Two college golfers from the Atlanta area made it to match play in the recent U.S Women’s Amateur Championship at the GC of Tennessee, but both lost t to the eventual champion after winning three matches between them.
Bailey Tardy of Peachtree Corners, a senior at Georgia, advanced to the third round before losing to U. of Alabama golfer Kristen Gillman, who went on to win the championship for the second time in four years.
Janet Mao of Johns Creek, a senior at Northwestern, also won her opening match before losing to Gillman in the second round.
Also winning in match play was Kennesaw State golfer Madison Caldwell of Milton, who lost in the second round.
Tardy and Mao tied for eighth in qualifying at 4-under 138. Tardy posted scores of 72-66 and was seeded eighth and Mao shot 68-70 and was seeded ninth. Caldwell tied for 48th with scores of 74-69—143 and was seeded 53rd, with Thienna Huynh of Lilburn also qualifying for match play with a 144 total. Huynh lost 3&2 in the first round to the No. 7 seed.
Tardy, the overall runner-up and low amateur in last month’s Georgia Women’s Open at Brookfield CC, won her first match 2&1 after being 3-down after six holes. She birdied two of her next four holes to square the match, but lost the 12th to a birdie to go 1-down. She then won holes 14, 15 and 16 to take a 2-up lead, playing her last 11 holes in 3-under.
In the second round, Tardy took a 2-up lead after birdies at 11 and 12, but lost holes 14 and 16. She went ahead 1-up with a birdie at the 17th before her opponent birdied the 18th to force extra holes. Both players birdied the opening hole before Tardy scored an eagle at the par-5 fifth to win the match on the 23rd hole.
Tardy fell 3-down after four holes against Gillman in the third round and did not win a hole, as Gillman played 14 holes in 6-under without a bogey. Tardy was 1-under .
Mao won her first round match 2&1 after taking a 3-up lead after eight holes. She lost holes 9 and 10, but birdied the 13th to go 2-up and retained her lead. Mao gave Gillman a battle in the second round, and was just 1-down after 12 holes before Gillman birdied holes 13 and 14 to take a 3-up lead.
Caldwell needed 19 holes to win her opening match over the No. 12 seed from South Korea. She took an early lead with two birdies on the first three holes, but her opponent went 4-under for a 7-hole stretch, winning five holes to take a 4-up lead after 12 holes. Caldwell was still 4-down after 14 when her opponent played the last four holes in 4-over, while Caldwell played them in 1-under to win all four. Caldwell won the match with a par on the first extra hole.
In the second round, Caldwell lost 4&3 to Arkansas golf team member Kaylee Benton, who reached the semifinals before losing to Gillman on the 19th hole. Caldwell had two birdies and an eagle on the first nine holes to take a 1-up lead over Benton, who won the fourth hole with an ace to go 1-up. Caldwell responded with an eagle on the par-5 fifth and a birdie at the par-3 eighth to take the lead, but Benton won five of the next six holes, three with birdies, to take control of the match.
Alpharetta’s Ryan Stachler was the lone golfer from Georgia to qualify for match play in the recent U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach, losing in the first round on the 19th hole after erasing a 3-down deficit with four holes to play.
Stachler, a senior at South Carolina, won the Georgia PGA event at Berkeley Hills in July, and shared medalist honors in a qualifier in Rocky Mount, N.C., to earn a spot in the field. After shooting a 75 in the first day of stroke play qualifying at Spyglass Hills, Stachler shot a 71 the next day at Pebble Beach to tie for 46th, and was seeded 62nd in the match play field.
He drew the No. 3 seed in the first round and lost holes 10, 11 and 14 to fall 3-down. Stachler won 15 and 16 with pars before both players bogeyed the par-3 17th. Stachler birdied the par-5 18th at Pebble Beach to square the match, but bogeyed the first extra hole.
Also qualifying for match play was a pair of brothers who are members of the UGA golf team, along with one Georgia Tech golfer. Inman, S.C., brothers Trevor Phillips, a junior, and Trent Phillips, an incoming freshman, both won their opening matches before losing in the second round.
Trent tied for 19th in qualifying at 143, and won his opening match 3&2 before losing on the 20th hole in the second round. He birdied the 11th hole to take a 2-up lead in the second round, but lost holes 13 and 14 to birdies. A birdie at the 16th put Trent 1-up, but he bogeyed the 18th to send the match to extra holes and lost with a bogey on No. 2.
