Carolinas Women's Amateur Championship: Sloup Wins Her First
Champion Ashley Sloup (CGA Photo)
Champion Ashley Sloup (CGA Photo)

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (May 18, 2016) -- Rounds of 75-74-73 gave Ashley Sloup of Southport, N.C.a three shot victory at The Reserve Club Ashley Sloup came up short of victory at last year's championship held at Treyburn Country Club. Playing in the final grouping, the Southport, N.C. native would card a 79 and finish T-5.

On Wednesday at The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island, Sloup found redemption. Starting with a one shot lead over 2014 runner-up Bailey Cocca, Sloup's final round 73 was enough to claim her first CGA championship with a three shot victory.

A dramatic day began on the first hole when Carley Cox rattled her approach shot off the flagstick for a tap-in birdie. That tied the China Grove, N.C. native with Cocca, one shot back of the lead. Sloup responded on the next hole, knocking her approach shot to within a foot for a birdie to extend her lead to two shots. Cocca joined the red numbers with a birdie of her own on the par-3 third hole.

When an errant tee shot on the par-4 6th led to a Sloup bogey, Cocca and Sloup were tied for the championship. It would become a two woman race as Cox made four bogeys and a double bogey on the front nine to drop from contention.

Sloup, a rising junior at Winthrop University, played The Reserve Club's front nine in even par. Cocca, a recent Coastal Carolina graduate, made the turn one-under. A birdie on the tenth hole put Cocca in the lead. "I was thinking, 'This girl is playing good'," said Sloup. "So I knew I was going to have to step it up on the back nine to win."

Cocca's power off the tee resulted in closer approach shots, but it was Sloup's short game that won the championship.

A mishit chip by Cocca on the par-3 12th led to a double bogey. Facing a two-shot deficit, Cocca then pulled her tee shot on the short par-4 16th in the woods, leading to another double bogey. Sloup made just two bogeys on her one-over round and avoid making a single double bogey over 54 holes of play. "I tried to use good course management, fairways and greens," said 20-year-old Sloup.

When Sloup hits a shot, her head will stay down seconds after the ball leaves the clubface. As she explained, "I try to keep my head down and listen to it go in the hole, as my [Winthrop] coach Jodi Wendt says." That head-down, focused mentality helped Sloup make 15 pars Wednesday en route to victory. "This is definitely my biggest win. It feels really good."

2015 North Carolina Senior Women's Kim Briele of New Bern, N.C. won low senior honors (women 50+) in the Championship Division, posting 80 each day for a three-day total of 240 (24-over-par). In the Carolinas Division, Sook Hee Yang was the low senior at 241. The Jamestown, N.C. native won the Carolinas Division at the North Carolina Senior Women's Championship in April. A three-day total of 246 gave Suzanne Moro of Myrtle Beach, S.C. won low super senior (65+) in the Carolinas Division.

Wednesday's low round of 70 was shot by Reona Hirai of Summerville, S.C. to finish third and Ashley Thompson of Clyde, N.C., who finished T-8. Defending champion Katie Kirk of Greenville, N.C. played the front nine today in two-under 34. Her championship total of 240 tied for 21st.

ABOUT THE Carolinas Women's Amateur

The championship is conducted at 54 holes of stroke play (no cut). All players, regardless of Handicap Index, have the option to play in the Championship Division or the Carolinas Division. The Overall Champion will be determined from the contestants playing in the Championship Division. Awards will also be given for the low senior in the Championship and Carolinas divisions (age 50-64), the low Super Senior in the Carolinas Division (ages 65 and older), and the medalist in the Championship Division (low score after 36 holes).

Entry is open to any female amateur golfer who has reached her 13th birthday by the first day of the championship, is a legal resident of North Carolina or South Carolina, is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association and has an active USGA Handicap Index at a CGA member club that does not exceed 40.4.

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