POOLER, Ga. – Betsy Butler of Atlanta and Phyllis Foisy of Statham combined for a 3-under-par 69 to capture their first Georgia Women’s Team title, upending the three-time defending champions Danielle Davis of St. Simons Island and Ginette Spinucci of Stone Mountain by two strokes at Savannah Quarters Country Club. Butler and Foisy finished at 5-under 139 in the 27th annual competition, while Davis and Spinucci came in at 141.
Ashley Beecher of Hazelhurst and past champion Maria Johnson of Jesup posted the low round of the tournament, a 5-under 67, to move into third place overall at 142, one shot ahead of Mary Riley of Perry and Gwen Young of Cochran. Those four teams were the only ones to finish under par for the 36-hole Championship.
You could say Butler and Foisy were due for this title. Having competed together for a number of years, the duo has finished in sixth place or better over the last seven Women’s Team Championships dating back to 2005. That streak includes a playoff loss for the title in 2006 against Spinucci and Marilyn Nolan-Johnson of Marietta.
After the opening four-ball round, Butler and Foisy led Davis and Spinucci by just one shot. As in the first round, they posted four birdies in Tuesday’s scramble round. Starting on No. 15, they gave one shot back to the field with their lone bogey at the par-5 17th, but made up for it and then some with birdies on the par-5 third, the eighth, 11th and 12th; the latter two they also birdied in the first round.
Savannah Quarters Country Club played to 5,513 yards and a par 72 for the Championship flight. All other flights competed at 5,271 yards. The starting field consisted of 40 teams divided into five flights of eight teams each. The eight teams with the lowest combined USGA Handicap Indexes competed in the Championship flight and were eligible for the overall title.
Annie Law Ma of Kennesaw and Jirapon Carlson of Macon won the first flight with a final-round 66 and a total of 3-under 141. Fran Coody and Lori Soles, both of Perry, took the second flight at 143 (74-69). Atlanta’s Farah Reynolds and Pam Mitchell claimed third-flight honors at 156, while Brenda Duke of Perry and Connie Haugabook of Montezuma took the fourth flight (165).
The Georgia Women’s Team Championship is conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association. Entries were open to two-person teams of female amateur golfers who are at least 18 years old as of September 24, belong to a GSGA Member Club, have a maximum handicap index of 31.9 and a maximum team differential of no more than eight strokes.