Augusta's Laura Coble extends lead in Atlanta

Tuesday May 19, 2009

NEWNAN, Ga. - First-round leader Laura Coble of Augusta shot 3-over-par 75 for a 36-hole total of 151 and extended her lead to three strokes over Ashley Medders of Alma at the 40th annual Greater Atlanta Women's Amateur Championship, taking place at Newnan Country Club, May 18-20. Medders fired a 77 for the second-straight day to remain in second place at 10-over 154.

Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, the youngest player in the field at age 12, and Kaley Branton of Cartersville, a member of the Troy University golf team, each shot 79 to sit in a tie for third place at 159. First-flight competitor Alei Mitchell of Waycross, who plays golf at UNC Wilmington, carded 81 and sits in fifth overall at 160. Danielle Davis of St. Simons Island (79-83) and Amira Alexander of Alpharetta (82-80) are tied for sixth at 162.

The 1995 Greater Atlanta Women's Amateur Champion and reigning GSGA Senior Women's Player of the Year, Brenda Pictor of Marietta, is tied for eighth at 163 along with Kimberly Graff of Lilburn. Teenager Dayana Marquez of Atlanta and two-time past champion Ginette Spinucci of Stone Mountain round out the top 10, tied at 164. Spinucci also holds a ??-stroke lead in the second flight.

Medders, who trailed Coble by one shot going into the second round, tied things up with a birdie on No. 10, her first hole. She added another birdie at No. 16, but carded bogeys at 13, 15 and 17. Coble also had bogeys at 13 and 16, but birdied the 485-yard 18th to turn at 1-over 37 and hold on to her one-stroke lead.

After the turn, Medders encountered a stretch of five bogeys and one birdie on holes 1-6 before finishing up with three pars. Coble, meanwhile, remained steady with seven pars and two bogeys on the inward nine to increase her lead to three strokes over Medders.

Coble will be gunning for her fourth title in this event after winning the Greater Atlanta in 2002, '05 and '06. Only current touring professional Cindy Schreyer, who won five straight from 1981-85, owns more Greater Atlanta titles.