Former Columbia County resident Ashlan Ramsey closed out a week she will not soon forget at the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Sunday.
Ramsey spent time at Augusta Christian and Stallings Island Middle School before her family moved to Milledgeville, Ga., a couple of years ago. Before the move, she was already considered one of the top junior girls golfers in the country, and she continued to blossom at John Milledge Academy.
Last summer, she finished as the runner-up at the U.S. Public Links Championship. That terrific finish earned her an invitation to play in her first major championship, the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Ramsey, who has committed to play at Clemson next year, showed right away that she could hold her own versus the best players in the world, opening with a -1 under 71.
Those of you who recall Ramsey’s days in Columbia County likely remember that she was not the only talented Ramsey. Her older sister, Taylor, is redshirting at Clemson, and the two will play together next year in the school’s inaugural year of women’s golf.
Ramsey also closed her week in California with a -1 under 71 and finished tied for 48th. Not bad when you consider that she was tied with the world’s No. 2 ranked player, Yani Tseng, and young LPGA sensation Lexi Thompson. She was impressive on the greens, needing only 27 putts on Sunday and a total of 116 for the entire tournament.
Shafer boosts ASU
This past weekend, Augusta State University’s men’s golf team played host to the Insperity ASU Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club. The lineup for the event was loaded with talented teams from around the country, such as fourth-ranked Texas, the defending national champion. Regional rivals the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina also were competing.
ASU, winner of the 2010 and 2011 Division I national championships, performed admirably, leading for much of the event. However, in the end Texas used a pair of late birdies to take a 2-shot win. ASU finished second. One of the key reasons for ASU’s quality finish was the play of former Greenbrier High School standout Cody Shafer. He fired a final round -1 under 71, which was tied for the team’s best round of the day. It allowed ASU to stay ahead of UGA and South Carolina, who finished third and fifth, respectively. It also was good enough to earn Shafer a top 20 finish. the sophomore finished tied for 19th with a three-round total of +3 219, with rounds of 73, 75 and 71.
For those of you who are trying to pick a winner for this year’s Masters, here is a look at who the experts favor. As expected, Tiger Woods is the heavy favorite. Woods, who is back atop the world rankings, already has posted three victories in 2013. He is a 5 to 2 favorite to win this year’s event. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy is listed as 8 to 1 and is coming off his best showing of the year with a second-place finish at the Velaro Texas Open. He closed with a final round -6 under 66.
Here is a look at some of the other top contenders, according to the odds makers.
Phil Mickelson: 10 to 1
Justin Rose: 20 to 1
Charl Schwartzel: 22 to 1
Dustin Johnson: 25 to 1
Lee Westwood: 25 to 1
Louie Oosthuizen: 25 to 1
Bubba Watson: 33 to 1