Blair Stockett claims MWGA amateur tournament at Shell Landing

Blair Stockett
Blair Stockett

Blair Stockett beat fellow 2017 Mississippi first-team high school golfer Pressley Baggett 2 and 1 to win the Mississippi Women’s Golf Association amateur tournament at Shell Landing Thursday.

“It’s awesome,” Stockett said after the win.

Stockett is the first first-time winner of the state tournament since Ally McDonald won the tournament in 2011. McDonald currently plays on the LPGA.

“It really means a lot,” said Stockett, who has played in the tournament three times. “There were a lot of really great golfers here.”

In order to get to the championship, Stockett had to beat 12-time champion Cissye Gallagher on Tuesday and defending two-time champion Kathleen Gallagher, Cissye’s daughter, Wednesday.

“I hit the ball really well this week,” Stockett said. “I felt that my game continued to get better as the week went on.”

With the win, Stockett, who will play next week for Mississippi State, continues a hot streak started as a senior at Jackson Prep where she helped lead the boys team to the MIAS Class 4A, Division I state title. In the state title tournament, Stockett shot a two-over 74 to finish third in the field.

“I was only one of two girls to play in the (boys) tournament,” said Stockett. “Coming in third was a really big accomplishment. There were a lot of boys who have committed to play college in the tournament.”

In the first flight, Pam Posey beat Lou Hart 1 up in the finals. Hart recorded her 20th hole-in-one Tuesday, which was also her first competition hole-in-one. In the second flight, Sissy Kern defeated Heidi Hill 4 and 3. Hill recorded a hole-in-one during the qualifying stroke play round. Both Hart’s and Hill’s aces came on the par 3, 99-yard 11th hole.

“The competition was very tough this year,” said Tracie Tolbert, president of the MWGA. “It was a very successful tournament. It was one of the most successful state amateurs we’ve played.”

The MWGA has sponsored the state tournament for 85 years. This is the first time the tournament has been held at Shell Landing, which has been rated by Golf Digest as the sixth-best golf course in Mississippi.

Tolbert said the MWGA wanted to return to Shell Landing in the future. “All the golfers want to come back,” she said.

Shell Landing owner Kenny Hughes said he would welcome the MGWA back to the Coast.

“There is a lot of prestige to hosting a state tournament,” he said. “We are really happy they had a great time here.”

Hughes said the play during the MWGA state amateur tournament was excellent.

“The competition this week was fantastic,” he said. “They were really impressive players. These women can play golf.”

While the weather was wet on the Coast this week, the tournament missed most of the rain.

“We got very lucky,” Hughes said. “For all the rain that was forecast and the times it was forecast to rain, we had very little rain.”

Other winners include Debbie Vogle in the third flight, Frieda Stanford (fourth flight), Pat Ray (fifth flight), Doloris Stone (sixth flight) and Darlene Santelli (seventh flight).

Play started Monday with 61 golfers qualifying by stroke play. Golfers were placed in eight flights according to their scores Monday, with the top eight scorers qualifying for the championship flight. Match play started Tuesday with the semifinals Wednesday and finals in each flight Thursday.