LOUDONVILLE – Without a friendly heads-up, Towson University teammates Alix Lowe and Alexis Hios wore the same blue jerseys for the second round of the 88th New York State Women’s Amateur Thursday at Schuyler Meadows Club.
Although it was the first time they played together in the same group during tournament competition, both Towson Tigers (colors black and yellow) said it wasn’t a fashion statement, just a twist of fate. Their fortunes also switched around a bit, as well, with Lowe grabbing the tournament lead by going from two strokes down to a pair of shots up entering Friday’s final round. Lowe, from Colonial Springs Golf Club, shot an even-par 72 for a two-day total of 142, while first-round leader Hios, the 2015 NYS Girls Junior champ from Westchester Country Club, struggled a bit with a 76 for a 144 total.
Jenny Buchanan, also a Towson Tiger from the host club, T3, six shots back, after shooting 77 for a 148. Sharing third are Siena College’s Sara Riso and Marianna Monaco, both from the NYSGA e-Club. Shaker High School graduate Madison Braman was the only other Capital Area player to make the cut in her division with a 77-153.
MID-AM HITS AND MISSES
In the NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur division, which played from shorter tees and to a par of 73, Lauren Cupp from Yahnundasis Golf Club took the lead with a two-day total of 155, followed by first-round leader Julie Murphy (157) of Brookfield CC and Kim Kaul (157) of Gowanda CC.
Mary Scatena of Pinehaven Country Club topped seven Capital Area players who made the cut with a 159, followed by Nancy Kroll of Pinehaven CC (160), Karen Feldman of Olde Kinderhook (161), Pat Mayne of Cedar Lake Club (165), Mary Sicard of Queensbury CC (165), Mary Jo Kelly of Wolferts Roost CC (166) and Mary Ellen Burt of Mohawk Golf Club (167).
Lowe said it was a crazy round for her because of the circumstances. “We didn’t play together before in a tournament” she said. “I know her game, and she knows mine. It was fun to play with her. We also kid around with each other. But I had mixed feelings, because if she missed a putt, my heart breaks. She’s a great player, but she had a tough day with some tough breaks.”
Lowe’s scorecard has included some interesting birdie stretches over her first two rounds. “Yesterday (Wednesday), I birdied all the par-3s. Today, I birdied all the par-5s. Hopefully, (Friday) I’ll birdie all the par-4s,” she said with a grin.
Meanwhile, Hios, who shot a spectacular career-best 68 in the opening round, had a reversal of fortunes Thursday. “I made it a lot more difficult,” she said. “My approach shots weren’t where I wanted them to be, and I didn’t putt with as much confidence. I just tried to stay positive.”
Hios said she’s not sure she can use her experience of winning a NYS Girls’ Amateur crown before. “I think I blocked out that final round. I know I shot a 71, but I can’t remember anything besides that,” she said. “There is always a lot of pressure in the final group of a major. I like it. I’m looking forward to playing again with Alix.”
Similar to Hios, Buchanan just didn’t have her “A” game Thursday. “The wind picked up, and some of the pins were a little tougher,” she said. “The front nine, I was struggling a little bit with my irons. They weren’t as clean as I wanted, and that left me with a few tough spots, leaving a lot more pressure on my putting. Today, my wedges and my chipping weren’t as sharp. I wasn’t all there today, but I’ll keep my same game plan and try to concentrate on every shot one at a time. I don’t want to put more pressure on myself.”
Riso said Schuyler Meadows played a lot tougher for her Thursday. Although Siena uses the course for practices, the Saints hadn’t played a match or invitational there all year. “The course is a lot different when you play it in a tournament condition,” she said. “The greens here are very tough. There are a lot of subtle breaks.”
Braman, headed to William & Mary in the fall, wasn’t unhappy with her round, which was just a shot higher than Wednesday’s. “It was alright, but I was hoping for more birdies. I had just one,” she said. “They lengthened the short holes today. There are some holes I could have played better, but that’s golf. I’m happy overall with the way I’ve played these first two days.”
NYS Women’s Mid-Amateur
Made the Cut
4 159 (+13) Mary Scatena (Pinehaven CC) 81-78
T5 160 (+14) Nancy Kroll (Pinehaven CC) 81-79
T7 161 (+15) Karen Feldman (Olde Kinderhook GC) 83-78
T10 165 (+19) Mary Sicard (Queensbury CC) 85-80
T10 165 (+19) Pat Mayne (Cedar Lake) 79-86
12 166 (+20) Mary Jo Kelly (Wolferts Roost CC) 83-83
T13 167 (+21) Mary Ellen Burt (Mohawk GC) 86-81