In what has been a record-breaking career at Sam Houston State, just got a little better this weekend for Hanna Alberto, as she added another prize to the ever increasing trophy case.
Alberto’s winning performance at the 98th Women’s Texas Amateur was a testament to the theory of low expectations. The senior from Kingwood on Friday scored a 1-up victory over SMU senior Faith Summers from San Antonio in the Championship Match of the oldest, most prestigious women’s amateur tournament in Texas.
The impressive victory far surpassed her objective for the week at Bent Tree Country Club.
In addition to a red-hot putter and consistent ball-striking, what helped Alberto navigate an 18-hole Qualifying Round followed by five rounds of stressful match play were her modest goals. That’s significant because Alberto was one of the best players in the field. She’s won seven events this past season for the Bearkats, and her World Amateur Golf Ranking of 50th was the highest of all the competitors in the 98th Women’s Texas Amateur.
Still, she stayed conservative when it came to her goals.
“I just wanted to make it through the second match play round because that’s where I lost in this event two years ago,” said Alberto, a two-time Southland Conference Player of the Year. “Not having too high of expectations kind of helped me because I was just focusing on my game and hitting good shots.”
She hit plenty of those on Friday, as she did all week. After trading three pars on the 1972 Desmond Muirhead-designed course that Keith Foster renovated in 2002, Alberto drew first blood against Summers when she poured in a 23-foot birdie on the 380-yard, par-4 fourth hole. Alberto promptly gave up her lead with a bogey on the fifth hole, but a 20-foot birdie on the par-4 seventh gave Alberto another 1-up lead.
Alberto stretched it to a 2-up advantage when she made a 5-foot birdie on the 154-yard, par-3 eighth hole. The 2-up lead remained in place for the next hour or so. Summers played incredibly steady golf for her part. She made 15 straight pars – including seven one-putt scrambles – before finally cracking through with a two-putt birdie on the par-5 16th hole to cut Alberto’s lead to 1 up.
Alberto ultimately won the championship with a routine par on the 18th hole.
“It means a lot to win this great tournament,” said Alberto, who earlier this year played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. “My friends and family were here and watching. It was a really close match, and I’m glad everything turned out well.”