GAC's Herbert earns biggest win of golfing career

A Greater Atlanta Christian grad scored the biggest win of her golfing career Friday with a triumph in the 97th annual Women's Southern Golf Association Amateur Championship in Charlotte.

Herbert, a rising sophomore at Tusculum College (Tenn.), defeated Rika Park, a rising sophomore at Miami (Fla.), 3-and-1 in a 36-hole championship match at Myers Park Country Club. It completed a perfect week for the Daily Post's 2011 golfer of the year, who went 5-0 in match play of the tourney that featured 84 other top women's amateurs.

The championship match was even after the first 18 holes, but Park took a one-hole lead with a birdie on the first hole of the second 18.

She held that advantage until the 12th hole, when Herbert evened the match.

Herbert won holes 14 and 15 for a two-hole lead, which she held until a match-clinching birdie on No. 17.

After advancing out of stroke play qualifying, Herbert defeated Mary Beth Ramsay (3-and-2), Ole Miss' Kathryn Fowler (3-and-2) and North Carolina's Maia Schechter (2-up) to reach the finals.

Herbert just completed a standout freshman season that saw her earn All-South Atlantic Conference first team honors along with being named SAC Freshman of the Year. Her 76.71 stroke average was the lowest in the SAC this season as well as lowest in Tusculum history.

She capped her college season by placing ninth (74-78-72) in the NCAA Division II South Regional. Her school-record 54-hole score of 224, the lowest in school history, left her one shot out of a playoff to qualifying for the NCAA Division II National Championships.