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Cleary Wins First CGA Title at Cas W Match Play

Hailey Cleary wins her first CGA title at the Carolinas Women's Match Play

ROCK HILL, S.C. (July 27, 2017) -- Semifinal and final match play results of the 20th Carolinas Women's Match Play Championship at Rock Hill Country Club in Rock Hill, S.C. on Thursday, July 27th (Championship Division - 6,085 yards, par 72, Course Rating 75.3/131 | Carolinas Division - 5,234 yards, par 72, Course Rating 71.0/119).

Related: Championship Web Site | Starting Times | Scoring | History | Photos


In a 22-hole extravaganza, No. 17 seed Hailey Cleary of Lexington, S.C. defeated No. 4 seed Jessica Spicer to advance to the championship match. The pair battled throughout the day, with neither player going more than 2-up. The duel escalated on the par-4 16th, as both players' approach shots landed three inches from one another. 18 holes were not enough to settle the match and that trend continued through the next five holes, with both Spicer and Clearly matching the other shot for shot. Then, on the fourth extra hole, an 18-foot putt by Cleary left the ball inches from cup, giving her the conceded par. A 35-foot putt gave Spicer a chance to sink her four-foot par putt, but a misread left the ball just right of the hole. "We both had a lot of fun out there," Cleary said. "Jessica fought me until the very end. She played awesome." Her opponent for the championship match, No. 10 seed Mary Chandler Bryan of Chapin, S.C., waited almost an hour for Cleary's match to wrap up. With her opponent well-rested, Cleary has to refocus and regroup quickly. "It is going to be a really fun match. I am very excited to play [Bryan]. I was hoping it would come down to the two of us."

Bryan reached the championship match after a 2-up victory over No. 11 seed Rachel Jones of Winston Salem, N.C. The match was all square heading into the 18th, and Bryan hit a close approach shot that gave her the easy two-putt for par. Needing a birdie to prolong the match, Jones ran her birdie putt well by the hole and missed the putt coming back, securing the win for Bryan. Bryan is in a match play state of mind having just come off the Virginias-Carolinas Women's Team Matches last week. Bryan won the Carolinas Team 2 1/2 points during her singles match on the final day.

Semifinal Match Play Results


No. 4 seed Hailey Cleary of Lexington, S.C. was a part of another whirlwind match at the 20th Carolinas Women's Match Play, as she won six straight holes to secure a 2-and-1 victory over Mary Chandler Bryan of Chapin, S.C. Bryan grew her lead to 3-up on the par-3 12th with par. From there, an 8-foot birdie putt by Cleary on the par-5 13th kick started a run that helped her claim the next five holes en route to her first CGA victory. "On [No. 13], I hit my tee shot and had that feeling that I was going to come back," Cleary exclaimed as she explained how she was able to come back and win. "After that, I just started focusing on my hole-by-hole score instead of getting wrapped up in the match. Once I started focusing on that, and stopped focusing on Mary Chandler, it turned around for me."

As Cleary made the par putt that secured her victory, her mother, who witnessed her comeback, started to tear up and said, "I cannot believe she just did that." Cleary noted how much her parents mean to her and her success. "They have supported me through everything. I am so lucky with how much support I get from them and I am lucky to share this moment with them." Going forward into her sophomore season at Limestone College, this win proved she can translate her game from the range to the course. "I have not played [in many tournaments] this summer, but after this win, I cannot wait to get back with my team and win some championships."

A special thanks is extended to the members and staff of Rock Hill Country Club for hosting the 20th Carolinas Women's Match Play. Special gratitude is extended to Director of Golf Operations T.J. Bridges and Head Superintendent Ewan Macaualy.

Entry is open to any female amateur golfer who has reached her 13th birthday by July 25, 2017, is a legal resident of North Carolina or South Carolina, is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) and has an active GHIN® USGA Handicap Index® at a CGA member club.

Final Match Play Results

Championship Facts

Event: 20th Carolinas Women's Match Play
Playing Dates: July 25-27
Host Site: Rock Hill Country Club in Rock Hill, S.C.
Championship Division - 6,085 yards, par 72, Course Rating 75.3/131 | Carolinas Division - 5,234 yards, par 72, Course Rating 71.0/119
Defending Champion: Cecily Overbey, High Point, N.C.
Format: 18 holes of stroke play qualifying to determine seeding and flights for match play in the Championship Division and seeding for match play in the Carolinas Division.

Schedule of rounds

Tuesday, July 25
First round. 18 holes of stroke play qualifying.
Lunch provided for all players.
Wednesday, July 26
Championship Flight. First and quarterfinal round matches (18 holes).
All other flights: First round matches and semifinal round matches (18 holes).
Thursday, July 27
Championship flight. Semifinal and Final matches (18 holes).
All other flights: Final matches (18 holes).

About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.

The CGA annually conducts 48 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 150 One-Day (net and gross) events as well as qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed nearly $2,000,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.    

For more information about the CGA, visit our website.


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