June 27-29, 2022
MINJI KANG WINS GEORGIA WOMEN'S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
The 22-year-old Kang began the final round two strokes behind Owens, the 36-hole leader. Jenny Bae of Lawrenceville, winner of the 2021 Georgia Women's Amateur Championship, rounded out the final grouping on Wednesday.
Kang took advantage of a struggling Owens on the front nine. She made a birdie on the third hole, a bogey on the sixth and a birdie on the eighth to turn at 1-under on the day. Meanwhile Owens, a two-time winner of the Georgia Top 60 Women's Classic, turned at 5-over. She made birdie on the ninth hole in what would lead to some positive momentum on the back nine.
With the lead now in the hands of Kang, Owens put the pressure on early on the back nine going 4-under over five holes (birdie on 11; eagle on 13, birdie on 14). Over the same stretch of holes Kang made birdie on 13. Kang was ahead by two strokes with two holes left to play. A bogey five on the 17th hole for Kang dipped her advantage to a single stroke with the par 5 18th between her and the finish line.
Kang made birdie on the 18th hole, but not without Owens sinking an eagle putt of her own to tie Kang at the end of regulation. The two competitors returned to the 18th tee to begin a playoff. Matching each others pars and birdies, four extra holes were needed before Kang earned the championship title and would hoist the Eleanor M. Keeler Memorial Trophy.
Kang just finished her freshman year at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Ga., where she set numerous records. Not only did she win the 2022 Women's Golf NAIA National Championship, Kang was named both the NAIA Player and Freshman of the Year.
Abby Newton of Statesboro (72-72-70) and Thienna Huynh of Lilburn (73-71-70) tied for fourth at 2-under-par 214. Thomasville's Katherine Cook finished sixth at even-par 216 (72-73-71), Reagan Southerland of Atlanta came in seventh at 2-over-par 218 (69-75-74), and Mary Miller of Savannah posted a 4-over-par 220 (73-73-74) for eighth. Rounding out the top 10 of the overall championship were three players at 5-over-par 221, including Maggie Jackson of Tallulah Falls (70-81-70), Aly Francis of Stockbridge (72-75-74) and Sharon Mun of Duluth (78-72-71).
In the Tournament flight one, it was Danielle Davis of St. Simons Island taking the top spot at 19-over-par 235 (80-77-78). She finished two strokes ahead of Kris Berger of Statham, who earned runner-up honors in the flight at 21-over-par 237 (77-81-79). Tamara Caldwell of Dunwoody won the Tournament flight two at 56-over-par 272 (93-89-90). Michelle McKinnon of Johns Creek finished in the flight two runner-up spot at 57-over-par 273 (94-87-92).
Format and Schedule
The Georgia Women's Amateur Championship format is 54 holes of individual stroke play.
Entries were open to female amateur golfers who belong to a GSGA Member Club and are residents of Georgia.
The Georgia Women's Amateur Championship began in 1930 as a match play championship with Mrs. W.D. Doak winning the first trophy. Ten Georgia Golf Hall of Famers have captured the championship: Laura Coble, Mary Lena Faulk, Dot Kirby, Martha Kirouac, Ceil MacLaurin, Janet Olp, Hollis Stacy, Eileen Stulb, Louise Suggs and Billie Wickliffe. Stacy and Suggs are both members of the World Golf Hall of Fame as well. MacLaurin holds the crown for the most victories in championship history with 11 (Match Play: 1952, 1964-1965, 1970; Medal Play: 1965, 1968-1969, 1972-1975), while Coble (1999, 2003-2005, 2007, 2012), Kirby (Match Play: 1933, 1935-1936, 1941; Medal Play: 1952-1953) and Olp (1981, 1983-1985, 1987, 1997) have each won six times.