By Ed Greif
Jessica Alexander fired a two-over par 218 to win the 15th annual Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open played July 18-20 at the Stonehenge Golf Club. The Riverview, FL, product, picked up the $5,000 first-place check.
"The course was in perfect condition. It was challenging. It was a great experience," said Alexander, who is a recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University. "I would love to be on the LPGA tour. I will be attending q-school (this fall)."
Alexander and 60 others survived the 36-hole cut (160) and battled the hot, humid weather and the pesky gnats for three days.
Thirty-two professionals and 29 amateurs survived the 36-hole cut.
Alexander trailed amateur Corinna Rees of Nashville with two strokes after Saturday's first round. Rees' two-under par 70 and Haley Ann Wilson's one-under-par 71 were the only scores below par, while Alexander and several other ladies were in at even par.
Scores improved during last Friday's second round, with professional Carleigh Silvers and amateur Cammie Grey recording one-under-par 71s.
Alexander fired a one-over-par 73 Friday for a 145 to share the second round lead with Rees and Wilson.
Alexander's second straight 73 secured the two-stroke victory over amateur Kately Semporee of Austin, TX, who had the second-best round of the day, a one-under-par 71 for a 220 total.
Semporee and amateurs Amanda Steinhagen (75-73-72) and Rees (70-75-75) shared low amateur honors. Amateur Bertine Strauss (72-74-75) finished fifth.
2012 Champion Lauren Stratton tied for 21st with three others at 12-over par 228.
"It is honor to be a sponsor of the Golf Capital of Tennessee Women's Open," said Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, who also lauded the "wonderful work with Warren Huddleston (Stonehenge head professional) and Steve Kraft (Fairfield Glade director of golf). "Without the volunteers, there wouldn't be a women's open."
Graham recognized Mayor pro-tem Danny Wyatt.
"Thank you for allowing us to bring the tournament here," concluded Graham.
Tracy Parsons, director of women's golf for the Tennessee Golf Association, recognized Graham, Billy Loggins, Wyatt, Kraft, Huddleston, Sean VanHoose and his dog, Easy; Bob Stackhouse, president of Fairfield Glade; Bob Webber, Fairfield Glade general manager; CMC, Mayfield Dairy, Don Hapier (for media guide), Jean St. Charles, tournament director; members of the TGA staff. and all of the volunteers for their work during the tournament.