Local players struggle at U.S. Girls qualifier
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
July 01, 2014 11:58 PM | 1111 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local golfers Madison Barnett, Lizzie Reedy and Autumn Gabe participated in a U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Qualifying tournament on Monday.

Although none of the players advanced from the one-day, 18-hole event at Cartersville Country Club, they each got a chance to showcase their skills and work on improving their game heading into next season.

The top six golfers automatically qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship, which will be held at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., July 21-26. Two alternates were also determined.

Alpharetta resident Sabrina Long took home medalist honors after carding a 3-under-par 69 over the 6,306-yard course. Bailey Tardy of Norcross finished second at even-par 72, while Annie Swords of Newnan placed third at 1-over 73.

Barnett was the highest local finisher among the group. The rising Whitefield Academy junior tied for 21st after firing an 8-over-par 80. She struggled throughout the day totaling eight bogeys and no birdies. Barnett made the turn at 5-over after consecutive bogeys on the par-4 8th and par-5 9th. She cruised through her first four holes on the back nine, but got into some trouble heading back to the clubhouse and bogeyed three of her final five holes, including the par-5 18th.

Reedy also had a sub-par outing, but she managed to put forth a strong effort on a few holes. The rising Pope sophomore carded an 11-over-par 83 and tied for 27th overall. She found little success early on with bogeys on four of her first five holes and complicated matters even further with a double-bogey on the par-5 6th.

Reedy steadied herself shortly after the miscue with a par on No. 7 and responded once again with an eagle on No. 8.

“That was the first eagle I ever had on a par-4,” Reedy said.

A bogey on No. 9 left Reedy 5-over at the turn and a birdie at the par-4 10th positioned her near the top of the leaderboard. Her stay didn’t last long, however. Reedy bogeyed No. 11 and double-bogeyed Nos. 12 and 13 to drop down the leaderboard. She sandwiched four pars around a double-bogey to finish.

Reedy wasn’t pleased with her less-than-stellar outing.

“That wasn’t my best round, for sure, so I’m disappointed with myself,” said Reedy, who is going through a swing change this offseason. “That’s the longest course I’ve ever played and took some time getting around it. It was a good course, though. It was maintained well. It had a lot of rain (Sunday) night and it rained a little during the tournament too. I saw some lightning, but we didn’t get called off the course.”

Reedy is chalking the event up as a learning experience and one that will make her a better golfer in the future.

“I wasn’t close enough on (the approach shots) to get birdies and that hurt me,” she said. “It was a tough field, but the more I play against good competition will only help elevate my game and make me better.

“I look forward to playing in this next year. It was great practice for me.”

Gabe, a rising junior at Walton, shot a 94.

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