Bailey Tardy, a rising senior on the Georgia women’s golf team, completed her wire-to-wire victory at the Georgia Women’s State Amateur Championships on Wednesday. She closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 8-under 208, eight strokes better than the rest of the field at the Cartersville Country Club.
“It felt great,” Tardy said. “It was nice to be in contention again. I haven’t won in a while so it was really nice to hold a trophy. Originally, I was going to play the Canadian Am, but I didn’t know if I was ready for that competition and the travel and all the other logistics. I wanted to make sure that I had good confidence going into the (U.S.) Am. I was excited to get back out there competing and doing that with girls I grew up with and competing against. These girls made me the golfer I am before I went to Georgia.”
Tardy grabbed the first-round lead with a 4-under 68 on Monday, opening up a three-shot lead. She expanded the gap to six strokes with a 2-under 70 on Tuesday.
A native of Peachtree Corners, Ga., and Norcross High School graduate, Tardy earned All-America honors during her first two seasons with the Bulldogs. She was named 2016 SEC Freshman of the Year following an initial collegiate campaign when she won medalist honors at the Windy City Collegiate and the NCAA Bryan Regional. Tardy missed the majority of last season due to injury.
“Honestly, coming back from my injury I didn’t know what to expect,” Tardy said. “I went out there without many expectations and just trying to play my game. I wanted to focus on my putting because I thought it would be a strength of mine, but you don’t know how you’re going to putt under pressure until you’re in those situations. I really just went back to the basics of day one, working on speed, getting the ball on line and those aspects.”
Tardy will compete again next week, representing Georgia in the Women’s Southeastern Challenge match at the Amelia Island Club at Long Point in Fernandina, Fla. Tardy is among a dozen golfers representing Georgia against teams from Florida and Alabama. The tournament will feature two rounds of match play on Monday, with four-ball in the morning and foursome competition in the afternoon, followed by three-ball matches on Tuesday.
Tardy will then compete in the U.S. Women’s Am on August 6-12 at the Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Tenn.