Local Golf: Baik barely misses cut for U.S. Women's AmateurFrom Staff and Wire Reports
Already well on her way to the USGA Girls Junior Amateur later this month in San Francisco, 17-year-old East Coweta senior Ji Eun Baik nearly managed to qualify for a second national event during a stormy Monday, finishing a mere two shots off the qualifying pace for this year's Women's Amateur event.
Baik fired a 4-over 76 to finish in a tie for 19th place, but was only two strokes away from finishing in the top six during Monday's USGA qualifier at Eagle's Landing Country Club. Golfers from at least a dozen states and four countries also made up the field, with Baik joining GHSA state champion and incoming Stanford freshman Mariah Stackhouse among nine players that came in with a 76.
The standout golfer from Newnan heads to the U.S. Girls Junior Championship at the Lake Merced Golf Club outside San Francisco from July 16-21 after qualifying for the tournament on her first attempt.
Milton High Class AAAAA state champion Rachel Dai was among eight players at 3-over 75.
Ally McDonald of Fulton, Miss., and Australian Mathilda Poulsen led Monday's qualifiers with an even-72. The top nine finishers moved on to play in the 112th U.S. Women's Amateur Championship set for Cleveland, Ohio on Aug. 6-12.
Joining the medalists for automatic spots into the Championship included Haley Millsap of Pace, Fla., (73), Jessica Negron of Ocala, Fla., (73) and Georgia’s Lauren Smith of Macon (73).
Five players who finished at 2-over-par 74 needed a playoff to determine the final four automatic qualifying spots and first alternate position. After the first playoff hole (No. 18), Allie Knight of Knoxville, Tenn., Kaew Preamchuen of Kennesaw, and Diana Fernandez of Paraguay all birdied to earn automatic qualifying spots. Laura Wearn of Charlotte, N.C., and Laura Sanchez Zuluaga of Colombia remained tied, so they moved on to the second playoff hole (No. 10) to determine the final automatic qualifying spot and first alternate position. Sanchez Zuluaga then birdied No. 10 to clinch the final automatic qualifying spot into the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Wearn will be the first alternate.
A second playoff for the eight players who finished at 3-over-par 75 was needed to settle the second alternate position. Five playoff holes later, after going back-and-forth from No. 10 to No. 18 to No. 10 to No. 18 to No. 10, Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, Ga., clinched the second alternate position with a par.
Before the two playoffs could begin, severe weather moved into the area and forced a 45-minute delay.
GSGA AMATEUR STARTS THURSDAY
Newnan golfers Brian Templeton and Trevor Smith begin play in this year's GSGA Amateur on Thursday at Ansley Golf Club in Roswell.
Smith, a former Newnan High standout headed to Coastal Georgia on a golf scholarship this fall, reached the tournament by way of the West qualifier on June 7 at the Country Club of Columbus. Templeton got a chance to sample the Settindown Creek course while qualifying at the Atlanta North qualifier on June 12.