Three players vied for the lead in a very exciting final round of the 49th Girls State Junior Championship at Troy Country Club, with former champion Gabi Oubre coming out on top.
2009 winner Oubre of Mobile, who will be a freshman on the golf team at Mississippi State this fall, improved two strokes each round with scores of 74-72-70 to finish on even par 216.
She pipped defending champion Alex Harrell of Phenix City (75-71-71--217) and hard-charging Logan Chaney of Scottsboro (74-74-69--217) by one.
Oubre has played in four consecutive U.S. Junior Girls Amateurs and recently made it to match play in the U.S. Women's Public Links. She had an up-and-down start with a birdie, bogey, double bogey on Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively, but played her final 15 holes four-under-par, with birdies on Nos. 4, 10, 11 and 15.
Harrell, who will be a freshman on the golf team at Auburn, had five birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
Chaney, who lost in the semi-finals of the Women's State Amateur last week and will also be a freshman on the golf team at Mississippi State, had the round of the day with three birdies (Nos. 3, 6 and 7) and 15 pars.
"I really wanted to win this week and close out my junior career in this way. I tried to enjoy it and have fun to help take the pressure off," Oubre said.
She said her strong back nine was keyed not just by four birdies, but by several pivotal up-and-downs for par to keep her momentum going.
"It was an intense final round, with lots of back and forth. I'm just so happy to play good and come out on top."
She also alluded to the quality of the golf and that the top three will all be playing golf in the SEC this fall.
"Junior golf in the state has come a long way in the last five years. I'm happy to have been a part of that."
The 14-15 age group was won by Micheala Williams of Athens, who shot 79-79-73--231, with Ashton Maddaloni of Eclectic in second on 240.
Virginia Green of Point Clear ran away with the 12-13 age group. She shot a remarkable 67, with a run of five birdies in six holes to start the back nine (Nos. 10, 11, 12, 13 and 15), in her second round. Combined with an opening 78 and a closing 76, she shot 221 and won by 16 shots over Jordan Susce of Birmingham, who closed with a 71.
"In my second round I started making birdies and I just couldn't stop," Green said. "It's definitely a great honor to win (my age group in) the state junior."
She will be in the eighth grade at Fairhope Middle School and credited her father Kevin and brother Alex with helping her with her game, along with instructor Ron Gring.