Local golf: Mikkelsen claims MacDonald Invitational

Former Georgia Tech All-American Kris Mikkelsen won the 2021 C.B. MacDonald Invitational in Southhampton, N.Y.
Former Georgia Tech All-American Kris Mikkelsen won the 2021 C.B. MacDonald Invitational in Southhampton, N.Y.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Kris Mikkelsen

Credit: Photo courtesy of Kris Mikkelsen

It was a pretty special Father’s Day for Atlanta’s Kris Mikkelsen.

The 41-year-old Georgia Tech graduate won the C.B. MacDonald Invitational at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y. The event, known as “The Singles,” brings together some of the nation’s top mid-amateur and senior players.

Mikkelsen’s father, Scott, had been in the hospital, and his 9-year-old son, Holt, has been asking if he was ever going to win again. That question was answered when he returned home with the big silver trophy.

“It was cool to call my dad and share that with him on Father’s Day,” Mikkelsen said. “And on the other end of the spectrum, it was nice to tell my son that, yes, I did actually win golf tournament.”

The invitational honors the legend of MacDonald, who is considered the father of American golf-course architecture. In addition to the National Golf Links, MacDonald designed Chicago Golf Club and teamed with Seth Raynor to design iconic courses such as Shinnecock Hills, the Yale Golf Club and the Old White Course at The Greenbrier.

Mikkelsen defeated National Golf Links club champion Sean Barrett in 22 holes in the first match and beat Trevor Randolph of New Jersey 4 and 3 in the second round. On Sunday he defeated former Alabama All-American Robby Shelton with birdies on two of the final three holes to win 2 up, then defeated veteran Joe Duraney in a match Mikkelsen never led until the 19th hole. He made a five-footer on the 18th hole to extend the match and won it with a birdie on the first extra hole.

Phillips brings home Sunnehanna title

University of Georgia senior Trent Phillips continued his streak of solid play by winning the 68th Sunnehanna Amateur in Johnstown, Pa., one of the summer’s major amateur tournaments.

Phillips shot rounds of 69-68-66-68 for a 9-under 271 at the Sunnehanna Country Club. He beat Ian Siebers of Duke by one shot. Phillips, an all-SEC player, recently helped the United States win the Arnold Palmer Cup.

Former Sunnehanna champions include Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson and Collin Morikawa, along with Georgia Hall of Famer Allen Doyle, who won it four times.

Royak adds National Hall of Fame title to resume

Alpharetta’s Bob Royak keeps piling up trophies, and last week added the National Senior Amateur Hall of Fame Championship at Highlands (N.C.) Country Club. Royak opened with a 68 and went on to finish at 7-under 211, leading wire-to-wire, to beat his pal Doug Hanzel of Savannah by five shots.

Royak, 59, became the oldest winner of the tournament. Earlier this spring he won the Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship. He will defend his 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur championship in Detroit in August.

Boltja, Han come away with Georgia junior titles

Jack Boltja of Thomasville and Hailey Han of Duluth came away with the state’s top junior titles this week in Valdosta. Boltja staggered home with a 78, but had built plenty of wiggle room after opening with 65-66. He finished at 7-under 209 to take the 56th Junior Championship at Kinderlou Forest. Parker Highsmith of Valdosta, who closed with a 68, and Luke Koenig of Statham, who finished with a 69, tied for second at 5-under 211.

Han, who just completed the eighth grade, closed with an even-par 72 at Valdosta Country Club to finish at 1-over 217 and win the 42nd Georgia Girls’ Championship. Han took a three-shot win over Camryn Coffield of Hamilton and defending champion LoraLie Cowart of Winston.

Im to defend Georgia Women’s Am title

Sara Im of Duluth will try to defend her title against a loaded field at the 92nd Georgia Women’s Amateur Champions at Coosa Country Club in Rome. The 54-hole event begins Monday.

Im won a seven-hole playoff against friend Thienna Huynh of Lilburn a year ago. Other top contenders are Jenny Bae from the University of Georgia, Louise Yu from Vanderbilt, Ivy Shepherd of Clemson, recent Top 60 Classic winner Kate Owens of James Madison University, and Georgia commitment and high school player of the year LoraLie Cowart of Winston.

Stackhouse headlines Powell Legacy Benefit

Riverdale’s Mariah Stackhouse will be one of nine LPGA players who will participate in the Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit on Monday at Bobby Jones Golf Course. Proceeds will benefit the foundation that honors the legendary Powell and the efforts to preserve Clearview, the first course designed, built and owned by a Black person. The course, built by Renee’s father, Bill, opened 75 years ago in Canton, Ohio.

Sam Asbury played two seasons at Georgia State. A golf tournament at Druid Hills GC is played in his honor to raise suicide awarness.
Sam Asbury played two seasons at Georgia State. A golf tournament at Druid Hills GC is played in his honor to raise suicide awarness.

Tournament benefits memory of ex-GSU player Asbury

A sold-out crowd of 112 golfers will play and another hundred or so will participate in the Sam Asbury Memorial on Monday at Druid Hills Golf Club. The event will serve as a memorial to the late Georgia State golfer, who took his own life last year, and as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Northside Youth Organization.

“Hopefully, we can prevent that one person, two or three people from hurting themselves, like Sam did,” said David Asbury, Sam’s father or event organizer.

Asbury was a three-sport athlete at Holy Innocents’ who decided late in high school to pursue college golf. He beat the odds and played two seasons at Georgia State, but decided to stop competing and transferred to Georgia to finish school there.