Southport native Ashley Sloup was once again in the mix for a tournament title this week as the rising junior at Winthrop University joined more than 70 golfers at the 67th Annual North Carolina Women’s Amateur Championship held at Croasdaile Country Club in Durham.
Sloup recently won the 90th Carolinas Women’s Amateur Championship, a field that included some of the best players from North and South Carolina. The 20-year-old is currently second in the Carolinas Women’s Rankings.
Competing in the final threesome after climbing to the top of the leader board following a strong opening round Tuesday, Sloup added to her trophy case with a runner-up performance to cap another solid three-day outing.
Soft, smooth greens provided excellent scoring conditions on day one of the three-round tournament, which kept Sloup in contention for the championship after carding a one-over-par 73. After a fifth place finish at the 2015 N.C. Amateur Championship held at Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, Sloup was four strokes behind eventual champion Bryana Nguyen heading into the second round.
The South Brunswick High School alum posted an identical one-over 73 on day two, sitting seven shots off the pace moving into Thursday’s final round.
Heat and humidity picked up throughout the week and took its toll on the field as Sloup and Nguyen both needed to use extreme focus to battle the conditions. Three straight bogeys to close the front nine on day three put Sloup out of contention, but she rebounded after the turn with a pair of birdies on the par-4, 366-yard 12th and birdied the 54th and final hole of the tournament, the par-4, 308-yard 18th. Sloup carded a two-over-par, 74, to close the tournament, nine shots back of Nguyen.
Sloup carded seven birdies, 36 pars and 11 bogeys during the 54-hole event. She will compete in the North & South Women’s Amateur Championship at Pinehurst Country Club (No. 2) next month.
Nguyen shot sub-par rounds during the opening two days of the event and hit an even-par, 72, during the final day of competition to secure the win. The University of Chapel Hill standout was the only golfer to finish in the red at minus-five for the championship.
One other local golfer competed within the championship flight at this year’s amateur. Mary Katherine Donovan of Hampstead showed improved play throughout the week to close tied sixth within the championship flight. After hitting 78 in the opening round, Donovan tallied 75 in round two and finished with a 74 on Thursday.
Click here for the complete scoreboard from this year’s North Carolina Amateur Championship.
Final leaderboard Total Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Rd. 3 Total
No. 1 Bryana Nguyen -5 69 70 72 211
No. 2 Ashley Sloup +4 73 73 74 220
No. 3 Abbey Hartsell +6 73 77 72 222
T-6 Mary Katherine Donovan +11 78 75 74 227