Houma, LA — June 18, 2023
Emma Smithers saved her best golf for last in the 95th Louisiana Women’s Amateur Championship at Ellendale Country Club, and she came up clutch when it mattered the most. Smithers shot a 6 over par 78 on Thursday in stroke play qualifying and entered the 16-player match play bracket as the #9 seed. For her opening round of 16, Smithers was matched against Cassidy Lambert winning the match 6 & 5. Friday afternoon in the Quarter-Finals Smithers was matched up against Reese Drezins in which she defeated her 4 & 2. In the Semi-Final match Saturday morning, Smithers defeated Evelyn Artieta 3 & 2 to secure her spot in the Championship Match.
Smithers, from New Orleans, plays college golf for Loyola New Orleans. Smithers was matched against Sarah Hodson of Raceland in the final match on Saturday and delivered her best performance all weekend. Smithers and Hodson tied the first two holes with a par, and Hodson went one up on the 3rd hole when Smithers carded a bogey on the par 5. Smithers was able to tie the match on the 4th hole; the match stayed tied through the 5th hole until Smithers gained a one-up advantage on the 6th hole by making birdie on the par 4. The match bounced back and forth between the two players throughout the rest of the front 9 and was tied with nine holes remaining. Hodson really took the lead by making birdie on the 10th hole giving her a one-up lead that she maintained through the 13th hole. Hodson then allowed the match to get tied up again when she made bogey on the 14th hole and Smithers made par. Hodson quickly gained back her one-up advantage by making par on hole 15 while Smithers made bogey. Hodson stayed one up through the 16th hole with both making par. Smithers birdied the short par 3 17th after hitting her tee shot to 10 feet. This would tie the match going into the par 4 18th hole.
The competitive championship match moved into extra holes starting on Hole 1. Both Smithers and Hodson made par on the par 4 and the match remained tied through the second playoff hole as well. On the par 5 3rd hole, Smithers ended the match with a birdie to officially claim the title. Smithers has now elevated her game to the best female amateur golfer in the state and the 95th Louisiana Women’s Amateur Champion.
Blair McKenzie won the championship consolation match 1 up over Maci Williams. Catherine Singletary won First Flight and Jessica Varner was runner-up. Cheryl Neu defeated Sandra Zulli 4 & 3 to win Second Flight. Cheryl Boutte needed 19 holes to defeat Debbie Magee for the Third Flight Championship. Dee Dee Becnel won Fourth Flight 6 & 4 against runner-up Terry Theriot.
Click here to see the final results.
It was another hot Louisiana summer day with temperatures approaching the upper-90’s by mid-morning. The Ellendale Country Club course was in excellent condition and played to a par 72 at approximately 6,100 yards for the Championship.