After spending Tuesday night enjoying an evening with golf companions from across the state, 60-year-old St. Joseph native Alane Studley showed up to Wednesday’s final round of the Missouri Women’s Amateur to quite the surprise.
She was playing with a 13-year-old, and a good one at that, in Ella Overstreet.
“I could be the grandma of some of these kids I was playing with,” Studley said, sporting a grin and unleashing a chuckle. “It was a great experience for me.”
The young crop of Missouri golfers stole the show at the three-day event, with 2016 champion and recent Memphis graduate Emily Goldenstein firing a 1-under 70 Wednesday to claim the championship by four strokes. The three-day total of 3-over helped Goldenstein return the trophy of the 80th installment of the event to Chesterfield, Missouri.
It was the St. Joseph Country Club’s eighth year hosting the event, with the tournament having come to Moila Country Club twice, as well.
“This club’s always been great about hosting amateur golf — men’s and women’s state amateurs,” club pro Mike Habermehl said. “Once again, we get to host a great event.”
Goldenstein entered the final day in a three-way tie with former MGA Player of the Year Kayla Eckelkamp and Reagan Zibilski, one of the youngest competitors in the field.
“I’m pretty impressed. We had a 14-year-old girl shoot 73 twice on this golf course, which is not easy,” Habermehl said. “It’s pretty impressive to me.
“There’s a lot of young ladies here that can hit the ball a long ways and have great golf swings. The future of golf’s pretty good, I think.”
Playing in the Missouri Women’s Amateur for the fourth time, including the first time on her home course, Studley walked away impressed with the young talent from across the state.
“I was Title IX and had to fight to play sports. To see what these young women are doing out here, it’s so inspiring and so gratifying to see that what we did years and years and years ago has now come to fruition,” Studley said. “These are the up-and-coming of the game of golf. I felt honored to play next to them. Just to be with them — they’re delightful and inspiring.”
Studley finished in a tie for 51st with a 57-over. Maryville’s Emily Long tied for 53rd, while Hamilton’s Samantha Cornelius finished alone in 37th.