Cleveland High sophomore-to-be Dominique Galloway watches her first tee shot on Tamaya No. 1 at Santa Ana Golf Course Thursday morning, the day she completed her third and final round in the Albuquerque City Women’s Golf Tournament – and became the youngest, at 15, to win it.
SANTA ANA — Shooting a blistering 67 at Santa Ana Golf Course Thursday, Cleveland High School sophomore-to-be Dominique Galloway became the youngest to ever win the Albuquerque City Women’s Golf championship.
Former Rio Ranchoan Rosie Jones had been the youngest to win the tournament, which she did at the age of 16 in 1976. Galloway doesn’t turn 16 until Sept. 16.
The Class 5A girls golf champion in May, Galloway carded a 71 on Tuesday and then a 73 on Wednesday, taking a five-stroke lead over New Mexico State golfer Paige Darwin into the final round.
Darwin, riding along in the cart driven by Galloway — not old enough to drive a car until she turns 16, by the way — shot a 74 Thursday and finished 12 shots behind Galloway.
Recent Rio Rancho High School graduate Sierra Campbell finished fifth at 231 (81-80-76); Campbell was the runner-up to Galloway at the 5A tournament.
Since she won the Class 5A girls state tournament, when she shot back-to-back rounds of 73, beating her friend, Sierra Campbell (74-74), Galloway has been busy.
In late May, she finished 11th, shooting 79-76 at the U.S. Women’s LPGA Open sectional qualifying at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. From June 17-22, Galloway carded rounds of 82 and 78 to finish tied for 114th place at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament at Jimmie Austin OC Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
The first week of July, her father, John, took her to Aurora, Colo., for a practice round at CommonGround Golf Course, where she shot a 78.
“We didn’t know the course,” John Galloway noted.
She was back there Friday, giving her four rounds in as many days, trying to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, to be played Aug. 5-11 at Country Club of Charleston (S.C.).
Galloway said her latest championship felt a lot like winning the high school championship, although, “This one had older, more-matured women.”
After Darwin and she had each shot 34s on the front nine, she remembered thinking to herself, “I don’t know if I can win this thing.”
But, by the end of the day, she said, “My ball-striking was right on. I hit 15 of 18 greens, 12 of 14 fairways.”
Despite playing before a gallery of several dozen people, which included her father and younger sister, Jackie — tracking her shots on a scorecard — Galloway said she tried not to notice the attention afforded her foursome.
“I tried to stay in my zone,” she said.
And that’s all it took.
“I thank my parents and my Lord, Jesus Christ, for giving me the ability to play golf,” she said.
CHS golf coach Jim Tillery said he’s enthused about his team’s chances to win a state championship during the next three seasons, as Galloway goes through school. When she’s a junior, Jackie Galloway will be an eighth-grader at Mountain View Middle School and eligible to play with the Storm.
“Let those two play together? I’m excited,” he said, noting he’s been fielding letters from Jo Jo Robertson, the women’s golf coach at Texas Tech University, about Dominique Galloway. He’s also received emails from other college coaches, he said. “They’re drooling.
“The biggest thing is not burning her out,” Tillery said.