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Golf: Owens defends Women's Classic title; Jones co-medalist at U.S. Junior Am qualifier
Lambert alumni Myles Jones, left, and Kate Owens impressed this week at two separate amateur tournaments around Georgia. File photos

Kate Owens' first victory at the GSGA Top 60 Women's Classic came two years ago on a thrilling playoff hole.

On Tuesday, she defended her title — and it was nowhere near that close.

Owens delivered an impressive 6-under 138 during the 36-hole tournament at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, winning by eight strokes and carding the only score under par.

Owens collected nine birdies overall, including six during Monday's first round that saw her finish 4-under and claim a four-stroke lead heading into the final round.

"Actually, [Monday] I was telling some people that was probably one of the easier 68s I've shot in my life," Owens said. "I was hitting it really close to the pins, so that was really fun to not have to put a lot of stress on my putting."

Averi Cline, a rising senior at Lambert, finished sixth individually with a 7-over 151. Cline turned in a 2-over 74 Tuesday, birdying back-to-back holes on the back nine to place her inside the top 10.

Owens became the first golfer to capture back-to-back titles at the Top 60 Women's Classic since Rebecca Durham in 2009-10.

The tournament is open to all ages and features the state's 60 best female amateur golfers based on their USGA handicap index.

Owens, who graduated from Lambert in 2018, wrapped up her redshirt sophomore season with James Madison University in May at the NCAA Louisville Regional, one month after helping the Dukes to a Colonial Athletic Association championship. 

Owens already owns a slew of program records, notching James Madison's lowest 18-hole round [4-under 68], 36-hole round [5-under 137] and 54-hole round [6-under 207] scores. Her scoring average of 74.67 during the shortened 2019-20 season is second in program history.

Fellow Lambert alum Myles Jones had an impressive showing of his own this week, splitting low medalist honors with Adam Brady after carding a 4-under 67 Monday during his U.S. Junior Amateur qualifying round at the UGA Golf Course in Athens.

Jones fired a flawless round, playing each hole at or under par while collecting four birdies.

Jones made the turn at 2-under after consecutive birdies, first on the par-3 8th hole, then on a 443-yard par-4 9th hole.

Jones, who graduated last month from Lambert, helped the Longhorns to a second-place finish at the Class 7A state championship, finishing tied for fourth individually with a 5-over 149.

The 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, one of the top majors in the country, is scheduled for July 19-24 at The Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C.