ATHENS, Ga. — Justin Kim of Rome survived a tough final round to win the Georgia Junior Championship at 2-over-par 212 (68-70-74) by one stroke over Alex Ross of Atlanta at 3-over-par 213 (73-68-72). This year’s competition celebrated its 50th anniversary at Athens Country Club, site of the inaugural event in 1966, June 20-22.
Kim, who began the final round with the lead, struggled on Wednesday as he made four bogeys and 14 pars. The lead briefly escaped Kim as Ross took over the top spot of the leaderboard during the day. The two players were tied coming down the stretch and the 445-yard par 4 18th hole proved to be the deciding factor. Ross made double-bogey and Kim made bogey, giving him the title.
Jordan Baker of Cumming finished third at 4-over-par 214 (73-71-70). Two players tied for fourth at 6-over-par 216, including Will Kahlstorf of Watkinsville (76-69-71) and Logan Perkins of Locust Grove (74-69-73). Ryan Hines of Woodstock (77-70-70) and Grant Sutliff of Suwanee (70-70-77) tied for sixth at 7-over-par 217. Wilson Andress of Macon (75-70-73) and David Brainard of Dunwoody (71-74-73) both finished at 8-over-par 218 and tied for eighth. Rounding out the top 10 on the final leaderboard was Nolan Miller of Midland at 9-over-par 219 (72-72-75).
With the victory, Kim, a junior golfer at Rome High School, earned an exemption into the Centennial Georgia Amateur Championship, which will be held at Capital City Club in Atlanta, July 11-17. During the awards ceremony, Kim was presented the trophy by David Joesbury of Thomson, who won the inaugural Georgia Junior Championship in 1966 at Athens Country Club.
The top eight finishers at the Georgia Junior Championship earn a spot on Team Georgia for the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Team. This year’s inter-state competition will be held at Idle Hour Club in Macon, July 22-23. Those individuals are Kim, Ross, Baker, Kahlstorf, Perkins, Hines, Sutliff and Brainard. Hines and Sutliff represented the Peach State last year.
At the conclusion of regulation, Andress and Brainard were tied, so a playoff was needed to determine the final spot on the team and first alternate. Neither player wanted to surrender as they played eight extra holes before the final spot was settled.
After 36 holes of play, 72 players at 15-over-par 155 and better made the cut and will tee it up in the final round of action.