Local golf: Owens dominates, repeats at Top 60 Classic

Kate Owens of Suwanee, who plays at James Madison University, won the Women's Top 60 Classic for the second straight time.
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Kate Owens of Suwanee, who plays at James Madison University, won the Women's Top 60 Classic for the second straight time.

Credit: Savannah Bressman, Georgia State Golf Association

Credit: Savannah Bressman, Georgia State Golf Association

Kate Owens of Suwanee, a junior who plays at James Madison, walked away with an eight-shot win at the Top 60 Women’s Classic at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville. It was her second consecutive victory in the event, which was canceled in 2020.

Owens had rounds of 68-70-138 to lap the field. University of Georgia’s Caroline Craig of Sautee Nacoochee shot 72-74-146 and finished in second place, eight shots back.

“It was probably the easier 68 I’ve ever shot in my life,” Owens said. “I was hitting it close to the pin. That was fun not to put a lot of pressure on my putting.”

Sarah Gallagher of Canton was third at 5 over. Christyn Carr of Duluth, who plays at North Carolina A&T, and Payton Schanen of Woodstock, who plays at Mercer, tied for fourth at 6 over.

University of Georgia's Trent Phillips went 2-1-1 at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup and helped the United States team win the competition.
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University of Georgia's Trent Phillips went 2-1-1 at the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup and helped the United States team win the competition.

Credit: Photo courtesy University of Georgia

Credit: Photo courtesy University of Georgia

UGA’s Phillips helps United States win Palmer Cup

University of Georgia senior Trent Phillips went 2-1-1 to help Team USA win the Arnold Palmer Cup at Rich Harvest Farms outside Chicago. The U.S. team defeated the International team 33-27 in a Ryder Cup-style competition that includes male and female college players. It was the first victory for the U.S. since 2018.

Phillips defeated Adrien Dumont de Chassart of Belgium, who plays for Illinois, 4 and 3 on Sunday.

He teamed with LSU’s Latanna Stone for a 5 and 4 win over Penny Brown of Scotland and Allan Hill of Ireland in mixed foursomes. Phillips and Stone halved a match against Puwit Anupansuebsai and Virunpat Olankitkunchai of Thailand. Phillips and Nick Gabrelcik of North Florida lost 3 and 1 to Bo Jin of China and Joseph Pagdin of England.

Koch new director of instruction at Athletic Club

Shawn Koch is the new director of instruction at the Atlanta Athletic Club. He replaces Chan Reeves, who left this spring to join the staff at the Sea Island Golf Performance Center.

Koch has spent the past 17 years as the PGA director of instruction at The Country Club of the South. He has worked with students of all levels, including those who play professionally.

Koch was the 2016 Georgia PGA Teaching Professional of the Year and the 2019 Georgia PGA Horton Smith Award winner for contributions to professional education.

Seven earn place in U.S. Junior Am

Myles Jones of Suwanee and Australian Adam Brady shared medalist honors in the second qualifier for the U.S. Junior Amateur. They both shot a 4-under 67 at the University of Georgia Golf Course and claimed a spot in the championship, July 19-24 at The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.

Ethan Gao of Alpharetta, Carter Loflin of Duluth and Parker Bell of Tallahassee, Fla., tied for third with 68s. Ward Harris of Vestavia Hills and Spencer Turtz of Charlotte shot 70 and nabbed the final two spots, beating Canton’s Connor Macmillan in a playoff. Jack Schoenberger of Alpharetta shot 72 and will be the second alternate.

Georgia’s best juniors take the stage

Many of Georgia’s top 18-and-younger golfers will be in Valdosta next week for the state’s premier junior competition. The 56th Georgia Junior will be played at Kinderlou Forest, and the 40th Georgia Girls’ Championship will be contested at Valdosta Country Club. The 54-hole tournaments will start Monday. Both events were canceled in 2020.

Brock Hoover of Woodstock won the 2019 championship at Augusta Country Club. He now is a member of the Augusta University golf team. LoraLie Cowart of Carrollton won the girls title at Savannah Quarters in Pooler. She will play for the University of Georgia this fall.

Athletic Club hosts KPMG junior clinic

Twelve-time LPGA winner Katherine Kirk will conduct a junior golf clinic Monday to kick off the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship activities at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The clinic will have 150 representatives from a variety of junior organizations and local programs.