Hanna Alberto (TGA photo)
Hanna Alberto’s winning performance at the 98th Women’s Texas Amateur was a testament to the theory of low expectations. The Sam Houston State senior from Kingwood on Friday scored a 1-up victory over SMU senior Faith Summers from San Antonio in the Championship Match of the oldest, most prestigious women’s amateur tournament in Texas.
The impressive victory far surpassed her objective for the week at Bent Tree Country Club.
In addition to a red-hot putter and consistent ball-striking, what helped Alberto navigate an 18-hole Qualifying Round followed by five rounds of stressful match play were her modest goals. That’s significant because Alberto was one of the best players in the field. She’s won seven college events at Sam Houston State, and her World Amateur Golf Ranking of 50th was the highest of all the competitors in the 98th Women’s Texas Amateur.
Still, she stayed conservative when it came to her goals.
“I just wanted to make it through the second match play round because that’s where I lost in this event two years ago,” said Alberto, a two-time Southland Conference Player of the Year for the Bearkats. “Not having too high of expectations kind of helped me because I was just focusing on my game and hitting good shots.”
She hit plenty of those on Friday, as she did all week. After trading three pars on the 1972 Desmond Muirhead-designed course that Keith Foster renovated in 2002, Alberto drew first blood against Summers when she poured in a 23-foot birdie on the 380-yard, par-4 fourth hole. Alberto promptly gave up her lead with a bogey on the fifth hole, but a 20-foot birdie on the par-4 seventh gave Alberto another 1-up lead.
Alberto stretched it to a 2-up advantage when she made a 5-foot birdie on the 154-yard, par-3 eighth hole. The 2-up lead remained in place for the next hour or so. Summers played incredibly steady golf for her part. She made 15 straight pars – including seven one-putt scrambles – before finally cracking through with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th hole to cut Alberto’s lead to 1 up.
Alberto ultimately won the championship with a routine par on the 18th hole.
“It means a lot to win this great tournament,” said Alberto, who earlier this year played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. “My friends and family were here and watching. It was a really close match, and I’m glad everything turned out well.”
Summers was gracious in defeat. She was proud of her effort, and rightfully so. For the fourth day in a row, temperatures soared into the high 90s. Fatigue was a factor for all the talented players in the field, and Summers capped off her week by playing the championship-quality course at 1-under par. Nothing to be sore about there.
“Being able to survive five rounds of match play in three days and knowing I have that endurance and competitive edge is really going to help me,” Summers said. “Hanna was just playing some amazing golf. I made it tough on her, though. I made 17 pars today, so she had to make birdies to beat me. She’s an amazing golfer.”
View results for Women's Texas Amateur
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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