Atlanta’s Harris Barth, a recent graduate of Westminster who will play college golf at Furman this fall, will try to defend his title at the 101st Georgia Amateur Championship this week at The Landings Club in Savannah.
Barth came from two shots behind on the final day and shot a closing 67 to claim the title last year at Cherokee Town and Country Club. He beat Will Kahlstorf of the University of Georgia by a shot.
The 72-hole championship, conducted by the Georgia State Golf Association, begins Friday and will be cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. This will be the second time The Landings Club has hosted the Georgia Am. The first was 2010, when Lee Knox won the first of his two titles. The Deer Creek course has been the site of the annual Korn Ferry Tour’s Club Car Championship since 2018.
“The wind is definitely a factor,” Barth said. “It’s not a narrow course, but it helps to keep it in play off the tee. You can get into some weird spots if you don’t.”
Barth is paired in the first two rounds with mid-amateur Chris Waters of Atlanta and Wilson Andress of Georgia Southern. Waters has won five GSGA titles, most recently the 2021 Georgia Public Links. Andress is the 2021 Georgia Match Play champion.
Other prominent players in the field include William Love of Atlanta, who was Barth’s Westminster teammate and the 2022 AJC high school player of the year; Georgia Southern’s Hogan Ingram of Rome, the 2020 Georgia Junior champion; Connor Asarch of Florida Atlantic, who tied for 10th in 2021; and Luke Koenig of Watkinsville, who qualified for the U.S. Open Sectional.
The top mid-amateurs include 2004 champion David Denham, who tied for eighth in 2021, Dalton Melnyk of Atlanta, who finished seventh in 2021, former Georgia Tech football player and college referee R.B. Clyburn of Cartersville, Rusty Mosley of Vidalia and Taylor Smith of Covington.
Top seniors in the field include Bob Royak of Atlanta, two-time Georgia Amateur winner David Noll of Dalton, Jack Larkin of Atlanta, and Savannah’s Doug Hanzel, who lives at The Landings.
The winner has their name engraved on the Robert H. Martin Trophy. Bobby Jones won the first one in 1916, when he was 14. Two-time U.S. Senior Open champion Allen Doyle won it six times, and Arnold Blum, the legendary Macon product with the buttery swing, won it five times.
First Tee pair earn spots in Pebble Beach event
Marcus Leonard and B.J. Little will represent the First Tee of Metro Atlanta at the PURE Insurance Championship Impacting First Tee, Sept. 20-26, at Pebble Beach.
Leonard is a senior at Drew Charter School and has been involved with First Tee for seven years. He wants to earn a degree in business management or PGA management and partner with local schools and churches to develop a peer-to-peer counseling group.
Little is a senior at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School in Atlanta and has been involved with First Tee for eight years. He aspires to be a criminal defense attorney, then seek public office.
Leonard learned of his invitation from Ken Duke at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic this spring. Little found out on a video call from Cameron Champ.
Tech’s Christo Lamprecht a winner at Palmer Cup
Georgia Tech’s Christo Lamprecht helped the International team triumph over the United States team in the Arnold Palmer Cup. The match was tied 18-18 entering the final day, but the Internationals won 13 of 24 matches and won 33-27.
Lamprecht, a native of South Africa, won three of his four matches. He teamed with Heather Lin of Taiwan, who plays at Oregon, to beat Stanford’s Michael Thorbjornsen and Rose Zhang 1-up in the first round. The team then beat Jake Doggett and Olivia Mitchell 3 and 2 in the third round. He defeated No. 15-ranked amateur Travis Vick of Texas 3 and 2 in the final-round singles.
Lamprecht’s next stop is representing South Africa in the World Amateur Team Championship next month in France.
UGA women add new assistant coach
Ember Holloway, formerly the assistant coach at Purdue, has joined the Georgia women’s golf program as an assistant. She was a standout player at the University of Illinois from 2010-14 and played professionally for three years. Holloway became the first Illinois golfer to compete in three NCAA regionals and twice led the team in stroke average. She qualified for two U.S. Women’s Amateurs and three U.S. Public Links championships.
“We are adding a coach who is ready to help us build on our top-five finish at the national championships last season,” UGA coach Josh Brewer said.
The Bulldogs will have eight returning letter winners, including all six who played in the NCAAs, this fall. Georgia reached match play and lost to eventual champion Stanford 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
Charities benefit from Mitsubishi Electric Classic
This spring’s Mitsubishi Electric Classic raised $558,270 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Special Needs Schools of Gwinnett and other local charities. The PGA Tour Champions event has donated more than $3.6 million since its inception in 2013.
The tournament’s Birdies for Charity program also raised nearly $400,000 for Annandale Village, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Cooper’s Crew, Grayson Cluster Schools Foundation and Women’s Club of Sugarloaf Charities. The Birdies for Charity program has raised more than $2 million since 2016.
Reinhardt’s Hunter Clay wins Milton Martin Classic
Amateur Hunter Clay, who plays at Reinhardt University, won the Georgia PGA’s Milton Martin Classic at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville. It’s been a good stretch for Clay, who had a top-10 finish at the NAIA Championship this spring.
Clay shot 69-69 to finish at 6-under 138 and win by a shot. Tied for second were J.P. Griffin of Capital City Club-Brookhaven, Jacob Tilton of Ansley Golf Club and Georgia Golf Hall of Famer Tim Weinhart of Heritage Golf Links. They finished at 5-under 139.
North Atlanta’s Pierce Adamson co-medalist for Junior Am qualifier
Pierce Adamson, who plays at North Atlanta High School, shot 68 and tied with Luke Balaskiewicz of Jacksonville, Fla., for low medalist at the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens.
Tied for third at 69 were Ryan Davidson of Gainesville High, Aidan Cohl and Billy Abdow of Rivers Academy, Georgia Southern signee Parker Claxton of Pinewood Christian and Connor McCann of Tallahassee, Fla. The two alternates are Jace Butcher of Mount Paran Christian and Jack Rowe of Habersham Central.
Earning a spot at the qualifier at the Country Club of Birmingham was Will Jones of Milton High School, with Price Miller of Westminster the second alternate.
Qualifiers advance to the 74th U.S. Junior Amateur, July 25-30, at Bandon Dunes in Bandon, Ore.
University of Georgia graduate Davis Thompson tied for sixth at last week’s Korn Ferry Ascendant and is mathematically guaranteed a spot on the 2022-23 PGA Tour. Thompson has four top-10s in his 16 starts. ... David Ford of Peachtree Corners, a sophomore at North Carolina, reached the quarterfinals of the North and South Amateur at Pinehurst, N.C. His twin brother Maxwell Ford, a sophomore at Georgia, and Georgia Tech’s Ross Steelman reached the round of 16. Steelman tied for second in the stroke-play portion. … Atlanta-based American Junior Golf Association has named Neuropeak Pro as its official training company. The product helps golfers manage stress and perform under pressure.