BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 21, 2012) -- Alison Hovatter came into this week’s 80th Women’s State Amateur Championship at Hoover Country Club with low expectations, but she has upgraded those significantly as she has made it through to the final and will face nine-time State Amateur champion Kathy Hartwiger in Friday’s 18-hole championship match.
“I broke my arm February 20 and wasn’t sure if I would ever play again. It was a freak accident in the weight room at Ole Miss (where she will be a sophomore and in her first year of eligibility on the golf team).”
She started hitting shots in late May and has only played three or four times since then, so her strong play this week has surprised her a little.
She was All-State all four years at Hazel Green High School and this Meridianville native won two SJGT events in her junior career.
She has bulldozed her way through the field thus far shooting 72 to lead the stroke play seeding, followed by wins of 5 and 4 in the round of 16 over Taylor Appleyard and Lucie King in the quarter-finals. In Thursday’s semi-final she beat Piedmont’s Erin Gunnels by 6 and 5 in another dominating performance that included five birdies.
Last year she lost in the semi-finals to Hartwiger and now faces this member of Hoover Country Club in the final.
“I’ve just tried to relax and enjoy playing golf. When the game is taken away from you, you don’t know how much you miss it.”
Hartwiger had all she could handle against Scottsboro’s Logan Chaney, who will be a freshman on the Mississippi State golf team this fall.
Chaney led the entire match until Hartwiger squared it with a stunning 60 foot birdie putt on No. 17. She then proceeded to also birdie the final hole to win 1 up.
“It was a very good match,” Hartwiger said. “She putted great and my putting was a little suspect early on.”
But Hartwiger’s putter came alive when it really mattered.
Chaney led by three at the turn before Hartwiger won Nos. 10, 11 and 12 to go all square before Chaney won 14 to go back 1 up.
“I thought I might feel more pressure (playing her home course), but, more than anything, I really enjoyed watching others play the course.”
Hartwiger defeated Nancy Gavin of Jackson Gap (by 4 and 3), and then McCalla’s Lea Green (by 5 and 3) in the earlier rounds.
View results for Alabama State Women's Amateur Golf Championship