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Americus' Fowler in hunt at ATL Amateur

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALPHARETTA -- Kathryn Fowler takes the blindfold off today, and that can only mean one thing for a young woman who has seen nothing but success of late.

Fowler barely had time to pack her golf clubs and head for up I-75 after winning her second consecutive women's title at the Albany Amateur Championship on Sunday afternoon at Grand Island.

The Americus native had to rush to the Manor Golf and Country Club, where she fired a 76 on Monday during the first day of the three-day Greater Atlanta Women's Amateur Championship.

"Because I played in Albany I didn't get a practice round,'' Fowler said. "I had never seen the course so I was playing it blind, and because I played it blind I'm not disappointed.''

Blind or not, she still played well enough to be in the hunt, just four strokes behind Carolyn Barbee of Cartersville, who leads the field with a 72. Brenda Pictor of Marietta, Caitlin Watts of LaGrange, Kaley Branton of Cartersville and first-flight competitor Dayana Marquez of Atlanta are all tied for second, three shots back at 75.

Fowler is sixth but feels she has better days ahead.

"I'm definitely looking forward to (today),'' she said. "I had a lot of putts that I had a chance to make and didn't.''

Her long game helped carry her to the Albany title, and she was hitting the ball good off the tee Monday. She drove the green on the par 4 second hole for her first birdie, and finished the day with two more birdies, finishing strong with a birdie on the par 5 No. 18.

Fowler lives in Americus, where she won four high school state titles at Southland Academy. She just spent a redshirt year at Ole Miss, and was anxious to start competing again.

This is her third tournament in a row and by the time she's finished she will have played 11 days in a row. The Atlanta tournament was originally scheduled to start today and run through Thursday, but there were problems with flooding at the original course, and the tournament was moved to Manor Golf and Country Club and the starting date was moved up to Monday. That's why Fowler had to hit the first tee on the run.

"It feels great to be competing again,'' she said. "It's been a lot of fun. I can't be disappointed (with my first round). I'm only four strokes back, and anything can happen in golf.''