Because Erica Lautensack has graduated from high school and is no longer eligible to play in the FWJGA’s Girls City Junior Golf Championship, this year’s tournament that begins Monday is expected to be wide open in the chase for the championship.
Lautensack breezed to victory the past two years and has gone on to a successful season at Stephen F. Austin, where she became the first Ladyjack to win an individual tournament.
Among those returning and who are expected to challenge for the title include last year’s runner-up Alexandra Batista, 16, of Trophy Club, a two-time state qualifier from Byron Nelson High School. Though Batista was second last year, Lautensack ran off with her second consecutive victory by 15 shots. Batista rallied last year, though, after shooting an 82 at Glen Garden Golf & Country Club the first day and then finished with rounds of 77 and 74. She also was eighth in the 4A state tournament in the 2013-14 season.
Trinity King, who placed fourth as a 12-year-old last year, also is returning. The Boles Junior High (Arlington) student opened with rounds of 76-79 before “losing focus” and finishing with an 87. Among her other accomplishments last year include first in putting and third in driving in the National Drive, Chip & Putt competition, and she was the 2014 North Texas PGA Junior champ in the 11-12-year-old division.
Marisa Marquez finished fifth last year and is returning. The Amarillo player had a slow start last year with rounds of 81-85, but rebounded for a 78 the final day at Mira Vista C.C.
Ohers returning include Katie Vu, 15, of Fort Worth (Northwest HS); Tai Barber, 18, of Grapevine (Colleyville Heritage); Mary Katherine Ingram, 18, of Aledo, and Elly Baze, 17, of North Richland Hills (Grapevine HS), and who placed 15th in the 5A state tournament, her second time to qualify. Ingram and Quincy Ballard, 18, also returning, were on the second-place Aledo state 5A team.