Hovatter Falls In Semifinals of WSGA Amateur Championship

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Alison Hovatter advanced to the semifinals of the WSGA Amateur Championship on Thursday afternoon before losing 3 and 2.
Alison Hovatter advanced to the semifinals of the WSGA Amateur Championship on Thursday afternoon before losing 3 and 2.

May 23, 2013

OXFORD, Miss. - Kathryn Fowler and Alison Hovatter got the summer season off to a hot start for the Ole Miss women's golf program, advancing to the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, of the 98th Women's Southern Golf Association Amateur Championship on Thursday in Killen, Ala.

Fowler lost 5 and 3 in the quarterfinals Thursday morning at the Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club (par 72 - 5,961 yards) to Arkansas' Hally Leadbetter. Hovatter, a rising sophomore, advanced to the semifinals Thursday morning with a 1 up victory over Arkansas' Meagan Roberts before falling to Furman's Laura Wearn 3 and 2 in the semifinals Thursday afternoon.

"This is the start Alison needed to kick off her summer and step it up to the next level and be comfortable in her own skin," Ole Miss head coach Michele Drinkard said. "She had a dramatic improvement after her redshirt season when she broke her arm. After that, she really grinded in and learned how to score on the golf course. This summer for her is all about learning how to take success, be comfortable with it, and dig in and get lower.

Despite being an Alabama native, hailing from Meridianville, Ala., Hovatter said Sunday's practice round was the first time she had played at the beautiful course in Killen, Ala. Her performance at the tournament, regarded as one of the most respected amateur events of the summer, has raised her confidence level, she said.

"It's tremendous," Hovatter said. "In match play, you have to make a lot of birdies to win. This tournament taught me to play more aggressive and I have a lot more confidence now. I lost on birdies today, not bad shots. I played pretty well, she played better."

With the WSGA Amateur being the first tournament of the summer, the individual performances by Fowler and Hovatter are a great start for the Rebels as they prepare for the 2013-14 seasons.

"It couldn't be a brighter future for Ole Miss women's golf right now," Drinkard said. "We have some young players who know how to play, and it will be an exciting summer as we get ready for the fall season.

"To have two players reach the quarterfinals shows the depth we have as a team and how everybody pushes each other."

Drinkard was very excited about Fowler's performance after the rising senior took down the tournament's medalist from the qualifying round 2 and 1 in the first round, and advanced to the final eight.

"For Kathryn, she's the recipient of the Taylor Medal for her academics, and her game is just now peaking," Drinkard said. "I couldn't be more excited for her coming up this next year."

For all Ole Miss women's golf news and information, go to OleMissSports.com.

98th WSGA Amateur Championship
Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club
Par 72 - 5,961 yards

First Round (Round of 32) - Tuesday
Kathryn Fowler (Ole Miss) def. Katie Mitchell (Florida) - 2 and 1
Alison Hovatter (Ole Miss) def. Emee Herbert (Tusculum) - 1 up (20 holes)

Second Round (Round of 16) - Wednesday
Kathryn Fowler (Ole Miss) def. Allie Knight (Middle Tennessee State) - 2 and 1
Alison Hovatter (Ole Miss) def. Ashleigh Whisenant (Memphis) - 4 and 2

Quarterfinals - Thursday
Hally Leadbetter (Arkansas) def. Kathryn Fowler (Ole Miss) - 5 and 3
Alison Hovatter (Ole Miss) def. Meagan Roberts (Arkansas) - 1 up (18 holes)

Semifinals - Thursday
Laura Wearn (Furman) def. Alison Hovatter (Ole Miss) - 3 and 2

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