NELLYSFORD — For the third time in the last five years, a Virginia Tech Hokie (current or recent) claimed the trophy at the Virginia State Golf Association Women’s Stroke Play Championship.
Jessica Spicer, who just finished her Tech career, posted a three-day aggregate total of 217 to win the title by two strokes in the 44th playing of the event, which wrapped up Thursday afternoon at Stoney Creek at Wintergreen Resort.
Spicer, a member of Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, became the second straight Hokie to win the title and third since 2017. Becca DiNunzio defeated Tech teammate Emily Mahar last year at Kingsmill, and Amanda Hollandsworth won in ’17 at Blacksburg Country Club.
“I think (Tech coach Carol Robertson) is going to be pretty happy,” Spicer said afterward. “She texted me last night and was very excited that me and Alyssa (Montgomery) were battling it out in the final round. I think she just loves to see Hokie headcovers out there in the final group.”
Spicer finished two shots clear of the trio tied for second—Tech teammate Alyssa Montgomery, High Point’s Danielle Suh and soon-to-be James Madison player Tatum Walsh, each of whom posted three-day totals of 219. Four-time champion Lauren Greenlief rounded out the top five at 221, having recovered from an opening-round 78 to shoot 72-71 over the final two days.
Spicer’s short game played a huge role in her even-par 72 in the final round. She got up and down out of the bunker on No. 16 to save a key par down the stretch, and she followed that up with a birdie on 17, a hole she birdied all three days. That gave her a three-shot lead heading to the final hole on Stoney Creek’s Shamokin nine, though she didn’t know it.
She chose not to check the leaderboard, and in retrospect, she said if she had known where she stood, it might have changed her strategy off the tee on 18. Spicer’s drive went way right into some trees, but fortunately she had an opening to punch out and eventually reach the back of the green on the par-4 hole in three shots. She was left with an extremely tricky downhill putt to a front hole location, and she nudged it close to set up a bogey putt. She missed it, but no one in the final group was able to make birdie to make her pay for the final-hole double bogey. Suh had a chance to make par and finish solo second, but her putt slipped to the right.
Spicer hadn’t held a late lead in a stroke-play event since winning the Carolinas Amateur in 2019, so she said there were some nerves down the stretch. But her short game helped settle them and bring the title home.
“I had a few shaky shots out there all three days, but to really grind it out with the short game and just manage the course really well and make really smart decisions, I was really happy with that,” Spicer said. “Even if I’m not 100 percent on, I can still shoot good scores and win tournaments. It’s definitely a confidence boost.”
Spicer plans to play in several high-profile events over the next month or so, including the North & South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst. She’s going to enjoy the next stretch of amateur golf before deciding whether to take a shot at playing professionally.
“It’s definitely on the radar,” Spicer said. “I’ve had a lot of people suggesting that if you’re going to try it, now’s the time, right after you graduate from college. It’s not like you can go work for five or six years and then go back and try to play high-level golf. It’s definitely an option. But for now, I’m going to stay amateur and just enjoy this summer, work on my game, and just see what happens.”