when she swept aside 17-year-old Gabi Oubre of Mobile by a score of 6 & 4 in the final.
Hartwiger, who lives in Birmingham and plays at Hoover Country Club, added to her own record, having won the state title also in 2010 and seven other times before.
She got off to a fast start in the final winning the first three holes with a par and two birdies, and never let up. Five up after eight, Oubre made a birdie on No. 9 to get one hole back, but Hartwiger kept up the pressure, and her great play, closing the match out on the 14th hole.
“I played phenomenal. It was my best play of the week…by far. I was three-under-par for the match and played very, very steady.
“I kept up the pressure as I didn’t want to give her an opening as you never know what can happen.”
In a match billed as youth (Oubre is 17, will be a senior and is home schooled) against experience (Hartwiger is 45 and won the 2002 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title, as well as some many state titles), experience won out.“I love the way Gabi plays. She’s very strong and she’s going to be very good. She reminds me a lot of Candace Schepperle (former Auburn standout golfer) in the way she plays. She was hitting the ball 50 yards past me off the tee.”
Oubre will play golf at Auburn a year from now and if she is as successful as Schepperle she will have a fine college career.
Hartwiger is facing a change in her life. She will go back to work, for the first time in 13 years, as a counselor at a local school.
Naturally this will impact her golf, but is a change she is ready for. “Golf can go on and on and I’m ready for this next chapter in my life.”
Oubre, who qualified last week for the U.S. Junior Girls Amateur by shooting 75 at Shoal Creek, will be heading to this national championship for the fourth time. Before that she will compete in next week’s State Girls Championship on the East Course at The Country Club of Birmingham, Tuesday-Thursday. She won the title two years ago and will be one of the favorites next week.
View results for Alabama State Women's Amateur Golf Championship