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Yang edges Tardy for Region 7-AAAAAA girls golf title, but Mill Creek girls win team crown

Mill Creek’s Christina Yang

Mill Creek’s Christina Yang

LAWRENCEVILLE — North Gwinnett sophomore Christina Yang defended her Region 7-AAAAAA title Monday and did it with a significant addition to the field.

Last year Yang didn’t have to beat Bailey Tardy.

Tardy won the Class AA state championship two years ago as a freshman and was runner-up last year playing for Greater Atlanta Christian, but now goes to Norcross.

Playing in the same group, Yang edged Tardy by a stroke (73-74) to win the individual medalist honors and qualify for state.

“Not too many girls anywhere can beat Bailey,” North head coach John Payne said of the Georgia commit. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment. Those are two of the best golfers in the state.”

The down side for Yang is her team won’t be joining her at state this season.

North was the defending region champ, but was beaten out by Duluth for the region’s fourth and final postseason berth.

Mill Creek returned to the top after being unseated by the Bulldogs last year. The Hawks’ steady play earned them the team title with a 253. Peachtree Ridge and Norcross tied for second with a 257.

Mill Creek goes straight to state while the other three qualifiers are headed to sectionals.

“The scores were higher than I expected, across the board,” Mill Creek head coach Jeremy York said. “All of our girls played to their potential — or better — today. We did play two freshmen and a sophomore. So we’re young and there’s still some things to do in the future. I hope.”

The girls followed up a win by the boys to complete the sweep.

“It was a good day for Mill Creek golf,” York said.

The Hawks were led by freshman Annika Blanton, who shot an 80. It was her low round of the season by a wide margin. Sophomore Grace Choi had an 82.

Peachtree Ridge was led by Jenny Li’s 77 and Zoie McDavid’s 89 pushed the Lions into a tie for second.

Still, it was Yang and Tardy setting the pace from the get-go. The first group to tee off, they stayed close to the end.

Yang wasn’t sure how they compared until the scorecards were tallied.

“I actually started really well,” Yang said. “Then on the third and fourth holes, I doubled those. I guess I was excited from the first two holes and I kind of lost it. But I just calmed down and fixed it.

“It was silly mistakes. I felt like I could have done better. I did shoot 1 over, which isn’t bad, but I felt like I could have been better.”

Yang admitted playing with Tardy added to her nervousness and probably contributed to the two early double bogies.

“I know she’s a really good player so it makes me want to push myself more,” Yang said. “I actually thought she was doing a little bit better than me. So I was a little surprised.”

Team scores

  1. Mill Creek 253: Annika Blanton 80, Grace Choi 82, Lauren Kardish 91

T2. Peachtree Ridge 257: Jenny Li 77, Zoie McDavid 89, Ester Park 91

T2. Norcross 257: Bailey Tardy 74, Camille Streeter 86, Rachael Flowers 97

  1. Duluth 275: Jordyn Sims 87, Sally Kim 88, Cassie Kooker 100
  2. North Gwinnett 278: Christina Yang 73, Lexi Allen 97, Christina Gatlin 108
  3. Mountain View 286: Hannah Magda 85, Sarah Buice 100, Morgan Foley 101
  4. Collins Hill 304: Merritt Williams 94, Carey Williams 101, Lucy Min 109
  5. Habersham Central 326: Veronika Brooks 100, Kylie Stephens 107, Kiley Blackburn 119
  6. Meadowcreek 533: Amberleia Garcia 159, Jacqueline Lux 186, Everusalen Anteneh 188

Top 10 individuals

  1. Christina Yang, North Gwinnett, 73
  2. Bailey Tardy, Norcross, 74
  3. Jenny Li, Peachtree Ridge, 77
  4. Annika Blanton, Mill Creek, 80
  5. Grace Choi, Mill Creek, 82
  6. Hannah Magda, Mountain View, 85
  7. Camille Streeter, Norcross, 86
  8. Jordyn Sims, Duluth, 87
  9. Sally Kim, Duluth, 88
  10. Zoie McDavid, Peachtree Ridge, 89