Acworth’s Governors Towne Club will play host to a handful of local competitors vying to make sure the trophy stays in Cobb for the first time since 2004.
The par-72 course will measure 5,969 yards for the two-day tournament, which features the 60 entrants with the lowest USGA handicap indexes sorted into five flights. The club is hosting its second GSGA event, the first being the 2009 Four Ball Championship.
East Cobb’s Brenda Pictor, the two-time defending recipient of the Tommy Barnes Award signifying the GSGA’s top overall player, has three top-12 finishes in the last four years at the event. Pictor posted two GSGA victories in 2011 on her way to being named the Senior Women’s Player of the Year for the fifth straight time. In last year’s Top 60 Classic, she recovered from a first-round 79 to finish tied for 12th.
Pictor will share a 9:10 a.m. tee time with rising Kennesaw State senior Ket Preamchuen, who helped lead the Owls to their first Atlantic Sun Championship in April with a fourth-place individual finish.
Preamchuen, who holds several school-record scoring marks, has confidence going for heading into today’s first round. It comes from a level of familiarity with Governors Towne Club, where the Kennesaw State golf team often practices.
“We go there sometimes on Fridays and play 18 holes,” Preamchuen said. “I love that course a lot. It’s quite a hilly course, so it’s really important to have good course management.”
Former Harrison High School standout Sydney Conrad returns to the Top 60 Classic after illness forced her to withdraw from last year’s tournament in Macon.
As a true freshman at Troy this year, she competed in nine of her team’s 10 tournaments and capped her spring off with a tie for 21st at the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Conrad used to be a Governors Towne Club member, but she figures she had not played the course for three years up until Tuesday’s practice round.
“We’re playing it really short this week,” Conrad said. “The past tournaments here have been a lot longer. I think there are some trick holes where you have to play it safe, but it’s a pretty open course.”
Colleen Panosian, a recent Whitefield Academy graduate, also remarked about the course’s short nature.
“It definitely brings in your short game because it’s not as long of a track, but you have some massive greens, so you want to hit it close or else you’ll be putting across the course,” said Panosian, who will be playing in her first Top 60 Classic.
Panosian, who signed to play collegiately at Florida Southern, is coming off the end of a successful high school career. She finished in the top 10 of three Class A state championships three times, and she helped Whitefield to two region team titles.
Marietta’s Sydney Dunning will be looking to improve upon her run of three top-40 finishes at the event over the last four years, while Smyrna’s Jen King, who finished tied for ninth in 2008, and Marietta’s Rebeca Garcia round out the local entrants in the field.