Local golf: Bae runs away with Georgia Women’s Amateur

Jenny Bae is doused with water after winning the 92nd Georgia Women's Amateur Championship at Coosa Country Club in Rome. (L-R) Caddie and longtime friend Amy Ng, UGA teammates Alison Crenshaw drench Bae, while Buford's Tess Davenport, who finished second, tries to avoid the water.
Caption
Jenny Bae is doused with water after winning the 92nd Georgia Women's Amateur Championship at Coosa Country Club in Rome. (L-R) Caddie and longtime friend Amy Ng, UGA teammates Alison Crenshaw drench Bae, while Buford's Tess Davenport, who finished second, tries to avoid the water.

Credit: Kate Awtrey

Credit: Kate Awtrey

Jenny Bae had some business to finish on the 18th green, but couldn’t help but notice her University of Georgia teammate Alison Crenshaw lurking near the cart path with a couple of bottles of water in her hands. Bae tried to block it out, but knew what was coming.

Minutes later, after Bae tapped in to win the 92nd Georgia Amateur Championship, Crenshaw and Bae’s caddie, lifelong friend Amy Ng, rushed the green and doused her with water. Bae walked to the award stand soggy but satisfied.

“It felt kind of cold, I have to admit, but it felt good,” Bae said. “I know (the water celebration) only comes to a winner and to someone who deserves it. And I worked very hard for it.”

Bae, a rising senior, dominated a good field during the 54-hole event at Coosa Country Club in Rome. A second-round 66 enabled her to start the day with a three-stroke lead, and she never wobbled on the final day, turning in a workmanlike 69 to finish at 205 to prevail by five shots.

“I didn’t really care about the leaderboard of whatever,” Bae said. “I just wanted to see how well I could shoot. Getting the trophy ... I feel satisfied.”

Bae, a native of Lawrenceville who attended Collins Hill High School, joined LPGA professional Mariah Stackhouse as the only player to win the Georgia Amateur, the Georgia Amateur Match Play and Georgia Girls’ Championship.

Vanderbilt’s Tess Davenport, a resident of Buford and graduate of Mill Creek High School, closed with a 72 and finished at 210. She and Bae, longtime friends and competitors from Gwinnett County, shared a cart and kept the mood light for most of the day.

Clemson’s Ivy Shepherd of Peachtree City and Katherine Cook of Thomasville, a Florida State signee, tied for third at 4-under 212.

Spectators watch as players tee off from the fourth hole during the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Sunday, June 27, 2021, at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)
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Spectators watch as players tee off from the fourth hole during the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Sunday, June 27, 2021, at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Athletic Club eager to host another major

The successful KPMG Women’s PGA Championship hosted last week by the Atlanta Athletic Club won’t be the last, if the club has its way.

“We would love to do it again,” said Steve Craine, who served with Ashley Adelman as co-chair of the event. “Our relationship with the PGA of America is so special, and I hope we can do it again. It would be great to host the women again or the seniors or the men, a Ryder Cup, whatever we can to keep the relationship going.”

The Women’s PGA Championship was the first major championship the club has hosted since the 2014 U.S. Amateur. The Athletic Club also hosted the PGA Championship in 1981, 2001 and 2011, the U.S. Open in 1976 and the U.S. Women’s Open in 1990.

AAC director of agronomy Lukus Harvey and his team drew raves for the condition of the course. The members did their part, too, by sticking to cart paths-only for the last two months. For the previous six weeks members and their guests carried around a piece of artificial turf when they played and played from the fairway and rough off the carpet to preserve the conditions.

“Everybody was complimentary, especially the people from the PGA of America,” Craine said. “I had a chance to play it on Friday before the championship and to see it up close and so perfect. … It was amazing.”

Georgia Tech’s Karaulic captures GCA event

Luka Karaulic, a rising junior at Georgia Tech, won the Golf Coaches Association Summer Series event at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn. Karaulic shot a 17-under 199 and won by 10 strokes. Teammate Andy Mao finished third. It’s been a good summer for Karaulic, who finished fifth in the GSA event in Raleigh, N.C.

Georgia's Alison Crenshaw during a practice round at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.
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Georgia's Alison Crenshaw during a practice round at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.

Credit: Steven Colquitt

Credit: Steven Colquitt

UGA’s Crenshaw wins on SE Collegiate Tour

University of Georgia senior Alison Crenshaw won the Southeastern Collegiate Golf Tour’s event at Cypress Lakes Country Club in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Crenshaw, a native of Suwanee who graduated from Lambert High School, finished at 12-over 225 to claim the win.

Biggins wins GHSA Adaptive Championship

Chris Biggins of Birmingham shot 69-63 to finish 12 under and win the GSGA Adaptive Golf Championship at Bobby Jones Golf Course. Biggins birdied four of his first six holes on the final day en route to his career-best score. Shea Taylor of Marietta was second at even par.

The women’s division was won by Deborah Smith of Western Springs, Ill., who beat Stacey Rice of Suwanee in a playoff. In the seated division, Billy Fryar of Bigelow, Ark., defended his 2019 title (the event was canceled in 2020) by two shots over Larry Celano of Chandler, Ariz.

Mitsubishi Classic raises $573K for local charities

The Mitsubishi Electric Classic raised and donated $572,798 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Specials Needs School of Gwinnett and other local charities following its eighth annual event. The tournament, conducted at TPC Sugarloaf, has donated more than $3 million to charity since its inception.

GSGA director emeritus Clarke dies at 91

GSGA director emeritus Pat Clarke died at age 91 at St. Simons Island. She was a longtime volunteer with the USGA and Women’s Western Golf Association. She served as general co-chair of the U.S. Senior Women’s Am when it was held at Sea Island in 2006 and captained the Georgia team that won the 2005 USGA Women’s State Team Championship.

Miscellaneous

Longtime GSGA volunteer John Glenn died at 84. The Thomasville resident and Glen Arven Country Club member served on the board of directors and the executive committee. Glenn was presented the association’s Bill Todd Award, its top honor for volunteers, in 2019. … UGA’s Isabella Holpfer finished second at the Salzburg Women’s Open and teammate Caterina Don finished 13th at the Italian Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship. … Georgia Tech grad Luke Schniederjans finished third in the Forme Tour’s L&J Golf Championship at Jennings Mill. Schniederjans missed the playoff by one shot.