July 25, 2014
RESULTS | HOVATTER'S SCORECARD
ATHENS, Ala. - Ole Miss rising junior Alison Hovatter (Meridianville, Ala.) claimed the 2014 Alabama Stroke Play Championship in playoff fashion on Friday. Hovatter won her first Stroke Play Championship by winning a three-hole playoff with Auburn's Alex Harrell.
Hovatter, who led throughout the tournament and fired a 72 in the final round, opened the day with a four-stroke lead over Auburn's Alex Harrell but Harrell shot a 68 in the final round to force the playoff.
Harrell two-putted for birdie on the closing hole after reaching the par 5 in two to force extra holes. The pair played holes 16, 17 and 18 in the playoff with the difference being a Harrell bogey on 16. They both made par on 17 and made birdie on 18.
The final hole had everyone on edge as Harrell's chip for eagle hit the hole and almost went in leaving her a near certain birdie. Hovatter's chip came up 15 feet short, but she made the putt when it really mattered to be crowned state champion.
"I had a grateful heart this tournament and was at peace no matter the outcome," said Hovatter. "I fought hard and focused on my process when the pressure got tough. It feels great to finally win my first State Stroke Play tournament."
Hovatter played great throughout the three-day tournament with 10 birdies and an eagle in second round action. Her round of 68 to open the tournament was one of two sub-70 rounds the entire tournament.
The Meridianville, Ala., native admitted that she had struggled starting the final round and pointed to an up-and-down from a greenside bunker on No. 5 to save par as key.
"I had made bogeys on (Nos.) 3 and 4. That up-and-down relaxed me and I enjoyed playing from that point on. I embraced the pressure and was able to relax and not focus on score," said Hovatter. "I don't thin there is a better feeling than to make a 15 foot putt to win a playoff. I'm proud that I committed to my process and believed in myself when they pressure got tough in the playoff."
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