Best girls golfers: List starts with Yang
After going through a dry stretch, these have been rich days for girls golf in Georgia. Since Mariah Stackhouse came around in 2007, the state has seen the likes of high-profile players like Rachel Dai, Bailey Tardy, Peyton Schanen, Kayley Marschke and Lauren Lightfritz.
Here’s a list of some of the top girls in the state:
Elissa Yang, Wesleyan: The senior has won the Class AA championship the last two years after being runner-up as a freshman. She is ranked No. 62 in the nation by the American Junior Golf Association and won the AJGA’s Vaughn Taylor Championship and the Scott Stallings Championship. She beat a stellar field to win the Georgia State Golf Association’s Top 60 Women’s Classic.
Louise Yu, Peachtree Ridge: The senior was third in the region tournament last year and finished fourth in the Class AAAAAA championship. She helped the Lions finish third in the state. She has signed with Vanderbilt.
Lizzie Reedy, Pope: The senior from Pope is a two-time Scholastic Junior All-America choice by the American Junior Golf Association. She was named 2016 Cobb County Golfer of the Year after winning the Region 5-AAAAAA title and helping the team capture its first region title. She has signed to play at Richmond.
Kate Owens, Lambert: The junior was medalist at the state tournament last year and helped the Longhorns win it all for the fourth straight year. He was Forsyth County Player of the Year. She has verbally committed to play at James Madison.
Najae Butler, Westlake: A senior at Westlake, Butler has come up through The First Tee program at John A. White. She got a chance to participate in the Nature Valley First Tee Open, a PGA Tour Champions event that pairs juniors with professionals. She has signed with Farleigh Dickinson.
Jenny Bae, Collins Hill: Bae was named Region 7-AAAAAA Player of the Year in 2016 as a freshman. She won the AJGA Rome Junior Classic and had three top-five finishes on that circuit.
Emma Bell, Mill Creek: Last year Bell was named to the All-Region 7-AAAAAA team and finished second in the region. She has already made a verbal commitment to play at Georgia Southern.
Emily Haigwood, Roswell: The sophomore is expected to carry her success on the Georgia PGA Juniors (two wins, first place in her age division) over to the high school level.
Tiffany Kang, South Forsyth: The senior only started playing when she was 12 and has made rapid progress. She qualified for the U.S. Junior last year. Kang has signed to play at Mercer.
Abigail Bolt, Woodstock: An all-county player and team MVP, Bolt has signed with Appalachian State.