University of Georgia women’s golfer Bailey Tardy has earned a spot in the field for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open by winning a 36-hole sectional qualifier at Butler Country Club. B. Tardy just completed her sophomore season at UGA less than two weeks ago, and for the 20-year-old from Peachtree Corners, GA, this marks her third appearance in the U.S Women’s Open, second-in-a-row, when she qualified in 2014 and 2016 by winning the sectional qualifiers at the Butler Country Club outside Pittsburgh.
— Georgia Women's Golf (@UGAWomensGolf) May 23, 2017
“I have a dream of playing on Tour some day so anytime I can be around the professionals and compete at that level is something I’m excited about,” Tardy said. “It was a special day to come out here and have my mom (Kim) on the bag. To have a familiar face out there with me was beneficial. This was a huge goal and a great accomplishment. I’m excited.”
On Monday, Tardy shot 2-under 139 over the par-71, 6699-yard layout. She fired an even-par 71 in the morning and followed that with a 2-under 69 in her second loop.
Tardy began her day at No. 9 and moved to 2-under with birdies at No. 11 and No. 12. She gave those strokes back with a double-bogey at No. 13 but bounced back to birdie No. 16 and turn at 1-under. After a birdie at No. 2, Tardy suffered bogeys at No. 3 and No. 6 en route to the clubhouse.
Following an hour break, Tardy returned to the course and played both halves of the layout at 1-under in the afternoon. She again birdied No. 2 and bogeyed No. 3 and No. 6 but also posted birdies at No. 5 and No. 9. After a second-straight birdie at No. 10 Tardy rounded out her day with eight consecutive pars.
A year ago, she shot 4-over 146 en route to winning the qualifier. In 2014, she posted a 3-over 145.
“Last year, the conditions were a lot more difficult,” Tardy said. “It was cold, and I think it was snowing. I was able to play in shorts today. It was tough because the practice round was rained out yesterday and there was a lot of water on the course. Being such a long hitter, I think I had an advantage. I was able to carry the ball farther and have shorter shots into the greens. That helped give me a better chance to put it really close. The greens here are sort of bouncy so the shorter shot in you have, the better.”
The leaderboard had a strong Georgia contingent. Jillian Hollis, who also just wrapped up her sophomore campaign with the Bulldogs, tied for fifth at 4-over 146. Hollis finished one stroke off a playoff for an alternate spot in the Open field. Manuela Carbajo Ré, a 2016 Georgia graduate now playing professionally on the Symetra Futures Tour, tied for eighth at 5-over 147.
The 72nd annual U.S. Women’s Open will be contested on July 13-16 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
CLICK HERE for more information on the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.