Local golf: Georgia Tech’s steady Andy Mao wins Southeastern Amateur

Credit: Special photo

Credit: Special photo

Georgia Tech’s Andy Mao continued his strong play this summer by winning the 93rd Southeastern Amateur at the Country Club of Columbus.

Mao, a rising senior from Johns Creek, shot a 68 on the final day to finish at 14-under 196 and held off Carrollton’s Tyler Lipscomb, a senior at the University of Alabama, who closed with a 63 and came up two shots short.

Mao began the tournament with 34 bogey-free holes. He put away the win on the final days with birdies on four of the first 14 holes. That gave him enough room to survive a pair of bogeys on the last four holes.

Earlier this summer, Mao lost a playoff to teammate Aidan Kramer at the Rice Planters Amateur. He finished as the second alternate at both the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open qualifiers.

Mao becomes the seventh Tech golfer to win the Southeastern, a list that includes Georgia Golf Hall of Fame members Watts Gunn and Tommy Barnes and current Yellow Jacket Connor Howe.

Jackson Buchanan of Dacula, who plays at Illinois, was third at 10-under 200. Hogan Ingram of Rome, who plays at Georgia Southwestern, was ninth at 6-under 204.

Credit: East Lake Foundation

Credit: East Lake Foundation

Duo chosen for Tour Championship’s HOPE Tee Shot

Haven Ward and Ethan Quitman were selected from First Tee-Metro Atlanta to hit the opening tee shots to start the Tour Championship next month at East Lake Golf Club.

Ward, 17, and Quitman, 16, were selected after a process that included a golf competition, essay and personal interview. Not only will they strike the ceremonial first tee shot at 11:15 a.m. Aug. 25, each will receive a $5,000 HOPE Tee Shot Scholarship.

Ward will be a senior at Holy Innocents’ this fall. She has been a member of First Tee for 11 years and last fall was chosen to compete in the PGA Tour Champions’ Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach.

Quitman, who will be a junior at Southwest DeKalb, only started to play when he was 13. He joined First Tee in 2020. Quitman also taught himself to play the piano and participates in martial arts.

“The HOPE Tee Shot has become a cherished tradition of the Tour Championship and one of the most exciting and emotional moments of tournament week,” said Alex Urban, executive director of the Tour Championship. “While their moment on the first tee at East Lake is one they will never forget, we wanted to ensure our support stretched beyond that one swing.”

Two advance to U.S. Junior match-play portion

William Love of Atlanta, recent winner of the Georgia Amateur, and Aidan Cohl of Cumming were the only Georgians who advanced to match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes, Ore.

Love shot 72-70 and tied for 35th in the stroke-play portion of the tournament. Cohl shot 73-70 and tied for 48th.

Parker Claxton of Claxton shot 2 over and missed getting in a playoff for the final match-play spot by one shot. Ryan Davidson of Gainesville, Will Jones of Duluth, Billy Abdow of Duluth and Pierce Adamson of Atlanta failed to move on.

The match-play competition began Wednesday, and the 36-hole championship match is Saturday.

Georgia wins Women’s Southeastern Challenge Cup

A 12-player team from Georgia bested Alabama and Florida to win the fifth Women’s Southeastern Challenge Match at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear, Ala.

Georgia finished with 26.5 points, with Florida next at 20.5 and Alabama at 16. The tournament used a series of four-ball, foursomes and singles matches.

Members of the Georgia team were Jenny Bae, Padgett Chitty, Mary Miller, Abby Newton, Kate Owens, Kate Song, Rory Weinfurther and Sarah Gallagher, with seniors Laura Coble, Brenda Pictor, Ellen MacArthur and Shelly White.


Kayla Holden of the University of Tennessee closed with a 70 to finish at 8-under 208 and win the Sea Island Women’s Amateur. Laney Frye of the University of Kentucky and defending champion Hannah Levi of Mississippi State finished two shots back. … Cathy Walch of Buford finished eighth, and Stacey Rice of Suwanee finished 12th at the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open at the Pinehurst Resort.