Kelli Murphy and Reona Hirai
SOUTHERN PINES, NC (May 24, 2017) - Auburn University rising senior Kelli Murphy and Furman University rising sophomore Reona Hirai finished 5-under-par 66 to claim the championship division of the 40th Carolinas Women's Four-Ball. The championship was reduced to an 18-hole format after inclement weather canceled the first round.
Hirai, a native of Summerville, S.C. captured her first CGA title. Murphy, a native of Elgin, S.C. claimed her fifth, her first since 2014, when she won both the Carolinas Young Amateur and Vicki DiSantis Junior Girls'.
"We were able to work really well together," said Murphy. "We grew up playing junior golf together since we were about eight, so our games fit really well. We don't get to play in many college tournaments together so it was a really good opportunity."
his was the first time that the Murphy/Hirai duo had played together since their junior golf days in South Carolina, so the pair came out with an "all-or-nothing" mentality. In total, they posted five birdies, including four in a six hole span on the front nine. "We had a goal set for ourselves," said Hirai. "We were just trying to get as many birdies as we could and make as much use of the opportunities that we were able to get."
Lea Venable of Simpsonville, S.C. and Kayla Thompson of Whiteville, N.C. finished alone in second, just one-stroke behind Murphy/Hirai at four-under 67.
In the Senior Division, Angela Stewart of Greensville, N.C. and Pat Brogden of Garner, N.C. claimed victory after a playoff with two teams: defending senior division champs Patty Moore of Charlotte, N.C. and Kim Briele of New Bern, N.C., and Janis Romeo-Dinschel, Charlotte, N.C. and Laura Quillin, Charlotte, N.C. The trio of teams were tied atop the leaderboard after 18-holes after carding 2-under 69.
Stewart made two clutch birdies to help seal the win. A birdie on their last hole, the par-4 14th, sent them to the playoff. Then, on the third playoff hole, she drained an eight-foot birdie to seal the win. In the first two holes of the playoff, Stewart struggled with the short approach shot on the 300-yard par-4 18th. A change to her three-wood gave her the ability for a full wedge shot. "I was able to place [the ball] where I wanted too, so we could have a good opportunity for birdie," said Stewart.
"Normally I ride Pat, but today I helped her out a bit."
"That is as close as we have ever played," Brogden said. "We needed every stroke of it."
With the win, Brogden claims her 12th CGA title, while Stewart claimed her second.
The overall champion and the senior champion teams automatically qualify for the 2017 Carolinas Team that will compete in the Carolinas-Virginias Women's Team Matches on July 17-19, 2017 at Spring Creek Golf Club in Gordonsville, VA.View results for Carolinas Women's Four-Ball
ABOUT THE Carolinas Women's Four-Ball
Best-ball event run by the Carolinas Golf
Association. Teams of two women compete over
36 holes of best-ball style play. Must be a
member of the CGA.
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