ATLANTA, G.A. — Rinko Mitsunaga, who will be a freshman on the Georgia women’s golf team this fall, defeated Payton Schanen, 3-and-2, to win the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship at the Piedmont Driving Club on Thursday (June 11th, 2015).
Mitsunaga’s performance highlighted a full day of results for past, present and future Bulldogs also competing in the GSGA Match Play Championship, the AJGA Rolex Championship and the British Ladies Amateur.
Mitsunaga tied for third in stroke play qualifying and then defeated Jenna Birch, Teresa Caballer Hemani, Marget Shirley and Sydney Needham to reach the final.
Mitsunaga and Schanen halved the first three holes before Mitsunaga won holes Nos. 4-7 to build a 4-up advantage. She extended the lead to 5-up with a birdie to win No. 10. Schanen captured No. 12 and No. 14 to close within 3-up; however, following halved holes at No. 15 and No. 16, Mitsunaga possessed an insurmountable 3-up lead with just two holes remaining.
Three other golfers with Georgia ties also posted solid performances in the GSGA Match Play. Former Bulldog All-American Emilie Burger Meason finished second in stroke play qualifying and advanced to semifinals before losing to Schanen in the semifinals. Rising sophomore Isabella Skinner tied for ninth in stroke play and won a pair of matches before losing to Needham in the quarterfinals. Rising junior Mary Ellen Shuman tied for 31st in stroke play and fell to Needham in the first round of match play.
Jillian Hollis and Bailey Tardy, two additional incoming freshmen for the Bulldogs, are currently competing in prestigious AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C.
Hollis is atop the leader board following the first three rounds of the 72-hole event, while Tardy is tied for 15th.
Hollis is at 4-under and has a one-shot lead after signing for rounds of 69, 70 and 73. Tardy has posted a trio of 74s. Live scoring for Friday’s final round can be found here.
At the Ladies British Amateur Championship at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland, rising junior Harang Lee lost in the first round of match play to Jenny Haglund of Sweden. Lee qualified for match play by tying for 17th in stroke play. Rising senior Amira Alexander also played in the Am but failed to reach the match play bracket after tying for 132nd in stroke play.
Thursday’s victory was Mitsunaga’s fourth of the 2015 calendar. She also won the Kathy Whitworth in March, the Wells Fargo Junior Classic in April and the USGA’s inaugural Four-Ball Championship in May.