Winning the Carolina Women's Am is a family business for Rachel Kuehn
(Carolinas Golf Association photo)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (June 4, 2017) -- Brenda Corrie Kuehn won her second Carolinas Women's Amateur Championship in 2001 while eight months pregnant with her daughter, Rachel Kuehn. Sunday, six days before her 16th birthday, Rachel followed in her mother's footsteps, shooting the tournament low of three-under 69 en route to her first CGA victory. Overall, she finished the three-day championship at Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, N.C. at one-over par 217, one shot ahead of four players.
Last month, Rachel Kuehn led in the final round of the Vicki DiSantis Junior Girls' Championship, but fell short of victory. Facing a four-shot deficit heading into the final round Sunday, her mentality was to not worry about how she would finish, but to have fun. "Today, it was less focusing on the score and what position I was going to finish in, just focusing on how well I was playing," said Kuehn.
On Sunday's final nine holes, Kuehn emerged from a pack of nine golfers within two shots of the lead. A 40-foot putt on the par-3 11th notched one of five birdies. Her most notable birdie came on her last hole, the par-5 17th, where she faced a 15-foot downhill left-to-right putt. That type of putt has been Kuehn's recent nemesis, but she rolled this one in, ultimately giving her the victory.
Kuehn, a rising junior in high school, defeated several collegiate golfers in the field and will use that gained experience as she prepares for future tournaments. "It gives me a little confidence going into the summer. It is a pretty important summer, to get ready before the summer I go off to college."
With another trophy added in the Kuehn household, Rachel is humble about beating her mentor - her mom - who finished T13 while capturing low Senior honors in the Championship Division. "I can't really talk because she has won two of these; she has me in that. I was glad she played well, so I was excited for her."
Mary Chandler Bryan of Chapin, S.C. started the final round tied for first, but a 74 dropped into a four-way tie for second at two-over par, 218 overall. Despite her narrow defeat, she was grateful for the chance to play competitively again. "I thought the experience was great," said Bryan. "This was my first tournament in a while. To get the competitive juices flowing again was fun."
Kayla Thompson of Whiteville, N.C. also tied for second at two-over par 218. She started off her final round "tricky," bogeying her first two holes. However, she responded by making birdies on No. 4 and No. 5. Then, after making the turn, she had another mini birdie barrage. On No. 11, facing 130-yards to the flag, she hit a wedge shot to set up an eight-foot birdie putt. The following hole, No. 12, she again faced 130-yards. With the wind in her face, she used a 9-iron to drop the ball next to the hole. A double bogey on the par-5 17th derailed her chances to win. Thompson will use this championship as a building-block heading into her senior season at UNC-Wilmington. "It was a solid tournament. I had two bad holes this week. There was a lot of consistency there which I'm going to build on."
Also tying for second were rising College of Charleston sophomore Victoria Huskey of Greenville, S.C. and Furman University rising senior Reona Hirai of Summerville, S.C
Defending champion Ashley Sloup of Southport, N.C. finished T6 at three-over 219.
The Overall Champion and Championship Division Runner-up 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 Amateur
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
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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