Sikh-American Golfer On The Rise: WILL HAMMOCK
Harmanprit Kaur walked off the 18th green at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Minnesota, USA, on Monday afternoon (September 5, 2016) with a big grin.
As she made the turn to No. 1, the Brookwood grad and Georgia State freshman saw that her family had been joined by her high school golf coaches, Steve Thompson and Scott Terry.
“That was really cool,” Harman said. “I was so happy they came out. It was like a little confidence boost.”
She played steady and confident in front of her supporters, tying for fifth in her first college tournament, the Cardinal Kickoff. She shot two-over 74 in the first round of the one-day, 36-hole tourney, then closed with an even-par 72.
Norcross grad Bailey Tardy (73-72) was fourth, helping her Georgia Bulldogs to the championship for the second straight season in the event, hosted by Louisville and its head coach, Duluth grad Courtney Swaim Trimble. UGA’s Harang Lee and Auburn’s Elena Hualde shot matching rounds of 73 and 68, sharing the individual title at 3-under 141.
Tardy, a sophomore coming off an All-American season, was solid on a course she played regularly in high school golf, but she missed some opportunities to go lower. A top finish wasn’t unexpected for Tardy, the 10th-ranked amateur in the world.
The same can’t be said for Harman, who was thrilled with her score and finish in her first taste of college golf. She only made two birdies on her day, both in her second 18, to go with four bogeys.
“I think it was better than expected because it was my first collegiate tournament and I wasn’t sure going in,” Harman said. “I was hitting the ball well going in and I had a lot of confidence in my game. I did a little swing change and that helped me. … I was definitely nervous and excited, both. Coach helped me on the first few holes to get settled down. It was a cool experience.”
“I was really impressed with (Harman’s) play today,” Georgia State coach Cathy Mant said. “The first collegiate tournament for anyone can be tough, but her poise on the course was remarkable. She played like a veteran and has a bright future on and off the course.”
Georgia, with new commitment and Wesleyan golfer Elisa Yang cheering on her future teammates, posted a winning score of 585, six shots ahead of runner-up Auburn. UGA shot 292 and 293 in its two rounds, while Auburn shot 298 and 293.
Vanderbilt and Augusta tied for third at 300, followed by Louisville at 605. New Vandy commitment Louise Yu of Peachtree Ridge joined Yang in rooting on her future college.
Georgia’s Rinko Mitsunaga (73-71) finished alone in third, three shots off the winning total. She was followed by Tardy and Harman, who tied with Vanderbilt’s Courtney Zeng for fifth.
HARMANPRIT ‘HARMAN’ KAUR - BIO
• Selected first-team All-County by the ‘Daily Post’ as a sophomore and second-team All-County last season
• Region 8-AAAAAA individual champion in 2014 after shooting 77
• Three-time region ‘Player of the Year’
• Named to Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association’s All-State team last season
• Placed first or second in 13 out 26 career high school tournaments
• Currently No. 563 in Junior Golf Scoreboard national rankings
• Signed to play college golf at Georgia State
Favorite athlete: Suzann Pettersen
“Best player in Gwinnett Co., that’s not me“: Elisa Yang
Coach Steve Thompson’s take: “Harman has set all (of Brookwood’s girls) golf records. She is a great competitor and a wonderful teammate and young lady.”
[Courtesy: Gwinnett Daily Post. Edited for sikhchic.com]
September 8, 2016