Sydney Givens (Texas G.A. Photo)
BULLARD – After winning their third and fourth grueling matches of the week on Thursday, Sydney Givens will face Madison Le for the 102nd Women’s Texas Amateur title at Eagles Bluff Country Club.
An incoming senior at Vandegrift High School in Austin, 4th-seed Sydney Givens held off No. 1 seed Elina Sinz of Katy. After a back-and-forth match on the front nine, Givens took control on the back nine to secure the win.
Sinz, a senior at the University of Alabama, missed the green from the fairway. She hit a great flop shot to put it on the green on No. 17 but finished with a bogey. Givens nailed her fairway shot to put her ball within six feet and then two-putted for par to claim the victory.
“I played great today and made a lot of putts,” said Givens, who recently claimed the individual and team 6A state title at Vandegrift. “I was really pumped to get it done today. The greens today were a little faster so just knowing the speeds of the green and getting my speed control I can make more putts.”
The other Semifinal match featured two talented players as well with 26th-seeded Madison Le of Arlington and 19th-seeded Raleygh Simpson of Kerrville facing off. Le, a sophomore at the University of Texas at Arlington, won 1 up on the 18th hole.
Simpson, an incoming senior at Tivy High School in Kerrville, made a last push for an exciting finish against Le. On No. 17, she made a 14-foot uphill putt for birdie to extend the match to the 18th hole. Le then put the pressure back on Raleygh and was able to two-putt for par to secure her victory.
“I feel super great,” said Le. “Today was a grind. It was really difficult today, but I was proud of myself that I pushed to the end. I try to focus one shot at a time and stay in it and not to force things that could happen naturally.”
In other Quarterfinal matches from the Championship Bracket earlier Thursday morning, Le defeated Amari Smith of McKinney 3&1 to advance. Le has been able to finish all her matches before getting to the 18th hole until the semifinal match against Simpson. In the other quarterfinal match, Givens defeated Lubbock’s Haley Vargas 2&1 to move on to her match with Sinz.
Temperatures were brutal for the Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds on Thursday. In the morning, temperatures stayed in the mid 80’s before reaching low 100s in the afternoon.
Playing from 6031 yards on Thursday, the Eagle’s Bluff’s’s routing through the East Texas woods, thick rough and water hazards continued to make ball control important.
In addition to the Final Match in the Championship Match Play Bracket, Friday also brings the Finals in three lower flights. All the competitors who finished 33rd or worse in Tuesday’s Qualifying Round were seeded into flights based on their scores.
ROUND TWO RECAP
University of Alabama senior Elina Sinz showed a dominant performance against two talented opponents on Wednesday at Eagle Bluff Country Club to advance to the Quarterfinals at the 102nd Women’s Texas Amateur.
After defeating No. 32 seed Euben Shim of Woodway 6&4 in the morning’s Round of 32, Sinz found herself 2 up through 9 holes in the Round of 16 against Granbury’s Mason Lewis, a sophomore at the University of North Texas. Sinz played steady on the back nine before closing things out on 16.
Sinz will face Irving’s Hunter Nugent tomorrow in the quarterfinals in a highly anticipated matchup between two well-experienced players.
31st seed McKinney’s Amari Smith upset No. 2 seed Kate Prickell in the round of 32 winning 2 up. “The number one thing is I just like to have fun with match play and remain calm,” Smith shared after the round. The University of North Georgia senior then went on to make another upset by defeating Austin’s Vera Yi. Smith made the top 32 for match play by winning in a playoff on Tuesday during the Qualifying Round and she is just getting started.
The three, four, and five seeds all advanced into the Round of 16. The fourth seed Sydney Givens of Austin showed her toughness by winning her match in 19 holes. Givens went on to win in dominant fashion in her Round of 16 matchup by winning 5 and 4. Givens is going into her senior year at Vandergrift High where they just claimed a 6A State Championship in women’s golf.
Arlington’s Madison Le upset seventh-seeded Tristan Gabbard in dominant fashion winning 3&2 in a Round of 32 match. Le went on to win again in an impressive 4 and 3 showing over Madison Brown. “I didn’t have my best stuff on Tuesday and learned a lot from it,” Le shared after the match.
Irving’s Hunter Nugent had a dramatic day and claimed her spot in the quarterfinals via winning in 19 holes in the Round of 32 and 1 up in the Round of 16. “I don’t feel like I played my best in the morning,” Hunter shared. “I made it up with par on 18 though to win the match and just made the putts that needed to count.”
