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Tardy takes two-shot lead into final round at Georgia Girls Championships

Staff Photo: John Bohn . Bailey Tardy was the Daily Post's girls golfer of the year after a runner-up finish in the Class AA state golf championships last spring.

Staff Photo: John Bohn . Bailey Tardy was the Daily Post's girls golfer of the year after a runner-up finish in the Class AA state golf championships last spring.

JOHNS CREEK -- Bailey Tardy has a goal for today.

"I kind of want to blow the field away," the rising junior and Georgia girls golf commit said.

Really, it's been her goal for all of the Georgia Girls Golf Championship and Tardy hasn't disappointed herself.

She was the only golfer under par after Monday's first round and she followed her 4-under 68 with a 1-under 71 on Tuesday to give herself a two shot lead over Roswell's Rinko Mitsunaga. Tardy was 3-under through her front nine on Tuesday, but finished her final two holes bogey-bogey to slip back toward her only challenger in Rinko.

"Those were two pointless bogies," Tardy said.

While Tardy slipped, Rinko made a big charge. Two-over after the first three holes, Rinko then birdied five of seven holes, including four straight to finish her second round 3-under par and 3-under for the tournament. She joins Tardy in today's final group, the only two golfers under par for the three-day tournament.

The next best score from a Gwinnett golfer after two rounds came from Norcross resident Diane Lim, who plays high school golf for Duluth. Lim struggled through early rain, though she did sink a putt she took from a puddle, and shot 4-over on her first nine and finished 7-over for her second round. The bad start put Lim at 11-over for the tournament, but solidly in the top 10.

"I could be doing better," Lim said. "The course is playing tough.

"I was a little disappointed with today's round."

Three Gwinnett golfers finished at 18-over for the tournament and in the top 14. Norcross resident Gracie Henderson and Suwannee's Christina Yang and Jenny Li came in tied after the second round. The biggest disappointment belonged to Yang, a rising sophomore who played for North Gwinnett last year. Yang finished her first nine even par and solidly in the top 10, but when the sun finally arrived and the tricky greens firmed up, Yang struggled on the greens missing plenty of birdie opportunities and shot 5-over on her back nine. With four birdies on the round, she only parred four holes.

"The weather was really bad," Yang said. "It was a little confusing on what I should hit. I missed a lot of birdie putts. It wasn't that great, but I was hitting the ball well."

Brookwood golfer and Lawrenceville resident Harmanprit Kuar is the only other Gwinnett golfer to crack the top 20, coming in tied for 19th at 19-over.

Hosted by Tardy's home course, the Atlanta Athletic Club, Tardy is the only player in the field to call the course home. She agrees it gives her an advantage and admits she came out from the tournament's start firing at pins and trying to put up a low number.

"I definitely expected to be in the final group," Tardy said.

She easily met that expectation and now she just has one more to meet: Winning easily on her home course.

"I don't want it to be very close," Tardy said.