NASHVILLE, Tenn. (lipscombsports.com) - Siarra Stout is in a season of second chances in her golf life.
"I'm going to be really old," Stout said of an impending sixth year of college golf at Lipscomb, "but I've got one more year."
In 2015, Stout became the first commit for the upstart Charlotte women's golf program. Last fall, she transferred to Lipscomb to finish out two remaining years of eligibility left over from a redshirt season and a COVID year.
At Lipscomb, she won her first college tournament at the Rivertowne Invitational in March 2021. This week, she picked up the title at the Golfweek Hoosier Amateur, played on the teethy Pfau Course at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Stout was 10 over for 54 holes and edged Jocelyn Bruch, a redshirt sophomore at Purdue, by a shot. Things got dangerously close over the back nine at Pfau as Stout made three bogeys after the turn, but a birdie at the par-4 16th helped lift her permanently ahead of Bruch.
"Anything can happen on this golf course but I think it just helped me kind of keep my poise as I finished off 17 and 18," she said of that well-timed birdie.
Pfau is demanding off the tee, and Stout met that challenge by leaving herself in good positions from which to approach tricky greens. A heavy rain soaked the course after the second round, leaving the greens more receptive but the course playing longer. Still, Stout had to concentrate on placement.
And one reality remained: "Above the hole, if you were chipping, it was no bueno."
Leading up to the Hoosier Amateur, Stout played a U.S. Women's qualifier at Old Fort Golf Club in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but came up four shots short of a playoff to make the field. Two years ago this week, Stout was making her U.S. Women's Amateur debut at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. After close calls in qualifying the previous two years, she earned her spot in the field thanks to her position in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. In 2020, COVID forced the USGA to wipe out qualifying and select a field by hand.
Stout still has flashbacks to that week and is grateful for the opportunity. Lately, she's taken a position of gratitude for many elements of her game and the experiences it has afforded her.
"I know (golf) doesn't define me as a person and I really rest in that now for the first time," she said.
Maybe it's that mindset that has allowed Stout to thrive at Lipscomb. In 10 tournaments, she never finished outside the top 25 and led the team in scoring with a 74.7 average.
Stout is a big goal setter, and has her sights set on an NCAA postseason berth before her eligibility is up. Charlotte missed advancing as a team by a single shot when she was a sophomore and when she was a junior, COVID cut short the season when the 49ers were ranked inside the top 25 in the country. Last season, Stout was second individually at the ASUN Conference Championship. An individual title would have given her a postseason berth.
And after that? Stout is leaving the next step open. She's always envisioned a professional golf career following college, but she didn't enter LPGA Q-School this year. If she feels like her game is in a good place in another year, she still thinks she might go that route, but she also hasn't missed the influx of youth into college coaching of late. That's an attractive option, too.
"I don't know when in my season of life that I would maybe go and step into that for a little bit but I definitely think it's a neat place to go and make an impact on people's lives and kind of grow them more than just a player – as a person," she said. "My heart is definitely more toward that side of things just from a ministry standpoint.
"So who knows where I'll end up after this year."