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College golf tourney coming to Achasta
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The Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship is set to begin today at Achasta Golf Course in Dahlonega. Fifty-five two-person teams will be competing at the event, with each team consisting of players from the same university in a 54-hole stroke play tournament which concludes Thursday.

The competition will feature players from all levels of collegiate golf, including 42 Division-I schools, four Division-II, six Division III and one NAIA program.

Several Top 50 Golfstat Ranked Division-I players will be participating in the event, including Braselton resident Emilie Burger from the University of Georgia, Brooke Pancake from the University of Alabama and Cheyenne Woods of Wake Forest.

Also competing from the University of Georgia will be Abby Johnson, a Buford High graduate, Milena Savich and Tess Fordham. Georgia is one of six schools sending two teams to compete.

Tom Fowler, the head golf professional at Achasta, is happy that the Dahlonega course has the opportunity to play host to a national event.

“We have a reputation at Achasta of being a great championship golf course, and when the officials for the event were looking for a place to have the championship, that reputation definitely came into play,” he said.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is held each year in Charlotte, N.C., and Fowler stated that the officials wanted to keep the team championship as close to that venue as they could.

“They were looking for a course in the north Georgia area and knew that we had a good reputation for championship golf, so that’s how we landed the tournament,” Fowler said.

Fowler said during preparation, the course has had the feel of “a small professional event.”

“With a flag from every school flying across the practice tee and tents and sponsors everywhere, there is definitely a tournament feel to the atmosphere,” he said.

The format of the championship will vary on each day of competition. Today the players will use an alternate shot format. On Wednesday, the teams will play best-ball and on the final day of competition, the golfers will use aggregate scoring.

The Achasta Golf Course is a Jack Nicklaus signature course situated just outside of Dahlonega. The competition is presented by the National Golf Coaches Association which is a non-profit organization with the stated goal of representing women’s collegiate golf coaches and encouraging the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education. Today, the NGCA represents nearly 500 coaches throughout the United States.

Tickets to the event are free and open to the public. Play will begin each day at 8 a.m., with tee times starting on hole No. 1 and No. 10.

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