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Burger wins Yamaha Georgia Women's Open

One costly double bogey couldn’t stop Emilie Burger. Neither could her playing partner and main pursuer, who she knows very well.

The Mill Creek grad won the prestigious Yamaha Georgia Women’s Open on Thursday, overcoming a disastrous double on the 16th hole and holding off a hard charge from the other golfer in her group, two-time event champion Margaret Shirley. Shirley happens to be an assistant golf coach at Georgia, where Burger is a rising sophomore and one of her players.

But student beat teacher this time in the showdown at SummerGrove Golf Club in Newnan.

Burger held a two-shot lead after a first-round 67 on Wednesday, then followed it up with an even-par 72 that featured three birdies, one bogey and a double bogey on No. 16. Shirley, a former Auburn All-American who won the tourney in 2006 and 2008, shot 69 and 71.

With a three-shot lead and three holes to play, Burger missed the green on the 167-yard, par-3 16th and ended up missing a tap-in for bogey to finish off a three-putt. The lead trimmed to one, Shirley followed with a birdie on No. 17 to share the lead with her fellow amateur.

An errant drive into a deep fairway bunker on No. 18 put Shirley in trouble and she finished with a bogey. Burger had a 10-foot birdie putt on the closing hole, but a tap-in par was all she needed for a one-shot victory.

Defending champion Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale shot 69 and 72 to finish alone in third place. Suwanee’s Kendall Wright, Burger’s teammate at Georgia, shot 69 and 73 and tied for fourth with the top two professional finishers, Carmen Bandea (72-70) and Lacey Agnew (70-72).

Braselton’s Abby Johnson, also a Bulldog golfer and a Buford grad, tied for 11th (73-75) and recent Collins Hill grad Jackie Rajek tied for 18th (79-82).