Former Palmer Cup player Kristen Gillman captures early lead in WAPT event at Northridge

Kristen Gillman, 22, showcased her talent Wednesday at Northridge Country Club in the 2020 WAPT Texarkana Childen's Charities Open.


Kristen Gillman’s resume’ should have her competition at the 2020 WAPT Texarkana Children’s Charities Open a bit concerned.

Gillman, a former All-SEC golfer at Alabama, captured the early lead in this year’s event at Northridge Country Club with a 5-under-par 66. The ladies play at Texarkana Country Club Thursday in the 72-hole affair.

A consistent casher on the LPGA Tour, the 22-year-old Gillman has career earning of more than five hundred thousand dollars. She was a member of the Palmer Cup Team in 2018, and one of 29 amateurs to qualify for the Women’s U.S. Open. Gillman was ranked 10th in the world after the 2017-18 season.

Dallas golfer Celine Boutier and Jordy LaBarbera of Allen, Texas, are two shots back of Gillman. Seven competitors in the 62-player field shot under par at Northridge. Texarkana’s Emma Edwards is in contention after posting a 72.

Californian Gabrielle Gibson seventh with a 70.

Gillman scores five birdies on front side

Gillman teed off on the back nine at NCC. She made her only bogey of the day at 15, with a birdie at 18. The Austin, Texas, native got hot on the front side with birdies at 2, 5, 7, 8 and 9.

One of the last ladies to leave Northridge Wednesday was Gabrielle Gibson of Temecula, Calif. She came to Texarkana two weeks ago to prepare for the event, and was rewarded with a 70.

This Golf story is sponsored by Golf USA Discount Golf Store in Texarkana

“I’m hoping this event will be my best this season,” said Gibson, who is looking to make her first cut in 2020. “Northridge’s greens were rolling really well today. They were faster than what I’ve been practicing on the last two days. I prefer fast greens, which makes me kind of excited about  playing at Texarkana Country Club Thursday.

“We’ve all been off for a couple of weeks. That may have contributed to my play today. I’ve had time to work on things that I usually don’t have time to work on.”

The women’s field will be cut after Friday’s third round at Northridge. The final 18 holes will be Saturday at TCC.