Like Stachler, Trevor Phillips tied for 46th in qualifying, shooting 68 at Spyglass and 78 at Pebble Beach, and was seeded 61st. He won 4&3 in the first round over No. 4 seed Michael Thorbjornsen,the 2018 U.S. Junior champion, winning four of the last six holes. But he lost 5&4 in the second round to Californian Isaiah Salinda, who was among the final eight players in match play.
Georgia Tech’s Tyler Strafaci also advanced to match play with a 143 total in qualifying, but lost 4&3 to LSU golfer Luis Gagne.
Trent Phillips tied for first in a sectional qualifier at the Brickyard in Macon, with Kennesaw State golfer Grant Sutliff of Cumming and Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree also advancing. UGA golfer Spencer Ralston of Gainesville won a qualifier at Jennings Mill outside Athens, with teammate Trevor Phillips second. Mercer’s Spencer Ball, Sutliff’s high school teammate at Lambert, also qualified, as did Augusta State golfer Alex Shead of Harlem. Duluth’s Benjamin Shipp, who plays at North Carolina State, won his qualifier in Knoxville, with Georgia Tech’s Noah Norton and Buford’s S.M. Lee also competing at Pebble Beach. Lee made it into the field off his World Amateur ranking.
The U.S. Amateur was the second USGA event of the summer for Trent Phillips, who advanced to the third round of the U.S. Junior Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey. Phillips, who tied for seventh in stroke play qualifying and was seeded ninth, handily won his first two matches 4&3 and 5&3 before losing on the 19th hole in the third round to Houston’s Cole Hammer, who went on to the semifinals in the junior event and the quarterfinals in the U.S. Amateur. Phillips led 3-up after 10 holes.
Also making it to match play in the U.S. Junior was Nicolas Cassidy of Johns Creek, who shot 145 in qualifying before losing 2-up to an opponent from China. Neither player had larger than a 1-up lead until the final hole, with both players carding five birdies in the match.
Andy Mao, Cassidy’s high school teammate at Johns Creek, also qualified but did not make it to match play.
U.S. Girls: Peachtree City’s Ivy Shepherd won her first match in the U.S. Girls Championship at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach before losing her second match. Shepherd earned the No. 5 seed in match play by shooting 139 in qualifying, and knocked off Texas signee Hailee Cooper, one of the country’s top female juniors, 2&1 in a back-and-forth match.
Shepherd and Cooper were all square after 13 holes before Shepherd won the next three holes. Shepherd led her match 2-up after eight holes, but did not win another hole and lost 2&1. Shepherd also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, but did not advance to match play.
Women’s Mid-Am qualifying: Seven Georgians advanced to the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in St. Louis next month with top-7 finishes in a qualifier at Rivermont. Brenda Pictor of Marietta was medalist at 72, followed by Sarah Gallagher of Canton and Erin Packer of Peachtree City at 76, Danielle Davis of St. Simons at 77, Deb Jackson of Johns Creek and Kristyl Sunderman of McDonough at 78, and Lauren Judson of Atlanta at 80. Leslie Elkins of Roswell shot 81 and is first alternate. Laura Coble of Augusta was the first alternate from a qualifier in Lexington, S.C.
Senior Amateur qualifying: Three Georgians advanced from a qualifier at Laurel Springs in south Forsyth County for the U.S. Senior Amateur, which will be played August 25-30 in Eugene, Ore.
Alpharetta’s Bob Royak, the 2018 Georgia Senior Open champion, shot 66 to win the qualifier, with Marietta’s Louis Brown second at 67. Jack Larkin of Atlanta got the fourth spot at 68. Jeff Belk of Marietta and Rick Cloninger of McDonough shot 70 and are the first and second alternates.
Danny Nelson and John Skeadas, both of Savannah, were 1-2 in a qualifier at Colleton River in Bluffton, S.C., and Wright Waddell of Columbus shared medalist honors in a qualifier in Alexander City, Ala.
Mid-Amateur qualifying: Three Georgians have advanced from early qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, which will be played next month in Charlotte.
David Denham of Athens shot 64 in Louisville, Ky., to win his qualifier, with fellow Athens resident Kevin Moore sharing medalist honors in New Jersey with a 66. Harold Baldwin of Loganville qualified in Jacksonville.
The Atlanta area qualifier will be played August 21 at the Legends at Chateau Elan.