Karlie Campbell joins elite list with win at Girls’ Junior Amateur
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. --- The last time a golfer won both the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur and Tennessee PGA Girls’ Junior Championships in the same year, Karlie Campbell wasn’t even born. But in 2023 at Spring Creek Ranch, Campbell joined some elite company after capturing the Girls’ junior title.
The Ethridge native kept the field at bay throughout the entire tournament, going wire-to-wire after a first-round 66. That 6-under-par score from Campbell ties a Girls’ Junior Amateur record for lowest 18-hole score. It was enough to give her a decent lead where she only needed to maintain it in order to capture her first Tennessee Golf Association title.
Campbell came out of the gate on a mission, rattling off five birdies in her first six holes of the tournament. She ended the event with 14 birdies and as the only player to finish under-par. The 2024 classee stood above the rest of the field, winning by seven strokes.
After her flurry of birdies in the first round, Campbell played steady, even-par golf over her next two days to maintain her lead. The future University of Kentucky Wildcat showed what brought interest to her golf game in the first place. Unwavering through her rounds and doing what needs to be done to win.
It put her on a list with some of the best junior golfers to ever play in the Volunteer State. Her win Thursday at the Tennessee Girls’ Junior Amateur combined with her win earlier in the month at the Tennessee PGA Girls’ Junior made her just the ninth player to win both events in the same year. Campbell is, however, the first golfer to do it in nearly 25 years after Teesha Ash last did it in 1999.
The great finish at Spring Creek Ranch couldn’t have been done without the work of the agronomy staff at the host course. Sunday, the night before the practice rounds were to take place, a strong storm blew through the area, knocking down trees around the course and leaving the course without power. The greens crew at Spring Creek Ranch worked all day clearing debris to make the course more than playable for the 122-player field. Without their work, the championship could not have been run nearly as smoothly as it did.
Campbell was the only player in the field to card two under-par rounds. The pressure was their however, especially following the second round. She held just a four-stroke lead after Lakeland’s Claire Todd creeped up the leaderboard with her second-round 2-under-par. The class of 2025 product hung around most of the day Thursday before giving up a bit more ground to the eventual winner.
The 2022 Tennessee Girls’ Junior Champion, Sophie Christopher, finished in third place, carding a 5-over-par 221. The Germantown native was filling up the scorecard with birdies, finishing the tournament with 13 birdies over 54 holes.
For full tournament results, click here.