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December 25, 2013

Ramsey still one of nation’s best

MILLEDGEVILLE — A female golfer with Milledgeville ties is locked into a quest up the national college and amateur golf ladder.

Clemson University freshman Ashlan Ramsey is arguably the best the United States has to offer.

After an unprecedented summer amateur golf run moved her to the No. 1 spot in Golfweek’s World Ranking, the 18-year-old announced her collegiate presence.

In four tournaments, Ramsey shot nine of 12 rounds under par and finished no worse than eighth. She won the Lady Paladin and Tar Hill invitationals.

The college day-to-day schedule challenged Ramsey more than the tournaments. She is dealing with the obligations well so far.

Really, Ramsey prefers to be on the practice area at all times when not studying.

“There were things that you have to do as a college student that I wasn’t expecting, but I’ve come to adjust to it,” she said. “I definitely don’t get to practice as much as I thought I would. I make the most of the practice time I do have.”

Since a runner-up finish at her final junior golf event, the May AJGA Thunderbird Invitational, Ramsey literally hasn’t cooled off.

She attributes the sprint up the golf ladder to sharper putting inside 10 feet. The nerves make her better.

“Now, I’m able to recognize that when things are on the line. I’m getting better under pressure with my putting,” Ramsey said. “It helps to save those few strokes in a round.”

Lower par-5 scoring through dialed in wedge play boosted the Clemson freshman’s fall results also.

Ramsey’s recent return to Georgia State Golf Association competition this year winning both the Women’s Match Play and Stroke Play titles just earned her GSGA Girl’s and Women’s Player of the Year honors.

The talented golfer sharpened her skills at GSGA events growing up. Ramsey got a chance to beat some state legends.

“It meant a lot to beat those players that I’d looked up to growing up and playing against in Georgia. It gives me a good sense of accomplishment,” she said.

More good news came down after the fall Clemson season. Ramsey was named Golf Digest Women’s Top Amateur of the Year and made the inaugural Annika Award Watch List for the best female collegiate player.

She enjoys the positive recognition received but refuses to get a bloated ego.

“If I let that get to me too much, I will kind of become complacent,” Ramsey said. “I always want to keep working on things and moving in the right direction. I try not to look at that stuff too much.”

Ramsey’s international team resume gained a mark recently, as she and Team USA won their third consecutive Spirit International competition held Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

“It’s cool to represent the U.S. and learn from different players on such a high level,” the Clemson freshman added.

Ramsey has been chosen as one of 14 players to participate in a practice session for the 2014 Curtis Cup Match that pits the U.S. against the top players from Great Britain and Ireland.

The session for prospective players will be conducted Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2014, at Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas, while the 2014 Curtis Cup Match will be conducted June 6-8 at St. Louis (Mo.) Country Club.

Making the team seemed out of reach to start the year. Now, it’s close enough to touch.

“I’m definitely preparing hard for that practice session. I’m not sure what I will be doing,” she said. “Hopefully, I’ll play well to get picked. Just being named to the practice team was a great feeling. The higher I set my goals the harder I work. It’s a step along the way.”

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Cade Bass practices her pitching technique at the newly opened Between the Lines 8,000-square foot indoor facility located inside the Columbia Center at 611 Hammock Rd. Members gain 24-hour access to the batting cages, tee work and soft toss training stations, pitching rubber and areas for various agility and other sport-related fitness activities.

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Ashlan Ramsey won’t return to the Clemson golf team next season. The nation’s best amateur player recently announced she will turn professional after the Curtis Cup this June.

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