5 players to watch at South Atlantic Amateur

Holly Clyburn hits a shot from the sand during the final round of the Harder Hall Women's Invitational.

Holly Clyburn hits a shot from the sand during the final round of the Harder Hall Women's Invitational.

The Florida Orange Blossom Circuit rolls on this week at the South Atlantic Amateur (also known as the Sally). The 72-hole tournament begins Wednesday at Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla. Keep an eye on these five players this week:

1.) Charley Hull: The obvious choice. Hull is coming off a comeback win at last week’s Harder Hall. The 15-year-old native of England outplayed Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn (also in the field at the Sally) in the final holes to earn her second career OBC win. Hull takes a vicious cut at the ball for such a small player, but the key at the Harder Hall was dropping a series of crucial par and birdie putts to pull even then pull ahead. Hull also contended at last year’s Sally before finishing runner-up.

2.) Jaye Marie Green: Obvious choice No. 2. Since last year’s Sally, the defending champion was a standout for the victorious U.S. team at the Junior Solheim Cup and won the AJGA’s Ping Invitational. As the top-ranked player in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Amateur Rankings, Green also has a legitimate chance at securing one of the final three spots on the U.S. Curtis Cup team.

3.) Holly Clyburn: Clyburn is bound to snag a win soon -- she’s been too close too many times. The 2010 GB&I Curtis Cupper finished fourth at the Dixie Amateur this year after back-to-back runner-up finishes the previous two years, and just came off a T-5 at the Harder Hall. Clyburn’s game is complete and she has spunk. A grudge match (friendly, of course) between Clyburn and Hull in the final round would make for great spectating.

4.) Marina Alex: As several college players travel back to their respective schools for the start of the spring term, keep an eye on Alex as one of the most talented college players in the field. Alex, a senior at Vanderbilt, is ranked No. 10 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. She had two top 10s in college events this fall, and was runner-up this past summer at the Women’s Eastern Amateur.

5.) Ashley Lance: The Ole Miss senior struggled to find her groove during the fall college season -- making just one appearance with the Rebels -- but she’s had success in amateur events before. Lance won the 2010 Southern Amateur, and was runner-up at the Tennessee Amateur that same summer. Also look out for freshman teammate Taelor Rubin.

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