Lubbock’s own Haley Vargas played some incredible golf today by winning 1 up in the Round of 32 and 2 up in the Round of 16 to move into the Quarterfinals. “I had a few miscued shots here and there but struck it really well coming in,” the senior at Kansas State shared. Vargas takes on a very hot Sydney Givens tomorrow in an exciting Quarterfinal matchup.
In the last matchup of the Round of 16, Kerrville’s Raleygh Simpson upset 3rd-seeded Alise Kundson on No. 18. Raleygh shared “I feel great. I sunk two great short putts on the last two holes to secure the win.” Raleyghs birthday is tomorrow and received a nice early present for securing a ticket in the quarterfinals.
The heat played a larger role today. The morning started in the low 80s with cloudy weather and calm winds. Closer to 11 A.m. the sun came out and the temperature climbed into the high 90s. By 3 P.M. the heat index reached 105.
Three of the 16 matches in the morning’s Round of 32 went to extra holes, highlighted by a 21-hole marathon between Spicewood’s Emma Vonn Hoffmann and Coppell’s Lauren Rios. Von Hoffmann showed her toughness and finished it out on a fun but challenging third hole at Eagle’s Bluff Country Club.
ROUND ONE RECAP
Katy’s Elina Sinz fired a 4-under 67 in Tuesday’s stroke play qualifying round of the 102nd Women’s Texas Amateur to capture the top overall seed heading into match play. Sinz made back-to-back birdies to start the day en route to a round that saw the University of Alabama senior grab two more birdies on the back nine.
“Staying patient and playing tall,” said Sinz in her post-round interview. “I’m playing well right now and not wanting to change anything. My ball striking was good, and I really just focused on playing tee to green.”
Sinz is familiar with finishing in the top spot in tournaments, as she won 5 times on the Legend Junior Tour before heading off to college. Her college highlights thus far include being named to the SEC All-Freshman team and winning the Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic in 2023.
“Hitting fairways is key around here,” she said. “You think your ball is lost in the rough but getting some good approach shots will give you great chances at birdies.”
Austin’s Kate Prickrell finished two strokes behind Sinz to claim the second seed and win Junior Medalist honors. She is a two-time winner on the Legend Junior Tour claiming the Lanny Wadkins in 2021 and the Texas Junior Am in 2022. Pickrell has signed her letter on intent to play for Abilene Christian University this coming season.
Alise Knudson of Dallas finished three shots behind Sinz, who was in the same pairing as her, making it an exciting group to watch throughout the day. At 1-under 70, The University of Illinois sophomore looks to take her momentum into match play starting tomorrow as the three seed.
Sydney Givens of Austin captured the four seed with an even-par round of 71 while Lauren Rios of Coppell, Eryn Garza of Montgomery, and Tristan Gabbard of Fulshear all carded rounds of 1-over 72 on the day. Rios was a Ben Hogan Perseverance Award recipient in 2022.
Thirty-five players posted scores of 8-over 79 or better on Monday to force a six for three spots playoff to establish all 32 seeds in the Championship Match Play Bracket. The remaining competitors were placed in one of six flights based on their Qualifying Round scores.
Fresh off competing in the Women’s Stroke Play Championship, Fort Worth’s Mina Hardin won Senior Medalist honors with a 6-over 77. A five-time Women’s Texas Amateur champion and the 2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur winner, Hardin has been a consistent presence at this championship for years. A veteran of more than 50 USGA national championships, Hardin was inducted into the Texas Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.
Playing from 6140 yards on Tuesday, the Tournament Course’s routing through the East Texas woods, thick rough, and water hazards make ball control more important than ever. The competitors were met with a nice change of pace compared to the usual Texas weather in the summer.
Cloud covered skies stayed in the area keeping temperatures low in the morning and slowly warmed up to low 80’s around noon. Starting around 1:00 PM, light rain began to fall while temperatures continued to stay in the mid 80’s and climbing into the high 80’s to finish out the day.
The 102nd Women’s Texas Amateur is being played at Eagle’s Bluff Country Club in Bullard. It has a 462-acre master-planned community bordering the eastern shoreline of Lake Palestine. The golf course was designed by Carlton Gibson and is set on a rolling piece of property highlighted by stately pines, dogwoods, azaleas, and picturesque views of the lake. The strategic par-71 layout, which measures close to 6,400 yards from the middle set of tees, features holes that play in a variety of directions, with contoured fairways and greens, and numerous water hazards.
First- and second-round Championship matches will be played Wednesday, July 12; quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, July 13; and the final on Friday, July 14. All matches are 18 holes.View results for Women's Texas Amateur