Local golf: Three Jackets lead strong group of Georgians at 122nd U.S. Amateur

Three Georgia Tech players lead the state’s contingent at the 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship, which begins Monday at The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.

Tech has three representatives – Ross Steelman, who reached the quarterfinal round of last year’s U.S. Am, Bartley Forrester of Gainesville, who won the local qualifier at The Standard Club, and South African Christo Lamprecht, who received an exemption based on being ranked No. 46 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The Yellow Jackets recently have enjoyed a strong presence in the event, with Tyler Strafaci winning in 2020 and Andy Ogletree winning in 2019.

The University of Georgia’s banner will be carried by Nicolas Cassidy of Johns Creek and Caleb Manuel, the program’s latest transfer from Connecticut. Two Georgia Southern players are in the field: Ben Carr of Columbus and Brantley Baker of Leesburg.

Other Georgians in the field are David Ford of Peachtree Corners, who plays at North Carolina; JonErik Alford of Roswell, who plays at Ohio State; Jay Spivey of Macon, who plays at Mercer; Will Baker of Statham, who will play for Clemson in the fall; Steve Kibare of Canton, who plays at Dalton State; Deven Patel of Johns Creek, who plays at Virginia; and Myles Jones of Suwanee, who plays at North Georgia.

After 36 holes of stroke play, the field will be reduced to the low 64 scorers. The championship will conclude with a 36-hole final Aug. 21.

Sara Im advances in U.S. Women’s Amateur

Sara Im was the lone Georgian to advance to the match-play round of the 122nd U.S. Women’s Amateur at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.

Im, a senior at Lambert High School, shot rounds of 73-72 in the qualifying rounds and tied for 21st. Im, who committed to Vanderbilt, reached the semifinal of the U.S. Girls Junior in July.

Kate Barber of Savannah and Thienna Huynh of Lilburn did not make the cut.

Credit: PGA

Credit: PGA

Ethan Gao takes second at Boys Junior PGA Championship

Ethan Gao of Atlanta finished second at the Boys Junior PGA Championship at Cog Hill Golf Club outside Chicago. Gao, who committed to Stanford, used a second-round 65 to finish at 11-under 277, five shots behind Max Herendeen of Washington.

Aidan Cohl of Cumming was the only other Georgian to make the cut. He shot a 6-over 295 and tied for 25th.

The top local finisher in the Girls Junior PGA Championship was Rome’s Thanana Kotchasanmanee, who tied for fourth at 8-under 280. Reagan Southerland of Atlanta tied for 11th at 3-under 285, and Sara Im of Duluth tied for 18th at 2 over.

Credit: USGA Museum

Credit: USGA Museum

Ellen Weaver reaches second round in Senior Women’s Am

Ellen Weaver of Alpharetta reached the second round of the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Anchorage Golf Club, the first USGA event conducted in Alaska.

Weaver shot qualifying rounds of 78-83 and tied for 52nd at 17-over 161. She was the only Georgian to reach match play.

Weaver outlasted Laura Webb of Northern Ireland in 19 holes in the first round. She was eliminated 6 and 5 in the round of 32 by Julie Harrison of Baton Rouge, La.



Tech’s Ross Steelman medals at Western Am

Georgia Tech’s Ross Steelman was medalist at the 120th Western Amateur and reached the quarterfinals of one of the nation’s oldest tournaments.

Competitors played 72 holes of stroke play, with the top 16 advancing to the match-play portion. Steelman had rounds of 72-64-66-68 to finish at 14-under 270, two shots ahead of Belgium’s Matthis Besard, who plays at Southern Illinois.

In match play, Steelman defeated Belgium’s Adrien Dumont de Chassart of the University of Illinois 5 and 4, but he lost 2 and 1 to Travis Vick of the University of Texas.

Credit: Georgia State Golf Association

Credit: Georgia State Golf Association

Nick Cassini overwhelms field at Georgia Match Play

Former Georgia Bulldog standout Nick Cassini of Duluth defeated Franco Castro of Smyrna 3 and 1 to win the 103rd Georgia Match Play Championship at the McLemore Club in Rising Fawn.

Castro won the first hole, but Cassini won four of the next five to take command. Cassini was 5 up through 10 and closed the match on the 17th.

Cassini, a member of UGA’s 1999 national championship team, defeated Blake Farbman of Alpharetta 5 and 4 in the quarterfinal and defeated Tevin Upton of Dallas 4 and 3 in the semifinal.

Castro beat Jack Vajda of Canton 5 and 3 in the quarterfinals and Matthew Larkin of Atlanta 1 up in the semifinal.

Credit: Georgia State Golf A

Credit: Georgia State Golf A

Clutch birdie wins Women’s Match Play title for Jo Hua Hung

Jo Hua Hung, a super senior at the University of Georgia, made a clutch putt on the 18th hole to beat Kate Song of Alpharetta and win the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship at Old Toccoa Farm.

Neither golfer led by more than one hole, and the match was all-square through 15. Song went 1-up with a birdie at No. 16, but Hung matched it with a birdie at 17 and won it with a birdie at No. 18.

Hung finished fourth in the stroke-play qualifying. She defeated Jirapon Carlson of Macon 5 and 4 in the first round, beat Abigail Bolt of Canton 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals and ousted defending champion Padgett Chitty of Valdosta 2 and 1 in the semifinal.

Song, who plays at Mercer, defeated Morgan Ellison of Peachtree City 4 and 3 to reach the final match.

Credit: Georgia State Golf Association

Credit: Georgia State Golf Association

Don Marsh prevails at Georgia Super Senior

Don Marsh of Johns Creek defeated Ernie Venet of Moultrie in a three-hole playoff to win the Georgia Super Senior Championship at Sky Valley Country Club. Marsh shot 76-70 to catch Venet, who had rounds of 73-73.

Jack Kearney of Peachtree City finished third at 4-over 148. Tied for fourth place at 5-over 149 were Jay Burns of Fayetteville, Phil Pavoni of Macon, Dave Nichols of Roswell and Larry Vaughan of Greensboro.

Georgia juniors prevail in Challenge Match

Team Georgia prevailed in the 47th Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match at The Ford Field and River Club. Georgia had 10 points in the team format and scored a four-point win.

Georgia team members were Jack Darke of Cumming, Kai Marko of Roswell, Pate Stansell of Columbus, Thomas Reininger of Fayetteville, Glover Amick of Atlanta, Anthony Purcea of Buford, Rahul Rajendran of Alpharetta and Brycen Jones of Thomasville.


Bear’s Best in Suwanee will celebrate its 20th anniversary tournament Friday. The scramble helps benefit local charities including First Tee of Metro Atlanta. Bear’s Best is an upscale public facility that features a series of replica holes created by Jack Nicklaus. … Georgia’s Isabella Holpfer came up one shot short of earning a qualifying spot in the AIG Women’s British Open in Scotland. ... Tickets are on sale for the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Oct. 7, at Atlanta Athletic Club. Members of the Class of 2022 are longtime PGA professional at Augusta Country Club Tommy Brannen, two-time UGA All-American and LPGA member Terri Moody Hancock, longtime Georgia Tech men’s golf coach Bruce Heppler and successful player, teacher and coach William Lewis.