What a wild finish to the Georgia PGA Junior Championship presented by Piedmont Bank! The elite championship of 156 players was played at Chattahoochee Golf Club on June 5-7 with a cut after 36 holes. Play concluded with two playoffs in the Overall Girls and the Overall Boys Divisions that both went two holes each. Mary Miller of Savannah defeated Ava Merrill of Johns Creek for the Overall Girls Championship and William Long of Alpharetta, closed with a five under, 67 to win the Overall Boys. Both Mary and Ava along with William and his older brother, Craig, will be representing Georgia in the National Junior PGA Championship in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 1-4.
Miller was looking at a wire-wire victory in the 54-hole tournament, but saw her two-shot lead slip away to the 2021 Champion, Merrill. Merrill birdied the par five, 6th (their 15th hole) to pull even with Miller. Just before, on the same hole, Camryn Coffield of Hamilton, drained her 6th birdie of the day and was a total of five under par, heading into the 16th hole, one back of Miller and Merrill. Coffield’s efforts unfortunately fell short, as she made a double bogey at the par four, 7th (their 16th hole) to finish two out of the playoff as Miller and Merrill both bogeyed their 16th hole and parred their next two holes coming in. Miller and Merrill, both bogeyed the 1st playoff hole on the par 4, 18th hole. They went back to 18 tee and Miller won with a par.
As exciting as the girls finish was, the boys tried to one up them. 2022 Runner-up Brody McQueen of Marietta had a three-shot lead over local favorite and Gainesville High rising junior, Henry Kopydlowski. That quickly vanished as poor putting led to McQueen relinquishing the lead. Along with Kopydlowski, Craig Long II of Alpharetta, Jack Davis of Milton, and Craig’s younger brother, William Long, had closed the gap. Long finished with the best round of the day and was the leader in the clubhouse at three under par, good for a one shot lead as the final three groups were making their way in.
McQueen, Kopydlowski, Long II, and Davis collectively played the last two holes at 10 over par. This propelled Kopydlowski, Long II, and Davis into a playoff for 2nd place in the Boys Overall and 1st-3rd for the Boys 16-18 Division. McQueen’s bogey on 18 knocked him out of the playoff, tying 2022 Champion, Sahish Reddy of Duluth.
Kopydlowski was eliminated on the first playoff hole with a bogey on hole 18. Long II and Davis, Milton High teammates and best friends, went to 18 tee again for their 2nd playoff hole. Long II would win the hole with a par and earn 2nd place honors in the Overall Boys along with a victory in the Boys 16-18 Division.
Thank you to Director of Golf, Rodger Hogan, PGA, and his entire staff at Chattahoochee Golf Club for hosting this prestigious junior event!
For full results, CLICK HERE.