Top-ranked junior Gianna Clemente wins the Sally Championship
Gianna Clemente
Gianna Clemente

First played in 1926, past winners of the Women’s South Atlantic Amateur Championship, more commonly referred to as the Sally, include the likes of World Golf Hall of Famers Patty Berg and Babe Zaharias along with major champions Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Brooke Henderson, and Grace Park.

Saturday at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla., a rising star added her name to the list of past champions of one of the nation's longest-running amateur tournaments.

Gianna Clemente, the top-ranked junior player in the nation, squeezed out a one-stroke victory over Morgan Ketchum, a freshman at Virginia Tech who applied the heat to the eventual champion by making four birdies on the back nine for a 71 that left her at 1-over 289 for the tournament.

Clemente began the round with a two-shot lead after a Friday 69 left her at 3-under-par 213 through 54 holes, which proved enough to withstand a final round 75 which brought her back to even for the championship.

Avery McCrery, a high school sophomore from Delaware, was third at 3-over following a round of 70 on Saturday while Mia Hammond, a high school freshman from Ohio, had the day’s low round (67) and tied for fourth at 4-over with Julia Misemer, a freshman at the University of Arizona.

To put Clemente's win in perspective, Kerr was 18 when she won the Sally in 1996 while Korda and Henderson were both 16 when they won their titles in 2010 and '14. Thompson also won the Sally at the age of 14 in 2009.

Clemente's win adds to her impressive growing resume. Last summer, she qualified for three LPGA Tour events in consecutive weeks, including two in her home state of Ohio, becoming the youngest golfer ever to accomplish the feat.

After finishing runner-up to Yana Wilson in the finals of the U.S. Girls' Championship, she successfully defended her title at the PING Invitational in October.

ABOUT THE Women's South Atlantic Amateur (The Sally)

The Women’s South Atlantic Amateur Golf Championship (The SALLY) is played the second week of January each year, in Ormond Beach, Florida. Oceanside Country Club has been home to The SALLY since its beginnings in 1926. The tournament field consists of top amateurs in the US and the top finishers are frequently represent the U.S. for the biennial Curtis Cup team. You will find many former SALLY players among the LPGA elite.

72-hole stroke play championship with a Championship Division (max handicap 6.0) and a Rockefeller Division (max handicap 10.0) that plays from shorter tees. There is also a Senior competition for players aged 50 and over competing in the Championship division.

Eligibility: A female from birth, that has reached the age of 16. All entries are accepted subject to Committee Approval.

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