This years Dixie Women’s Amateur field is a talented one, including six players in the top-100 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and a former
U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion. The 2016 edition will kick off on Monday and continue through Thursday the 22nd with a 54-hole cut to proceed the final round.
Woodlands Country Club will serve as the host course with play being split between the East and West Courses. The East Course will be the site of the second and fourth rounds, while the West Course will host the first and third rounds.
“The (players) can expect two totally different layouts. The courses are fairly similar but the West Course is more of a shot makers course because there are more doglegs and the East Course is going to play a tad longer with longer par-3’s,” tournament
director John Hand said.
The Dixie Women’s Amateur was first played in 2002 and already boosts an impressive list of past champions including World Ranked No. 5 Lexi Thompson (2007) and LPGA Tour players Meaghan Francella (2002), Angela Park (2005) and Vicky Hurst (2006).
Here is a look at some of the top contenders for 2016:
Maria Fassi (Arkansas, So.)
-WAGR: 40Fassi is the top-ranked Mexican amateur according to the Mexico Golf Federation and she is just months removed from her signature collegiate individual victory at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate. In 2015 Fassi won the Mexican Women’s Amateur and finished tied for second at the South American Women’s Amateur. In last year’s
Dixie Women’s Amateur she was the runner-up, two-strokes behind winner Lauren Stephenson.
Fai Khamborn (Thailand)
In two of the last three years Khamborn has made it to match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, this year making it as far as the Round of 32. Her biggest win to date was in 2015 when she captured the Women’s Western Amateur.
Agathe Laisne (Texas Commit)
Headed to Texas in the fall of 2017, Laisne tied for 10th at the 2016 Women’s Sotogrande Cup and tied for 14th at the European Ladies Championship. In 2015 the native of Paris, France shared fourth at the Scottish Ladies Open Amateur.
Mika Liu (Stanford Commit)
Liu, from Beverly Hills, CA, is one of the more recognizable players in either field. The fall of 2017 Stanford commit was part of the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball winning team in 2015. A member of the 2016 American Curtis Cup team, Liu won this years South Atlantic Amateur and in 2014 she claimed the Women’s Western Amateur. Each of the last three years Liu has competed in the U.S. Women’s Amateur with her best run coming a year ago when she made it as far as the quarterfinals. Liu finished tied for seventh in the 2013 Dixie Women’s Amateur.
Megan Stasi (Mid-Amateur)
Stasi, from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is a four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion winning the title in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012. She has also made it to the semifinals three other times and the quarterfinals on another occasion.
Linnea Strom (Arizona State, So.)
Strom, originally from Sweden, comes into the tournament as the highest ranked player on the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking list. During her freshman year with the Sun Devils Strom won the Pac-12 Women’s Championship to cap off an All-
American season. In 2015 she picked up pair of runner-up finishes at the Ladies British Open Amateur and the Spanish Ladies Amateur while also tying for fourth at the Scottish Ladies Open Amateur.
Samantha Wagner (Florida, So.)
A resident of Orlando, FL, Wagner is back and looking to improve on a third place finish in the event last year. Wagner was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team and her best performance was a third place result at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate.