News from Around the Green

The latest golf-related news, notes, and feature stories from the TGA.

Tomanka Wins Girls 14 and Under, Vo Wins Boys 14 and Under

THE WOODLANDS- Gabriella Tomanka of Grapevine shot a 3-over 75 to hold on and win the Girls 14 & under division at 1-over for the championship. Similarly, Evan Vo of Austin shot a 4-under 68 to win the boys 14 & under at the 2016 Texas State Junior Championship presented by Merrill Lynch.

Clouds covered the The Panther Trail course at The Woodlands Resort today as the younger boys and girls began their final rounds, a theme that shaped the tournament. Yesterday, play was suspended twice thanks to looming storms and lightning. The boys were unable to complete their first rounds because of it and had to pick up this morning where they left off when the final suspension of play was called. Once they finished their first rounds most of them had to immediately proceed to their final round tee times on the first tee with the knowledge that the same threat that halted their first round was still prevalent. Before the storms had a chance to strike, Tomanka was able to create her own bit of lightning when she went wire-to-wire to win the the girls 14 & under division.  

Tomanka, a 14-year-old, shot her lowest combined score to secure the victory in her first Legends Junior Tour event ever.

“It’s really cool because it’s my first legends tournament and it’s one of my best total scores ever,” Tomanka said.

Her first round was nothing short of remarkable. She shot the lowest score of her division and looked primed to take the championship, however, with the conditions being what they were during the second round securing the victory came as a challenge.

Yesterday, she saw five birdies in her round. Today, she only saw one granted that birdie came in the form of a nice chip in on the tenth hole. Once she drained that she could feel the victory within her grasp.

“Today it was all about making pars and I had a chip in which was my one birdie,” Tomanka said. “It did increase my confidence and it helped my score.”

Tomanka is now undefeated in Legends Junior Tour play after her Texas State Junior Tour 14 & under division victory. Although it was just her first event, it is wise to assume there will be more.

Rounding out the top three in the 14 & under division was Zoe Slaughter of Houston who was 4-over for the championship and Kiona Hsiu of Missouri City who was 7-over.

In the Boys 14 & under division, Evan Vo came from behind and took the championship with a final round score of 4-under 68 and a tournament combined score of 6-under 138.

As mentioned, the competitors in the Boys 14 & under division had to complete their first rounds today as well as play their final rounds. Entering his final round, Vo was 2-under and five back of then leader Jackson Davenport, but after birdieing five holes and only bogeying one he cushioned himself a nice lead. His 6-under for the tournament was two strokes better than Davenport’s 4-under.

Vo said he was able to win this battle of attrition by staying patient and having some luck on his side.

“It took a little patience but it is what it is and it wasn’t too bad though,” Vo said. “I hit some decent drives but some of them were bad. I was just lucky I missed them in the right spot.”

At the ripe old age of 13, Vo said that this win means a lot for his future golf career.

“It’s a big confidence booster to come out and win a Legends event,” Vo said. “Even though I am not hitting my drives well it shows that I can rely on my short game a lot more than I thought I did.”

Rounding out the top three was Davenport at second and Lucas Borrero of Cypress at third who was 3-under for the tournament.  

For more information about the Girls 15-18 division, click here.

For more information about the Girls 14 and under division, click here.

For more information about the Boys 14 and under division, click here