A pair of local golfers swept the titles in last week’s Arkansas Women’s Golf Association Championship at the Country Club of Arkansas.
Taylor Loeb, 19, of Maumelle won the stroke play, firing 76-73—149 to hold off Hannah Bakalekos of Sherwood by 10 strokes (82-77—159).
Two days later, Bakalekos knocked off Loeb for the match play title, 3 and 1.
Loeb’s first-round 73 won medalist honors for the match play event. She was the 2014 AWGA Junior Match Play champion (over Bakalekos, 2 and 1) and finished runner-up in the 2016 AWGA Match Play.
Earlier this summer, Loeb, a Mount St. Mary graduate now a sophomore at Henderson State, had won the first flight of the Women’s Southern Golf Association at Hot Springs Village.
Bakalekos, 18, a recent graduate of North Little Rock High School, had won the Burns Park Junior Invitational last month.
She said then she had been going through a swing change under the tutelage of Justin Hill.
“He’s really good at making your muscles go with your mind,” she said.
Bakalekos committed last year to play golf for Missouri, but she said earlier this summer she had decided instead to attend the University of Arkansas.
“I had a little bit of anxiety about going six hours away, so I decided I wanted to stay closer to home,” she said. “I’d aways wanted to go to the U of A. I want to try to walk on.”
Pam Evans of Maumelle won the open division of the match play, 3 and 2 over Rosetta Parks.
Calhoon, Roberson earn medalist honors
Blaine Calhoon of Ward and Josie Roberson of Maumelle earned medalist honors Monday in their respective divisions of the Arkansas State Golf Association Junior Match Play Championship at Eagle Hill Golf and Athletic Club.
Calhoon shot 67 to win the top seed by a stroke over Hunter Hickingbotham of Little Rock for the 64-player boys bracket, which began Tuesday. Double rounds of match play were set for Tuesday and Wednesday, with semifinals and the championship match scheduled for Thursday.
Roberson carded 72 in girls qualifying, a stroke better than Elizabeth Moon of Forrest City. As the defending champion, Brooke Matthews of Rogers had the top seed in the 16-player girls bracket, which included single rounds through Thursday’s championship match.
Other local results in the boys qualifying included Connor Gaunt of Cabot, tied for third at 69; Logan Stephens of Cabot, tied for 10th with 71; Hunter Walker of Sherwood, tied for 22nd with 74; Ryan Robinson of Lonoke, tied for 31st with 76; Cade Carter of Austin, tied for 37th with 77; Caleb Miller of Cabot, tied for 49th with 80; Hagen Sanchez of Maumelle, tied for 55th with 81; and Hyunje Lee of North Little Rock, tied for 73rd with 91.
Besides Calhoon, locals in the boys bracket included Gaunt, seeded third; Stephens, 10th; Walker, 22nd; Robinson, 36th; Carter, 41st; Miller, 51st; and Sanchez, 57th.
Other local results in the girls qualifying included Mackenzie Lee of North Little Rock, tied for fourth, 77; Hannah Bakalekos of Sherwood, sixth, 78; Alexis Montgomery of Maumelle, tied for seventh, 79; and Allie Weiner of Maumelle, tied for ninth, 80.
Roberson is seeded second in the girls bracket. Other locals include Lee, fifth; Bakalekos, seventh; Montgomery, ninth; and Weiner, 10th.
Stafford Gray of Lonoke tied for second in the Arkansas State Golf Association Amateur Championship last week to lead the local contingent at DeSoto Golf Club in Hot Springs Village.
Gray shot 71-69-70—210, tied with Hunter Hickingbotham of Little Rock and Wes McNulty of White Hall at six-under-par. The trio finished five strokes behind Carson Roberts of Conway (66-68-71—205).
Other local finishers in the amateur division included Nick Zimmerman of Sherwood, tied for sixth at 74-73-66—213; Chris Jenkins, who plays out of the Country Club of Arkansas, and Kevin Walker of Sherwood, tied for 10th at 215 (70-72-73 and 73-73-69, respectively); and Colby Benton of Sherwood, tied for 23rd (77-70-74—221).
Bill Wrentz of Cabot finished runner-up to Joe Bushee of Hot Springs Village (formerly of Cabot) in the super-senior division. Wrentz shot 76-77-73—226; Bushee finished with 79-72-73—224.
Other local finishers in that division included Gary Whitt of Cabot, sixth, 77-76-79—232; and Jim Smith of Sherwood, tied for seventh, 75-77-82—234.
No locals were entered in the senior or mid-senior divisions.
Maumelle Classic, Maumelle CC, July 21-23; U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying, Eagle Hill, July 24; Jonesboro Junior Stroke Play, Jonesboro CC, July 24-25; ASGA Monk Wade Father and Son Championship, Chenal CC, July 25-26; Arkansas Women’s Match Play Championship, Maumelle CC, July 25-27; Sherwood Men’s Amateur Championship, The Greens at North Hills, July 29-30; Big Creek Men’s Stroke, Big Creek CC, Aug. 5-6; ASGA Match Play, Lost Springs, Rogers, Aug. 10-13; RidgePointe Men’s Stroke Play, RidgePointe CC, Jonesboro, Aug. 19-20; U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying, Paradise Valley, Fayetteville, Aug. 28