CARROLLTON, Ga. – Margaret Shirley of Athens won the 14th annual Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship at Sunset Hills Country Club on Friday, with a 4 and 3 final score over eight-time event winner Laura Coble of Augusta.
Shirley, the assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Georgia, birdied the first hole of the day to get off to a strong start. Shirley’s early lead didn’t last long, as Coble took holes three and four for a 1-up advantage. Coble conceded the sixth hole to Shirley, bringing the match to all-square, then Shirley won hole seven to retake the lead. From then on, Shirley never looked back. Clinching the match on the par-3 15th hole, Shirley beat Coble, 4 and 3, on a course where she has won this event eight previous times.
“I hit it as good as I’ve ever hit it, I think,” said Shirley after accepting the winner’s trophy.
Shirley’s road to the final came after winning four times throughout the week in Carrollton. In the round of 32 on Wednesday, Shirley beat Amanda Barbee of Hartwell, 6 and 5, and then went on to beat Jodie Shepard of Newnan, 8 and 6, in the round of 16. On Thursday, Shirley defeated two-time winner of the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals, and in the semis, she earned the win over last year’s runner-up, Amira Alexander of Alpharetta, 2 and 1.
Coble, who has won the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship eight times in 13 years, came up just short this week, but has now reached the final match nine times, including three of the last four years. Coble’s week leading up to today’s finale included wins over Debra Partridge of Roswell (9 and 7, round of 32), Cheryl Grigg of Sea Island (2 and 1, round of 16), Kaylee Random of Alpharetta (5 and 3, quarterfinals) and Lauren Court of Lawrenceville (6 and 5, semifinals).
Other flight winners: In the First flight of the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship, Mary Riley of Perry defeated Joyce Doss of Carrollton, 4 and 2, in the final match which was contested Thursday at Sunset Hills Country Club.
This was the 14th playing of the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship, which has been held at Sunset Hills Country Club each year. Entries were open to female amateur golfers who were members of a GSGA member club and residents of Georgia.
Margaret Shirley, Athens def. Laura Coble, Augusta, 4 and 3
Mary Riley of Perry def. Joyce Doss of Carrollton, 4 and 2