MAY 26-28, SAN ANTONIO | After 54 holes over three days under the hot Texas sun, four more were needed to crown the champion in the Girls Division at the 2018 Texas Masters/IMG World Qualifier, as three players were involved in what would be one of the longest playoffs in the tournament’s history.
In the end, Plano’s Alexandria Bennett rolled in a a short birdie putt as the sun began to set to clinch the championship over Cypress’ Maggie Ni and Katy’s Kelsey Wylie.
In the Boys Division, Arkansas senior and Abilene Christian signee Ethan Eppinette set the course on fire from the start, shooting a 5-under 67 in the first round to take the lead, and shooting three rounds in the 60s en route to victory, finishing at 9-under par for the tournament.
Bennett, an Oklahoma Christian signee, opened the tournament with a 2-over 74, finding herself three shots off the lead, but then played the next two days in 1-under-par, including a stretch of four birdies in a row on the back 9 in the final round to get into the playoff. Wylie shot the round of the tournament on the girls side, firing a four-under 68 on Day 2, earning a spot in the final group on the last day.
In the three-woman playoff, Ni took the early advantage, sticking her approach shot close on the first hole for a tap-in birdie. Bennett sunk an improbable 25-footer to extend the playoff, and Wylie was eliminate when her bid for birdie came up just short.
On the boys side, Eppinette shared the first round lead with Oklahoma’s Bosten Benn. In round 2, Bulverde’s T.K. Schultz shot the lowest round of the tournament with a 6-under 65, vaulting into the lead heading into the final day. Eppinette proved too much, however, shooting a final round 68 to claim a a 2-shot victory.
Schultz finished second, and Dallas sophomore Randall Fojtasek Jr. finished 3rd. Fojtasek was the only other player to fire three rounds in the 60s. Rounding out the top 5 were San Antonio’s Shoichiro Kato and Crowley, La. resident Ryan Fulton.
View photos from this event on the TJGT Flickr page here.