Fowler, Hovatter Advance to Quarterfinals of WSGA Amateur Championship

Kathryn Fowler, pictured, and Alison Hovatter advanced to the quarterfinals of the WSGA Amateur Championship on Wednesday in Killen, Ala.

Kathryn Fowler, pictured, and Alison Hovatter advanced to the quarterfinals of the WSGA Amateur Championship on Wednesday in Killen, Ala.

May 22, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. – A pair of Ole Miss women’s golfers in Kathryn Fowler and Alison Hovatter shot themselves into the quarterfinal round of the 98th Women’s Southern Golf Association (WSGA) Amateur Championship on Wednesday in Killen, Ala.

Played at the Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club (par 72 – 5,961 yards), Fowler defeated Allie Knight of Middle Tennessee State 2 and 1 in the round of 16, and Hovatter took down Ashleigh Whisenant of Memphis 4 and 2 to advance to the quarterfinals.

“The Southern Amateur is one of the most respected amateur events of the summer,” Ole Miss women’s golf head coach Michele Drinkard said. “To have two of our girls reach the quarters is a tribute to our program and to their competitiveness.”

There will be a distinct Southeastern Conference flavor in the two quarterfinal matchups Thursday, as Fowler and Hovatter will face a pair of Arkansas Razorbacks. Fowler will face Hally Leadbetter of Arkansas at 8:32 a.m. CT and Hovatter will go against Meagan Roberts of Arkansas at 8:56 a.m. CT on Thursday.

The tournament began Monday with a qualifying round for all entrants in a stroke play format. The top 32 qualifiers made the championship flight, which is a match play format, and the remaining field that did not make the top 32 was placed in a consolation bracket with flights of 16 golfers each.

Fowler, an Americus, Ga., native, and Hovatter, who hails from Meridianville, Ala., each made their way into the championship flight and advanced to the second round of the match play phase of the tournament by topping highly regarded foes in the first round.

Fowler defeated Katie Mitchell of Florida on Tuesday 2 and 1. Mitchell was the medalist Monday, posting the low score of the tournament in the qualifying round with a 4-under-par 68. Hovatter, meanwhile, advanced past defending WSGA amateur champion Emee Herbert of Tusculum on Tuesday 1 up after 20 holes.

The Rebels have had success at the WSGA Amateur Championship in the past, as Ashley Lance (Franklin, Tenn.) took home the tournament crown in 2010 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“Both Kathryn and Alison will need to play very aggressively Thursday,” Drinkard said. “They can’t necessarily think of what their opponent is doing on that particular hole. They will need a game plan and they will need to go about it aggressively and, frankly, make a lot of birdies.”

The quarterfinal round will begin Thursday morning, followed by the semifinal round in the afternoon. The championship will be a 36-hole match scheduled for Friday.

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