Women's Southern: Hinson-Tolchard, Joy-Connelly lift the trophies
Hinson-Tolchard hoists the trophy (Photo credit: Oklahoma State Athletics)
Maddison Hinson-Tolchard and Tara Joy-Connelly outlasted the Amateur and Mid-Amateur fields, respectively, for the Women's Southern Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships on Thursday at The Falls of the Palm Beaches.
Oklahoma State freshman Hinson-Tolchard dominated Florida State’s Taylor Roberts 5&4, while top-seeded Joy-Connelly’s mid-amateur finals match came down to a winning putt on the 18th to defeat Kim Keyer-Scott 1 up.
After a qualifying stroke play Monday round, Hinson-Tolchard was tough to beat throughout the week as the No. 4 seed displayed nothing but grit through all of her matches. Her Tuesday consisted of wins over Mary Murray and Cynthia Tu in 6&5 and 4&3 decisions, while Wednesday’s quarter and semifinals wins over Lisa Marie Rudometkin, 5&4, and 1-up over Jenny Kim after 20 holes put her in pole position for Thursday’s championship.
The Australian Hinson-Tolchard overcame Roberts’s opening birdie and completely turned the tide of the championship match after four holes, notching five birdies to decidedly end the match 5 up through 13 holes. The champion told the WSGA that her putting “got me over the line”.
Joy-Connelly maintained her top-seed dominance throughout, sailing past Connie Bousquet 7&6, Mary Jane Hiestand 2&1, Nancy Beck 4&3 and Dawn Woodard 4&3.
Her close title match against Keyer-Scott served as her toughest test. An early lead took Joy-Connelly two up before Keyer-Scott shaved off the lead and tied it up at the fourth, and would maintain the lead after a brief eighth hole tie on the opening nine. The last nine evened the duel out before landing in Keyer-Scott’s favor on the 14th, going 1Up before Joy-Connelly tied it up at the 16th. She’d finally regain her lead at the last second with a birdie on the 18th to claim the Mid-Am title in the final seconds.
Hinson-Tolchard’s win is another landmark in her rise through amateur golf and testament to her match play savvy, having won three out of her four matches in the Cowgirls’ DI National Championship runner-up finish. Joy-Connelly’s performance is another treasured piece of the story of her accomplished Mid-Am career.
ABOUT THE Women's Southern Amateur
36 holes of qualifying followed by the top 32
advancing to a match play tournament. Open and
Mid-Amateur divisions. Entry is open to female
amateur golfers who are members of the WSGA
through a WSGA
member golf club, women’s golf organization, or a
college/university in one of the fifteen southern
the District of Columbia.
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