Monday, June 16, 2008

Sara Grantham Captures Alabama State Amateur

There is a new Alabama State Amateur Champion for the first time in seven years, as Ole Miss women’s golfer Sara Grantham unseated six-time champion, Kathy Hartwiger, 3 and 2 to capture the title Friday at the Timberline Golf Club.

The championship match featured 36 holes. Grantham birdied the first two holes of the day and led 4-up after 18. The match also had two rain delays of 30 and 20 minutes, respectively. But that didn’t deter Grantham, who never relinquished the lead, only posting three bogeys in 36 holes of play in the final.

“It’s a great honor, and I am really excited to be the champion,” said Grantham, a rising junior with the Lady Rebels. “I gained a lot of confidence after making birdie on the first two holes. It gave me some momentum. I played solid all day, just trying to play my game and not get caught up in my opponent. She’s a great player.

“I’ve been working really hard the past couple of weeks, and things have really started coming together in my game.”

On Thursday, Grantham (Wilsonville) beat Martha Lang of Birmingham 1-up in the semifinals to reach the final.

“We are very excited for Sara to win this championship,” head coach Michele Drinkard said. “She played really well this week, and to beat someone who has won this event six straight years is a great accomplishment. We are very proud of Sara.”

Grantham began the week by capturing medalist honors in the stroke play qualifying with a 67. She was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60s and one of only two to post a round under par.

In the first round of match play, Grantham downed her opponent, Karen Wiggins, 7 and 6, and then on Wednesday, she took out Kristen Warhurst 4 and 3 to reach the semifinals.

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