Local golf: UGA All-American Jenny Bae returns to defend Georgia Women’s Am title

Jenny Bae lines up a putt at the 2021 Georgia Women's Amateur in Rome. Bae is a two-time All-American at the University of Georgia.

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Jenny Bae lines up a putt at the 2021 Georgia Women's Amateur in Rome. Bae is a two-time All-American at the University of Georgia.

Jenny Bae, recently named All-American for the second consecutive year, will return to defend her title at the 93rd Georgia Women’s Amateur next week at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth.

The 54-hole tournament begins Monday and concludes Wednesday, when the winner receives the Eleanor M. Keeler Trophy.

A Lawrenceville native and senior at the University of Georgia, Bae ran away with last year’s event at Coosa Country Club in Rome. She finished at 11-under 205 and won by five shots over Tess Davenport of Buford, who plays at Vanderbilt, and by seven over Ivy Shepherd of Peachtree City, now a grad transfer at Kentucky, and Katherine Cook of Thomasville, who will be a freshman at Florida State.

Other top players in the field include Kate Owens of Suwanee, half of the winning Georgia Women’s Four-Ball Championship team who plays at James Madison, University of Georgia’s LoraLie Cowart, an All-SEC Freshman team selection, and Thienna Huynh of Lilburn, half of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and the GSGA’s 2021 Junior Player of the Year.

Last year, Bae joined LPGA member Mariah Stackhouse as the only players to win the Georgia Women’s Am, the Georgia Women’s Match Play and the Georgia Girls Championship. Bae also added the Georgia Women’s Open title.

On Tuesday, Bae was named All-American by Golfweek magazine. She led the Bulldogs in almost every category, posting four top-10 finishes and seven top-20s in 11 events. She was runner-up at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional and tied for sixth at the NCAA Championship.

Lambert High to defend national title

The Lambert High School girls golf team will defend its title at the High School National Invitational at Pinehurst, N.C. The 54-hole event begins Monday and will be played on three of the resort’s courses.

The Longhorns won the title by 28 shots last year after finishing third in 2019. Lambert won the GHSA Class 7A championship by 29 shots last month.

Lambert is led by Sarah Im, who qualified for and competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. Im is skipping the Georgia Women’s Amateur, which she won in 2020, to represent her high school team.

Georgians in the U.S. Senior Open field

Billy Mitchell of Roswell, one of the state’s leading amateurs for years, is taking advantage of his exemption to play in this week’s U.S. Senior Open at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pa.

Mitchell, 58, is a personal trainer who has worked with Stewart Cink, Roberto Castro and Casey Wittenberg. He was the low amateur a year ago at Omaha Country Club and earned an automatic exemption.

Other Georgians in the field include PGA Tour Champions member Scott Parel of Augusta, PGA professional Tim Weinhart of the Heritage Golf Links in Tucker, and amateurs Jack Larkin of Atlanta, David Noll II of Dalton and Jack Hall of Sea Island. Noll and Weinhart are recent inductees into the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

More opportunities for APGA Tour players

The Advocates PGA Tour, which just completed a successful stop at TPC Sugarloaf, is starting a bonus program, funded by World Wide Technology, that will boost the income of the circuit’s top season-long performers.

The $20,000 bonus program will be distributed to the top five players based on the final Lexus Cup point standings after the Mastercard APGA Tour Championship in August. The top player will receive $7,500, and the top five will be taken to Mexico for the 2022 Mayakoba Championship’s Monday qualifier.