Golf notes: Hadley closing in on PGA Tour card

Go ahead and plan on seeing another Yellow Jacket on the PGA Tour next season.

Georgia Tech grad Chesson Hadley virtually assured himself of a spot when he won the Rex Hospital Open last week. It was his first victory on the Tour and jumped him to No. 3 on the money list. The top 25 money-winners are guaranteed their card for the 2013-14 season and it would be almost impossible for Hadley to fall out.

He’s been one of the best players on the Tour since May, finishing sixth or better in five of his last six starts. He secured his first victory in Raleigh, N.C. — his home town — by shooting a final-round 64 to pass third-round leader Danny Lee and win by two strokes.

Playing two groups ahead of Lee, Hadley stood in the 18th fairway thinking he was a shot behind when he was actually tied. His wedge to the green grazed the flag and stopped a foot from the cup.

“Thank God that was a tap-in because I was so nervous,” Hadley said. “My knees were shaking so bad. If it was much farther away, it would have been a lot tougher.”

The $112,500 first prize boosted Hadley’s earnings to $249,784. He is the third rookie to win on the Tour this year.

Another honor for Sappington: Milton’s Spencer Sappington has been inducted into the National Senior Amateur Golf Hall of Fame in High Point, N.C.

“For players like me, it’s the mecca of golf,” Sappington said.

Sappington, 70, has won 16 various Georgia State Golf Association championships, including the Georgia Senior Open a record five times. He was inducted into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bill Ploeger of Columbus is the only other Georgian in the National Senior Amateur Golf Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame tournament was won by Paul Simson of Raleigh. Former Georgia Amateur champion Rick Cloninger, who now lives in Fort Mill, S.C., tied for second. Bill Leonard of Villa Rica tied for fourth. Don Marsh of Johns Creek won the Super Senior Division, with Frank Costanzo of Savannah and Joe Whisenant of Villa Rica tied for fifth.

Byrd, Tardy win Juniors: Marcus Byrd of Dunwoody made a par putt on the final hole to avoid a playoff and win the Georgia Junior Championship at the Farm in Rocky Face. Byrd finished at 1-under 215 to win by a shot over Jack Larkin Jr. of Atlanta, Tye Waller of Griffin and Ryan Stachler of Alpharetta. Those four will join Tyler Hanson of Albany, Will Duma of Atlanta, Carter Mobley of Waynesboro and Nickolaus Budd of Woodstock on the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match.

Bailey Tardy of Norcross shot a 6-under 210 to win the Georgia Girls Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Tardy had 13 birdies, 34 pars and seven bogeys over the three rounds and bested Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell by two shots. Tardy, Mitsunaga, Eunice Yi of Evans and Annie Swords of Newnan all earn a spot in the Georgia-South Carolina Girls Junior Challenge Match.

Etc.: Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville won the Women’s Western Golf Association’s 113th National Amateur Championship in Dayton, Ohio. Ramsey, who will play for Clemson in the fall, beat Jenna Hague 7 and 6 in the 36-hole final. Former winners include Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lang, Grace Park, Nancy Lopez and Louis Suggs. … Georgia Tech’s Bo Andrews finished second in the Northeast Amateur in East Providence, R.I. He closed with a 62, but lost to Alabama’s Cory Whitsett, who finished with a 63 and won by two shots. … Georgia Tech’s Drew Czuchry tied for 10th at the Greystone Invitational in Birmingham.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.