Alaythia Hinds

USGA Tells the Story of a Former MCI Champ

Alaythia Hinds Thursday practice round
Alaythia Hinds at the 2024 MCI. She won the event in 2023.

Alaythia Hinds, the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational winner, was one of two Black golfers in the field at the 2024 U.S Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio.

Hinds and her four-ball partner, Erica Villegas, missed the cut at Oak Hills after shooting even par in the stroke-play competition on May 11 and 12, but Hinds still has lots to look forward to this summer, including trying to qualify for the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur and heading off to a college career at Howard University.

The USGA recently wrote about Hinds, her history with the Cameron Champ Foundation, her 2023 victory at the Mack Champ Invitational, and her upcoming college career. You can read the article on the USGA’s website.

Alaythia Hinds Aleah Shields-Rodipe Tournament News

Mack Champ Invitational Featured in PGA Tour Video

The PGA Tour produced this video feature on the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational for Girls.

Alaythia Hinds Tournament News

Win in Houston Has Opened Doors for a Sacramento Native

Alaythia Hinds with trophy after winning 2023 Mack Champ Invitational
Alaythia Hinds won the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational at The Club at Carlton Woods, which was set up for The Chevron Open, the first major of the LPGA Tour season.

This is a Sacramento story with a Houston highlight and many more plot developments to come.

Back in 2017, Alaythia Hinds and her father, Lamar, followed Cameron Champ in the Safeway Open at Silverado Resort in Napa. It was the second professional tournament for Cameron, who was still at Texas A&M and played on a sponsor’s exemption. Alaythia, now a 17-year-old rising senior at Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, CA, got to meet Cameron that week and was inspired to see a fellow Sacramento-area native playing at the game’s highest level.

“It was cool being able to connect with someone from the area, seeing how they’ve grown and how they’re succeeding in golf,” she said.

Alaythia Hinds with Cameron Champ in 2018
Alaythia with Cameron in 2018.

Alaythia’s relationship with the Cameron Champ Foundation has deepened over the years as she has volunteered at foundation-sponsored junior events at Foothill Golf Course and has traveled to Houston to play in all three Mack Champ Invitationals. After finishing 9th in 2021 and 15th in 2022, Alaythia shot even par (73-71) to take first place at this year’s MCI, which was significantly different from the first two iterations of the tournament. For the first time, the tournament was separate from the boys’ event, and it moved to a new course, The Club at Carlton Woods, site of The Chevron Championship, the first major of the LPGA Tour season.

But despite these changes, one thing remained the same: the MCI provided a unique environment for juniors from diverse backgrounds (and their families) to form lasting bonds.

“For all the years I’ve gone to the Mack Champ, I’ve definitely appreciated the experience of meeting a lot of people,” she said. “I get to interact with a lot of the players, more than I do at other tournaments, and I still keep in touch with some of them.”

Lamar contrasted the MCI experience with other junior events.

“It’s great to meet and see other families who are in the same boat you are, who are also trying to navigate the junior golf thing,” he said. “Typically she is the only African American golfer in a tournament. We just did a USGA qualifier, and out of 80 girls, she was the only African American in the field. So the MCI is completely different from our normal tournaments.”

Alaythia Hinds swing in 2023 Mack Champ Invitational
Alaythia during the final round of the 2023 Mack Champ Invitational.

But the MCI is not only about relationships. Alaythia’s victory this year has opened many competitive doors, including the chance to play in the John Shippen National Invitational (June 5-7, Grand Rapids, MI) and exemptions into the IMG Academy Junior World Championship (July 11-13, San Diego) and the Junior PGA Championship (Aug. 1-4, Hot Springs, AR).

“You have to be ranked really high to play in these tournaments,” she said. “Thanks to the opportunity that the Mack Champ Invitational has given me, I am able to compete.”

Closer to home, Alaythia is heading to Stanford for the First Tee National Championship in July and is looking forward to the high school golf season later this year, where she hopes to help Pleasant Grove improve on its fourth-place finish at the 2022 CIF State Girls Golf Championships. Alaythia tied for seventh in the individual standings.

Alaythia still has time to figure out what happens after high school, and though it seems certain golf will continue to take her places, she also excels in the classroom and as a musician. She is a 4.0 student and a violinist who plays with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.

“I do hope to play Division I golf in college,” she said, “and I’m excited to see what opportunities come next.”

Alaythia Hinds Aleah Shields-Rodipe Alexis Lamadrid Brenna Preap Callia Ward Layla Phillips Photos Vivian Lott

Photos From the Final Round

Photos by Amanda Cantor of the AJGA and Mike Major.

Alaythia Hinds Callia Ward Tournament News

Hinds Knocks Off Ward in Playoff to Win Third Annual MCI

Alaythia Hinds
Alaythia Hinds shot 71 on Saturday and won in a playoff.

Alaythia Hinds and Callia Ward steadily made their way up the leaderboard on Saturday and ended up in the same place at the end of their final rounds: tied at even par and headed for a playoff.

In the end, Hinds, a junior from Rancho Murieta, CA, emerged with the win after making a birdie on the par-5 18th in the playoff. She shot 74-70 for an even-par 144 total. Ward, a sophomore from Albuquerque, shot 73-71.

Alexis Lamadrid (2027) from Phoenix, who had a share of the lead with Koa Seymour after the first round, shot 73 on Saturday to finish alone in third place, one over for the tournament. Seymour struggled, shooting 79 to finish seven over.

Brenna Preap (2023) from Stockton, CA, and Julia Vollmer (2024) from San Antonio were tied for fourth at two over. Last year’s champ, Alona Avery (2024), was sixth at five over.

This was the third annual Mack Champ Invitational, but the first time the girls and boys played separate events. The boys tournament was in March at Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston for the third consecutive year. The girls moved to The Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, TX. The LPGA’s first major of the season, the Chevron Championship, will be played on the same course next week.

Hinds sinking the winning birdie putt in the playoff.
Callia Ward final round
Callia Ward was even par for the tournament but lost in the playoff.