Phillips, Hart dance through stroke play round at State Am
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
June 15, 2004
CHOCTAW A pair of powerful youngsters and a shrewd nine-time champion were atop the leaderboard following Monday's stroke play in the 71st annual Mississippi Women's Golf Association State Amateur at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club.
Meridian's Lou Hart, a nine-time champion, and Leigh Phillips, a rising senior at Lamar School, were tied at even-par 72 along with LSU freshman Alexis Rather.
The tournament turns to a match play format today with the champion to be crowned on Thursday. Defending champion Renee Chastain of Brandon did not have to qualify and enters play today as the No. 1 seed.
Amanda Mathis and Jane Gatlin were tied at 74. Meridian's Pam Posey, the 2000 champion, was next at 76 followed by nine-time champion Cissye Gallagher and Sheila Haynes at 78.
Hart, the golf coach at Meridian Community College, was 2-under par before closing with a pair of bogeys. After a bogey on No. 6, she birdied Nos. 7, 8 and 12 to go 2-under before taking a bogey on Nos. 17 and 18.
Forty-one of the 96 entrants were unable to break 100 in the stroke competition.
Phillips, the winner of the recent MWGA Junior Girls Amateur Championship at Briarwood Country Club, was 1-under on the front nine and finished the day at even-par. After opening with eight straight pars, she birdied No. 9 to make the turn 1-under. Back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 put her 1-over until a birdie on No. 17 left her at even-par for the round.
Rather hit 17 greens in regulation in her even-par round.
Mathis, a freshman at Mississippi State from Picayune, shot a 74. She had 37s on each nine. Mathis won the 2002 state am and is a two-time junior state am champion.
Posey overcame a sluggish start to finish 4-over. Bogeys on Nos. 1, 5, 8, and 9 left her 4-over at the turn. She birdied No. 10, but closed with a bogey on No. 18.
Gallagher was even-par through 15 holes, but closed with three consecutive double-bogeys.
Gatlin recently moved to Mississippi after playing on Tennessee's SWATC team last year.
Also in the championship flight are Teresa Dottley, Mississippi State golf coach Christi Sanders, Sharon Anderson, Marlyn Tyler, Mary Beth Bolen, Jan Lacy, and Shannon Adams. Adams won a four-way playoff for the final berth in the championship flight.
The championship flight teed off at 10:16 today.