Swann overcomes Weinstein in CGA Women’s Match Play final and becomes latest Texan to win CGA women’s championship
by Gary Baines
Players from Texas have made themselves right at home competing for the CGA women’s major championships.
When Kennedy Swann from Austin defeated Mary Weinstein from Highlands Ranch 5 and 3 in a scheduled 36-hole final at the 103rd CGA Women’s Match Play on Friday, it marked the third straight CGA women’s major to have been won by a golfer from Texas.
Emily Gilbreth started the trend by winning last year’s CGA Women’s Match Play three months after moving from her lifelong home in Houston to Denver. Then Kristin Glesne of San Antonio claimed the title in the CGA Women’s Stroke Play last month. And Swann made it a Texas trifecta on Friday at The Fox Hill Club in Longmont.
Swann, a junior-to-be on the Clemson golf team who is doing a P.J. Boatwright USGA internship with the Wyoming State Golf Association this summer, trailed 2 down after three holes on Friday. But the 19-year-old rallied by making 11 birdies in her next 30 holes to defeat Weinstein, a University of Denver golfer and the 2017 CWGA Player of the Year.
“This is my first win in a while,” Swann said. “I grew up coming in second a lot to a lot of really good girls from Texas. So I think this is definitely in my top five tournament accomplishments.”
Swann, winner of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in the girls 14-year-old age group in 2013, didn’t take the lead on Friday until she birdied the 15th hole. That started a stretch in which she made seven birdies in 13 holes, after which she led 4 up through 27 holes. And on the 33rd hole, she closed out Weinstein with a two-putt birdie.
“Finally I got my putter rolling and I made probably four or five putts between 20 and 40 feet that I drained for birdie,” said Swann (above and left). “That was definitely the best match I played (this week).
“On the putting green (before the round), my dad and I talked about making sure that everything was square (to the target line). I did that this morning and it fixed everything right up (with her putting stroke). That little inch I was missing putts by in earlier matches, I just started making them today.”
Swann finished 7 under par for 33 holes, while Weinstein was 2 under.
“The bottom line is Kennedy Swann is an amazing player. She’s phenomenal,” said Weinstein (below). “She played her best game today and if I had to lose to anyone, I’m glad it’s Kennedy. She played amazing. Toward the end, it wasn’t my best game, but I gave it my all. It wasn’t enough today, but that’s OK.
“Match play is a different kind of golf. I’m not the best match-play player. I get a lot of pars and I feel like if you want to win in match play you have to make a lot of birdies and a lot of putts.
“But to make it this far, I’m still proud.”
Swann defeated two 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifiers — Weinstein and the University of Colorado’s Gillian Vance — en route to claiming the title.
The Clemson golfer, ranked No. 720 in the world in women’s amateur golf, often competes in the same college events as Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster and Wake Forest, the top-ranked player in women’s amateur golf. Kupcho is a two-time winner of the CGA Women’s Match Play.
“We see Jennifer Kupcho at pretty much every (college) tournament and we see her win pretty much every tournament,” Swann said with a smile.
Afterward Friday’s match, Swann dedicated the victory to her grandmother, who passed away in late May.
“I really wanted to play well for her,” she said. “She was definitely one of my No. 1 supporters and biggest fans. She always wanted the live scoring link (for tournaments) even if she couldn’t figure out how to work it. I think she would have been really proud of me this week. I got a couple of lucky bounces out there and I definitely think some of them were from her.”
This summer marks the first time Swann has ever played golf in Colorado. And she’s taken a shine to it.
“It is gorgeous and I hit the ball about 30 yards further, which is amazing,” she said.
For the 20-year-old Weinstein, this week marked her fourth straight top-four finish in a CGA women’s major championship. She’s placed fourth at each of the last two CGA Women’s Stroke Play and lost in the semifinals to Gilbreth last year in the Match Play.
“If (winning a major CGA women’s title) is going to happen, it’s going to happen in stroke play. Next year, I’m ready,” said a determined Weinstein.
For a story on the senior championship match, CLICK HERE.
CGA Women’s Match Play
At The Fox Hill Club in Longmont
Championship Flight (36 Holes) — Kennedy Swann def. Mary Weinstein, 5 and 3
Championship Flight Consolation — Jaylee Tait def. Jennifer Hankins, 2 and 1
Senior Championship Flight — Tiffany Maurycy def. Kristine Franklin, 20 holes
Senior Championship Flight Consolation — Jennifer Hocking def. Susan Hartwell, 4 and 3
First Flight — Megan Vernon def. Marin Halvorsen, 19 holes
First Flight Consolation — Maddie Kern def. Madison McCambridge, 2 and 1
Second Flight — Haejeong Son def. Jennifer Cassell, 8 and 7
Second Flight Consolation — Amanda Westrick def. Sheila Schroeder, 2 and 1
Third Flight — Veronica Crain def. Amy Hicks, 1 up
Third Flight Consolation — Kelly McCormick def. Jennifer Tempas, 2 up
To view all the brackets from the CGA Women’s Match Play, CLICK HERE.