After battling back from Monday's opening round of 80 by shooting a 2-under-par 70 to make the cut, recent Gordon Lee graduate Tucker Windham took a step backward in Wednesday's final round of the 53rd Georgia Junior Championship at the Augusta Country Club.

Windham had three birdies on the day, but couldn't find the same magic that he did on Tuesday as he closed out the tournament with an 81, giving him a three-day, 54-hole score of 15-over-par 231. The future Dalton State Roadrunner ended the tournament in a tie for 75th overall.

Brock Hoover of Woodstock pulled away from the field in the final round and won with a final score of 11-under-par 205 (68-68-69), good enough for a two-stroke victory over Jack Boltja of Thomasville (68-68-71), who earned runner-up honors at 9-under-par 207.

Jay Spivey of Macon finished third at 8-under-par 208 (69-69-70), and Bruce Murphy of Johns Creek finished fourth. Beck Burnette of Blairsville came in fifth at 6-under-par 210 (69-73-68), while four players tied for sixth at 4-under-par 212.

The top eight finishers from the Georgia Junior Championship qualify to represent the Peach State at the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match. Team Georgia will include Hoover, Boltja, Spivey, Murphy, Beck Burnette, Luke Phillips, Myles Jones and Shaun Cook. This year's Junior Challenge Match takes place across the border at the Country Club of Spartanburg, July 19-20.

In the 40th Georgia Girls' Championship, Ainsley Cowart of Winston went wire-to-wire finish nine strokes ahead of the field and capture the Nanci Bowen Trophy.

Cowart entered Wednesday's final round with a five-stroke lead after rounds of 5-under-par 67 and 1-under-par 71 the first two days. She showed no nerves during the final 18 holes finishing the front nine at 2-under before rolling in birdies on two of the final four holes to close it out.

She finished with a 3-under-par 69 to tie the championship scoring record with a three-day total of 9-under-par 207, which was set by 2018 champion Jenny Bae at the Country Club of Roswell.

Sara Im of Duluth (70-73-73) finished in second, while Ava Merrill of Johns Creek fired the round of the day with a 4-under-par 68 to move into third place following rounds of 72 and 77 the two first days. Kimberly Shen of Johns Creek (75-72-71) and Mikayla Dubnik of Gainesville (73-71-76) rounded out the top five.

Catie Craig of Sautee Nacoochee (75-75-76) defeated Madeline Ananthasane of Auburn (72-74-80) in a playoff for sixth place to determine who would join Cowart, Im, Merrill, Shen and Dubnik this August for the Georgia-South Carolina Girls' Junior Challenge Match. The Girls' Junior Challenge Match will take place August 3-4 at Palmetto Hall in Hilton Head.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

Recommended for you