GAC takes Gwinnett Girls Open

DACULA -- The Gwinnett Girls Open returned to the county for the first time in more than a decade as Greater Atlanta Christian scored 66 points to take the team title at the Trophy Club of Apalachee on Saturday.

The tournament, which used a different format than other golf tournaments, had four players represent each school and gave points based on what the players shot at each hole.

For a bogey, a player was given one point, while a par brought two points, a bridie four points, an eagle six points and a double eagle eight points.

"It provides a different type of scoring system," said Dacula assistant golf coach John Williams. "Most tourneys are stroke play, so this is something out of the norm. It allows the girls to take chances they normally wouldn't take as a bogey still netted them a point."

Of the four players participating for each school, the top three scores counted, which is also different from normal competition as the top two scores count in team competitions.

Finishing behind GAC was Walton with 57 points, while Dacula was third (56) and Brookwood was fourth (51) out of 11 teams.

Scoring for GAC were Bailey Tardy with 30 points, Elizabeth Mizell with 20 and Katheryn Fazekas with 16.

"I'm really proud of Katherine," said GAC head coach Gary Richey. "She had four points at the turn and scored 12 points on the back nine. Those were some huge points for us. That's not to say our other girls didn't do well, because they did. I was just proud to see what she did on the back nine after already being out in the cold for so long."

Tardy took home the top individual honors with her 30-point effort.

"It's a nice format because you don't have to worry about the bad holes," Tardy said. "You get rewarded for taking chances and you get to have a little more fun with it."

Walton's Abbey Williams was second individually with 28 points, while Taylor Allen (Brookwood), Harmanprit Kaur (Brookwood), Alex Hudson (North) and Kristin Nowell (Dacula) tied for third with 21 points.

The conditions didn't make it any easier for the competitors as cold temperatures, wind and even snow was present throughout the day.

"The conditions were brutal," Richey said. "Our girls performed well despite the weather."

Richey said he stressed to his players that the modified scoring actually could play to their advantage.

"They could take more chances than normal and that's something I stressed to them," he said. "I wanted them to try and get a point on each hole, but outside of that, they could see what they were capable of doing."

At the end of the day, Williams said he was happy to have the tournament back in Gwinnett where it belongs.

"For years it was in Winder and we knew it needed to be back here," he said. "We're thankful the Trophy Club was able to allow us to use their course on a Saturday."