Wood edges Wagner by one at Kathy Whitworth
When Hannah Wood stepped up to the first tee for the final round of the Kathy Whitworth Invitational on March 12, she surveyed the headcovers her opponents were carrying and felt a little outmatched.
Wood, a 17-year-old from Centennial, Colo., has only just begun the the college selection process. Samantha Wagner, the first-round leader, had her Florida Gators allegiances prominently displayed. Bailey Tardy already has committed to Georgia. But by the end of the day, Wood was the one holding the trophy.
Wood credits this week’s success to her short game. She didn’t three-putt in Round 1, and did so just twice in the second round.
“I’m from Colorado, we don’t have Bermudagrass,” Wood said. “The Bermuda and the Ryegrass was kind of hard to read, because you’re down grain, into the grain. I really wanted to focus on how to read the greens, and handle just the speed. I kind of focused on that and it paid off.”
After a first-round 2-under 70 at Mira Vista Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, the high school junior returned a 2-over 74. She trailed Wagner by two at the beginning of the first round, but Wagner finished the tournament with a 5-over 77 that left Wood with a one-shot advantage.
This is the second consecutive year Wagner has finished runner-up at the Kathy Whitworth. Last year’s champion, Shannon Aubert, was T-8 this year.
“This is the biggest win for sure,” Wood said after the final round. It’s a tournament likely to put Wood’s name higher on the radar. She already has made unofficial visits to TCU, Denver, Colorado and Wyoming.
Past winners of the Kathy Whitworth Invitational, a tournament attended by Whitworth and one that benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, include Erynne Lee, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lang and Christina Kim.