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Georgia - Florida Women's Team Matches
11 Aug 2009
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. – Team Georgia lost to their Floridian counterparts, 29 1/2 - 24 1/2, at the 29th annual Georgia-Florida Women’s Team Matches, which took place at The Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill, August 10-11. Florida, who faced a two-point deficit entering the final day, claimed wins in seven of Tuesday’s twelve singles matches. The Nassau scoring format awards one point to the winner of each nine and one point for the overall match, with a half-point for any ties.

Florida got things started early, tallying five quick points in the two opening matches. North Port’s Gennifer Mendez defeated Kathryn Fowler of Americus, 2 and 1, and Mary Jane Hiestand of Naples beat Bonaire’s Lacey Fears, 7 and 6. The Peach State answered, however, with decisive victories from Lauren Darnell of Gainesville and Valdosta’s Dori Carter. Darnell defeated Kaitlyn Price of Jacksonville Beach, 5 and 4, while Carter ousted Tovie St. Louis of Royal Palm Beach, 4 and 3.

The Sunshine State made its move over the next five matches though – dropping only a half point to Team Georgia and collecting 14 1/2. Lakeland’s Melanie Audette defeated Kendall Wright of Suwanee, 5 and 4, to retake the lead from Georgia as North Port’s Nancy Smith, who defeated Marietta’s Brenda Pictor, and Taffy Bower of Boynton Beach, who defeated Ginette Spinucci of Stone Mountain, captured both of the senior matches. Kelsey Gibson of Thonotosassa and Tama Caldabaugh closed out Georgia by sweeping the three points in each of their matches against Braselton’s Abby Johnson and Leesburg’s Abby Fitzgerald.

Georgia, in the final three matches, was able to keep things close by winning two and halving the other. Alei Mitchell of Waycross halved her match, as well as the points, in her match with Orange Park’s Rhonda Ferguson. Kaley Branton of Cartersville swept three points from Carrie Rowe of St. Augustine, via a 3 and 1 victory, and Anna Leigh Keith of Moultrie tallied two points for Georgia in a defeat of Bradenton’s Wendi Golden.

Florida’s victory marks the second consecutive win for the Sunshine State at the Women’s Team Matches and their first win on foreign soil since 1997. This was the 29th playing of the Georgia-Florida Women's Team Matches, which brings together the top women amateur golfers in the two neighboring states. Team members are selected by their state associations based on their performance in recent events. Florida now leads the all-time series 16-13.

Founded in 1916, the Georgia State Golf Association (GSGA) received its official charter on June 24, 1924. Since that date, the GSGA has grown to one of the largest state amateur golf associations in the country, with over 355 member clubs and 85,000 individual members. With a mission to promote and preserve amateur golf in the state of Georgia, GSGA offers a computerized handicapping service, course rating and measuring, and annually conducts a full schedule of statewide competitions for men and women of all age groups. Other services include a summer-long junior sectional program, award-winning Golf Georgia magazine, membership recognition and rewards programs and a charitable foundation administering two college scholarship programs.

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29th Annual Georgia-Florida Women’s Team Matches The Ford Plantation Richmond Hill, Georgia August 10-11, 2009

Final Results Nassau Format

Final Points: Florida 29 1/2, Georgia 24 1/2

Second Round Points: Florida 21 1/2, Georgia 14 1/2 (Singles Matches) Gennifer Mendez, North Port (Fla.) def. Kathryn Fowler, Americus (Ga.), 2 and 1 FL – 2, GA – 1

Mary Jane Hiestand, Naples (Fla.) def. Lacey Fears, Bonaire (Ga.), 7 and 6 FL – 3, GA – 0

Lauren Darnell, Gainesville (Ga.) def. Kaitlyn Price, Jacksonville Beach (Fla.), 5 and 4 GA – 3, FL – 0

Dori Carter, Valdosta (Ga.) def. Tovie St. Louis, Royal Palm Beach (Fla.), 4 and 3 GA – 3, FL – 0

Melanie Audette, Lakeland (Fla.) def. Kendall Wright, Suwanee (Ga.), 5 and 4 FL – 3, GA – 0

Nancy Smith, North Port (Fla.) def. Ginette Spinucci, Stone Mountain (Ga.), 3 and 2 FL – 2 1/2, GA – 1/2

Taffy Bower, Boynton Beach (Fla) def. Brenda Pictor, Marietta (Ga.), 5 and 4 FL – 3, GA – 0

Kelsey Gibson, Thonotosassa (Fla.) def. Abby Johnson, Braselton (Ga.), 2 and 1 FL – 3, GA – 0

Tama Caldabaugh, Ponte Vedra Beach (Fla.) def. Abby Fitzgerald, Leesburg (Ga.), 2 and 1 FL – 3, GA – 0

Alei Mitchell, Waycross (Ga.) vs. Rhonda Ferguson, Orange Park (Fla.), All Square GA – 1 1/2, FL – 1 1/2

Kaley Branton, Cartersville (Ga.) def. Carrie Rowe, St. Augustine (Fla.), 3 and 1 GA – 3, FL – 0

Anna Leigh Keith, Moultrie (Ga.) def. Wendi Golden, Bradenton (Fla.), 4 and 2 GA – 2 1/2, FL – 1/2

First Round Points: Georgia 10, Florida 8 (Four-Ball Matches) Johnson & Wright (GA) def. Ferguson & Hiestand (FL), 1 up GA – 2, FL – 1

Mitchell & Branton (GA) def. Golden & Price (FL), 1 up GA – 2 1/2, FL – 1/2

Bower & Smith (FL) def. Pictor & Spinucci (GA), 1 up FL – 2 1/2, GA – 1/2

Carter & Darnell (GA) def. Mendez & Gibson (FL), 4 and 3 GA – 2 1/2, FL – 1/2

Keith & Fears, Bonaire (GA) def. Caldabaugh & Audette (FL), 3 and 2 GA – 2 1/2, FL – 1/2

Rowe & St. Louis (FL) def. Fowler & Fitzgerald (GA), 4 and 2 FL – 3, GA – 0

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