FORMER NYS GIRLS’ CHAMPION
Alexis Hios of Westchester Country Club leads the field by two strokes with a 4-under 68 after Wednesday’s opening round of the 88th NYS Women’s Amateur Championship at Schuyler Meadows Club in Loudonville.
Hios began two-over through four but knocked down birdies on #6 & #8 to make the turn even. On the back, the former NYS Girls’ Junior Champion – 2013 at Skaneateles CC – remained bogey-free and tallied four more birdies to finish as the only player in the 60’s.
“It’s very straight forward,” Hios said of the course. “What you see is what you get.”
T2: Alix Lowe of Colonial Springs Golf Club and Ina Kim of Deepdale Golf Club, who both carded 70 (-2).
“I’ve been practicing everyday with my brother,” said Lowe, who captured the WMGA/MGA Women’s Met Amateur Championship title last week at Mountain Ridge Country Club. Her brother Matt Lowe is a top amateur in the state who just recently won the MGA’s Ike Championship. “I’m just in a good vibe right now.”
Sitting T3 are Jenny Buchanan of the host club and Sara Riso who plays on the golf team at Siena College just down the road. The local duo finished their opening rounds at 71 (-1) and have plenty of course knowledge to utilize this week.
Buchanan, Lowe & Hios all are members of the women’s golf team at Towson University. If the three can continue their success on the course this week, we could very well see a friendly face-off between the three teammates.
“I don’t think the three of us have ever played together before,” Hios said. “That would be really cool.”
In the 9th NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, held concurrently for players ages 25 and up, the lead belongs to Julie Murphy from Brookfield Country Club after an opening round 4-over 77 (par 73 for Mid-Am). The 36-year-old from Buffalo made an impressive run on her back nine (holes #1-#9) with six birdies on her way in. The streak started after a couple of nice birdies on the consecutive par-5 holes #1 and #2.
“I think I was getting off the tee much better on the second nine,” said Murphy. “I’m longer off the tee, so the confidence that came with that really helped”.
One stroke off is two-time NYS Women’s Senior champion Kim Kaul from Gowanda Country Club in Buffalo. Kaul finished as runner-up in the 2015 Mid-Amateur at Tuscarora GC and T4 last year at Elmira.
Due to impending weather, the second round will begin a half an hour earlier than scheduled – at 7:30AM Thursday, with the leaders of both divisions playing off the first tee. There is a cut after 36 holes to the low 50% and ties in each division, to play in Friday’s final round.