Surprise! Lavy's family arrives via private plane

Emma Lavy during the seminfinals of the Women's Western Amateur Championship.

Emma Lavy during the seminfinals of the Women's Western Amateur Championship.

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – When Trevor Lavy found out that his daughter Emma had made it to the final at the Women’s Western Amateur, he decided to pull out all the stops. As in, hire a private plane, round up a cheering section, and head south to Sawgrass Country Club as soon as possible.

As luck would have it, such a plane just happened to be ready and waiting in Fayetteville, Ark., with two pilots on hand. With Emma’s grandparents, older sister Brittany and Arkansas coaches Shauna Estes-Taylor and Mike Adams in tow, Trevor boarded the plane late Friday evening and arrived in Ponte Vedra by 11 p.m. By 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the Arkansas contingent was with Emma on the first tee.

“My wife texts, and so we were updated on all of the matches and they were terrific, but we didn’t have any idea,” Trevor said of Emma making it to the final. “She won three matches yesterday, and we decided she can’t be in the finals without any of us there.”

Emma found out via text that the gang was on the way.

“I was sitting at dinner and I had talked to my dad and he’s like, ‘Good luck tomorrow. You played great today,’ and then he texted me a picture and it was like, ‘Here we come!’”

Lavy had cruised through the match-play bracket before meeting Tanco in the final. Tanco played nearly flawless golf on the way to a 13-and-12 victory in the 36-hole final. Lavy bounced back from the defeat quickly, and was smiling again a few minutes later.

“Victoria is a great player. I’ve known her for a long time, and she’s great,” Lavy said after the final. “I knew I’d have to play good. I just didn’t expect to play not good.”

A Women’s Western victory would have been especially meaningful to Lavy, as Arkansas alumnae Stacy Lewis is among the distinguished list of past champions. Lavy, who grew up in Razorback country, was well aware of it.

“Everywhere I go, I hear it,” she said, laughing.

Still, the runner-up finish ranks high on Lavy’s list of accomplishments, which includes trips to the quarterfinals at last year’s Women’s Trans Amateur and North and South Amateur.

“I’ve gotten better at (match play), for sure. I like it,” she said. “I got some good pairings this week because I played well in stroke play, so that helped.”

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