The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 19, 2013

Former Sooner Staggs wins first tournament as an amateur

OKLAHOMA CITY — A few months ago, Jade Staggs’ career was in peril. After parting ways with the University of Oklahoma golf team, she made the decision to set out on her own to prove to herself and others she can make it in the golf world.

However, after a few tournaments of playing well, Staggs still had no hardware to call her own. That changed Thursday when the Westmoore graduate won the 95th State Amateur Championship at The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City. It was her first win of any kind since she left high school.

“It feels really good,” Staggs said. “I’ve had a lot of support from people that helped me to get through the tough times. And to be able to win a tournament like this after everything, it helps me to build confidence and keep believing in my ability.”

Staggs defeated No. 6 seed Taylor Neidy 3 and 2 in the championship match. The win earned her an automatic spot on Oklahoma’s Fore State Team and USGA State Team.

“I feel like I played pretty well all week,” Staggs said. “I felt was playing solid. I was hitting my irons well. I struggled with my putting a little bit, but I had my dad give me some tips. Then after that, I kind of felt a little bit more comfortable. A little bit more successful. I struggled on the front nine in all my matches, but I knew if I could keep it close, the back nine were mine to take.”

Staggs entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed. Just to get to the finals, she had to beat No. 4 seed Kelly Fuchik in the quarterfinals and top seed Nadia Majidi in the semifinal round. It took her 19 holes to get past Majidi.

“I felt like after yesterday’s match against Nadia, after I won the playoff, I felt like I had the right mentality and the right game plan to pull it off the final match,” Staggs said. “The key was just staying patient and realizing it was going to be a marathon. I just kind of had to keep hanging around and give myself opportunities.”

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