Julia Gregg (Texas Golf Association photo)
SAN ANTONIO (July 18, 2018) – With a pair of match-play victories apiece on another steamy day at San Antonio Country Club, Amber Park
from Allen and Julia Gregg
from Farmers Branch advanced to Friday’s Championship Match at the 97th WTGA State Amateur.
Fifth-seeded Park, a Texas A&M sophomore, defeated No. 17 seed Kenzie Wright from McKinney, 3 and 2, in the semifinals. Last summer at this championship, Park lost in the semifinals. She said that wasn’t necessarily motivation to advance further this time around.
“Of course I did keep that in mind,” Park said. “But I just played my game. This year it’s different.”
Park used consecutive birdies on the 422-yard, par-4 ninth and 149-yard, par-3 10th to move to 3 up and take control of her match against Wright. While the temperature soared to 99 degrees with a heat index of 104, Park stuck a hybrid to 5 feet from 183 yards out on No. 9 and calmly drained the putt. She then ran in a 20-footer on the 10th.
“I didn’t expect to birdie No. 9, but I got lucky and did,” Park said. “Usually my putting is not there, and that’s one part of my game I really struggle with most of the time. I’ve been working really hard on it. I’ve been dropping a lot of birdie putts and making 10-footers. That’s definitely been helping.”
In the morning quarterfinals match, Park took care of Austin Westlake High School junior Sadie Englemann, 4 and 3. The No. 4 seed in the championship bracket, Englemann won junior medalist honors with a 1-over 73. Park never trailed against Englemann, a future Stanford Cardinal, and rolled in three birdies on her way to the win.
Similarly, Gregg never trailed in her semifinals victory against Sam Houston State senior Jenna Phillips from Leander. Gregg, No. 4 seed, surged ahead of the second-seeded Philips when Gregg won the ninth hole with a par and the 10th with a 20-foot birdie. Four holes later, Gregg said she took control for good.
“I won the 14th hole to go 3 up with five to play,” said Gregg, who has verbally committed to play for Arkansas. “That was the point where I really just said, ‘We’re good. Everything is fine.”
Gregg defeated North Texas junior Lauren Cox from Orange, 3 and 2, in the morning’s quarterfinals. Gregg overcame a fast start from Cox, the No. 3 seed who birdied the first three holes to stake a lead. Gregg tracked her down by the 10th hole to pull even, and then she won holes 13, 14 and 15 to close out the match.
Gregg said she came into the week with no expectations of winning the championship, but her mindset changed over the past couple of days.
“Now I’m thinking about (winning the championship),” she said. “Before I wasn’t, but I definitely am now. It would mean a lot to win my home state’s amateur championship. It would mean a ton.”
Park and Gregg will square off in the final match on Friday 9:30 a.m. back at historic San Antonio CC.
ABOUT THE Women's Texas Amateur
Eligibility: Entries are open to female amateur
golfers with a certified GHIN Handicap index.
Player Field: 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 starting field will consist of 88 total
players. The 32 players with the lowest qualifying
scores will fill the championship flight and contend
for the championship title. The qualifying round is
optional for all but the players with the 32 lowest
handicap indexes on the date the entries close. The
16 players eliminated in the first round of the
championship flight match play may participate in an
18-hole stroke play consolation round. The remaining
players will be flighted into seven flights of eight
based on handicap indexes. The four players
eliminated in the first round of flight matches will
proceed to a consolation match play bracket for each
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