Mississippi State redshirt junior Hannah Levi claimed the inaugural Sea Island Women’s Amateur trophy Thursday afternoon.
The redshirt junior led wire to wire, shooting a 7-under 203 on the Seaside course.
Levi said she came out with a mindset of having fun and playing confidently.
“I had my best friend (Ivy Shepherd senior at Clemson) on the bag this week, she was caddying for me.” Levi said after her win. “We were having a lot of good laughs out on the course and off the course this week. I played really well, I hit some really good iron shots, and I limited my mistakes really well. The putts were falling this week.”
Golfers learned about the event from a blast email led by Sea Island’s Co-Head Professional Johann Emanuel.
Levi heard how highly run tournaments like the Jones Cup are at Sea Island, and her coach pushed her to compete in such an event.
“I heard some talk about it,” Levi said. “Heard it was going to be run like the famous Jones Cup for the men. My head coach at Mississippi State, Coach Charlie Ewing, he was really pushing me to come play. I got in, and it was going to be a fun trip.
Having Shepherd on her bag and another Lady Bulldog in junior Abbey Daniel in the field, Levi was able to have fun on and off the course.
“We were hanging out and having a good time,” Levi said. “She played some really good golf this week too. It was one of those things where it was like, ‘Yeah let’s go see what this event is about’. We knew it was going to be well run, and we knew it was going to be fun.”
Heading into the last day of any tournament as the leader can be gut wrenching. For Levi, it was all about having the same mindset from the first tee shot to the final putt.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy out there today,” Levi said. “The final rounds after your leading never are. Kind of a gut-wrenching day, but I just knew I had to take it one shot at a time. Hit the tee ball, go find it, hit the approach shot and get up there and worry about the putt and if it falls it falls. We just had a really good game plan all week.”
“Playing confidently and also just appreciating where I’m at. Not many people get to go into a final round leading a golf tournament and I knew whatever happened at the end, God was going to get the glory and it was going to be a good week overall.”
As she heads into her redshirt junior season at Mississippi State, Levi feels the confidence in herself and her Lady Bulldog teammates.
“I think it gives me a lot of confidence heading into the fall,” Levi said. “I know we have got a great team and just having them be able to look at me and say ‘Hey she just won a golf tournament’ and have them trust me. Hopefully they know that I can go out there and get the job done and I hope it boosts their confidence. It just makes us all around a better team.”
Emanuel and Sea Island’s Director of Golf Brannen Veal were happy with the overall experience and how it was envisioned from over a year’s work.
“I think the team did a wonderful job, the golf course was great,” Veal said. “The weather held out, and I think it was very, very smart to only go in the morning wave and not try and battle the afternoon storms. We had a great field, the feedback was awesome and I look forward to growing the event next year for sure.”
Emanuel said this tournament can become a summertime tradition for women golfers.
“Couldn’t be happier with the week,” Emanuel said. “Weather held up, and the play was spectacular. Seaside was in phenomenal shape. We had 68 fantastic ladies come out and enjoy Sea Island and what will certainly become an annual summertime tradition.”
“We have a lot of practice from the Jones Cup Junior and Senior and even the Jones Cup at Ocean Forest. We used all that knowledge to create this event and it went off without a hitch and to rave reviews.”