Luckily, a friend of hers had.
“I was warming up, hitting chips (Tuesday) with my friend, and she goes, ‘Oh, yeah, so you know this one hole,’ and I said I’d never played that hole,” Kurey said. “She was like, ‘Oh, you need to know this course, then.’”
On Thursday, after two nights of studying her yardage book, the 17-year-old Alpharetta resident and rising Centennial High School senior separated herself from the field with a final-round 71 to finish 4 under and win the Top 60 Women’s Classic.
Kurey was three shots clear of the runner-up, Mary Alice Murphy of Lookout Mountain. Kurey made 15 pars Thursday and posted two back-nine birdies to become the only player in the tournament with consecutive rounds under par.
“On some holes, I didn’t take driver off the tee and just tried to play the middle of the greens, and my putting saved me a lot,” Kurey said. “I had a lot of confidence with my putting.”
First-round leader Kathryn Fowler, of Americus, played her back nine 3-over par to drop out of contention as her playing partner, Kurey, made her move in the final holes. Fowler finished in a tie for sixth with a two-round 145.
After a 70 on her home course in the first round left her in the top five, Smyrna’s Jen King bookended her second round with double bogeys. She held steady otherwise, finishing in a tie for third at even-par 144.
“I four-putted the first green, and it was just stupid, and maybe part of it was nerves, but maybe it kicked me into gear,” King said. “I was thinking it was going to go one of two ways (from there). Like, I could just blow up, but I’m really going to focus and concentrate.”
King settled into a rhythm over the next 16 holes, jumping back under par with birdies on the fifth and sixth holes and narrowly missing a putt for a third straight birdie on the par-5 seventh. Then, on her final hole, the par-3 ninth, she misplayed her second shot from the bunker and could not limit the damage, two-putting for double bogey.
“It was a bummer to finish that way, but overall I’m happy with how I played,” King said. “I think this is the best tournament I’ve ever had.”
Kennesaw State’s Ket Preamchuen shot a 4-over 76 to finish tied for 14th in her final competitive action of the summer before leaving to visit her home in Thailand for the first time in three years. Incoming Kennesaw State freshman Brittany Jarrett carded a final-round 81 to finish tied for 23rd.
Former Harrison High School standout Sydney Conrad, now at Troy University, shot a two-day 154 to place 20th overall and third in her flight of the tournament. Conrad recovered from a shaky double bogey-bogey start to her round to shoot even-par on the back nine and end her tournament on a positive note.
“Off the tee, I’ve struggled for the past two days, but I’m going to get back out there and work on it before the U.S. Amateur qualifier,” Conrad said.
Conrad will vie for a spot in the U.S. Women’s Amateur through a July 9 qualifier in Stockbridge. She will be joined there by recent Whitefield Academy graduate Colleen Panosian and Kennesaw State’s Kaew Preamchuen, the younger sister of Ket.
Marietta’s Brenda Pictor shot her second 78 to land in a tie for 25th, the lowest finish in her last four appearances at the Top 60 Women’s Classic.
Panosian also wrapped her two rounds Thursday, but a bogey-riddled round dropped her far down the leaderboard. Marietta’s Marilyn Nolan-Johnson and Sydney Dunning also struggled.