Coble defends Georgia Women's Match Play Title

CARROLLTON, Ga. (April 16, 2010) – Laura Coble of Augusta lost the first hole of the day before battling back to defeat Alpharetta’s Amira Alexander for her eighth-career victory at the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship, which took place April 14-16 at Sunset Hills Country Club. Coble, who tallied five consecutive victories from 2001 to 2005, had played the back-nine at a two-under clip before closing out Alexander with a par on the 182-yard, par-3 15th hole. Alexander, 16, opened up a quick lead in the Championship’s final match as Coble made bogey on at hole number one. Coble squared the match up after Alexander recorded a three-putt bogey on the par-3 fourth and took a short-lived lead after a birdie at number five. Back-to-back bogeys by Coble at holes six and seven allowed Alexander to jump back into the lead before Coble sank a 25-foot, downhill birdie putt on the ninth hole. “That really was the turning point in the match for me,” Coble said afterward. “[Alexander] is a tremendous player and I could have let things get away from me at that point.” Heading to the inward nine with the match all square, Coble landed her approach to the tenth green a foot and a half from the hole. Connecting on that birdie, she never looked back. Coble posted another birdie on the 323-yard twelfth and won holes 14 and 15 with pars to close the match out with a 4 and 3 victory. This victory marks Coble’s second victory in as many years and the eighth of her career. Her road to the finals began by first defeating Ellen Dempsey of Saint Simons Island, 6 and 4. She then topped Marietta’s Brenda Pictor, the reigning GSGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, in the semifinals, 2 and 1. Alexander opened the championship with a dominating win over Ellen Connors of Sharpsburg, 6 and 5, before besting Mary Riley of Perry, 4 and 3, in the semifinals. Other flight winners: Jodie Shepard of Newnan defeated Lisa Vicknair-Rush of Macon, 6 and 5, in the first flight; Kathleen’s Sissi Gann won over Dorothy Beckler of Mableton after 20 holes in the second flight; Macon’s Jirapon Carlson topped Jean Franks of Peachtree City, 3 and 2, in the third flight; and Fran Coody of Perry posted a 5 and 4 victory over Carrollton’s Joyce Doss, in the fifth flight. This was the 13th playing of the Georgia Women’s Match Play Championship, which has been held at Sunset Hills Country Club each year. Entries were open to female amateur golfers who are Georgia residents and members of a GSGA member club. The field consisted of the low 40 entrants, who were divided into five flights and seeded by handicap index. 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 350 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.

ABOUT THE Georgia Women's Match Play

Open to female amateur golfers in two separate divisions - Championship and Senior Women's Championship (for those age 50 and older as of the first day of the competition)

Maximum field size of 84 players - low 42 players chosen by handicap index for Women's Match Play Championship qualifying and 42 players for the Senior Women's Match Play Championship qualifying; if a division doesn't fill, more players may be added to the other division for stroke play qualifying and additional match play flights

36 holes of stroke play qualifying followed by match play for the low 32 players; the low 16 qualifying scores will comprise the Championship Flight; the remaining 16 players that make the cut will be seeded into a Tournament Flight based on qualifying scores.

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