Golf Pride Classic Starts Tuesday
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The 18th annual AJGA Golf Pride Junior Classic kicks off a four-day stay with a Jr.-Am on Monday, then the real deal gets rolling when the 54-hole stroke play event starts Tuesday.
Several of the 99 junior golfers entered are on quite a roll, including Michael McGowan, a rising sophomore at O'Neal, who just qualified for this year's U.S. Amateur by finishing second at sectional qualifying held at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte earlier this week.
Also entered in the boys' field are Patrick Barrett and Jack Fields, rising juniors at Pinecrest High School. The two have already picked up AJGA wins this season. Fields broke into the winner's circle by taking the championship of the Bridgestone Golf Junior Classic in Durham last April, while Barrett claimed his title in the AJGA Richmond Junior at Independence held several weeks ago in Virginia.
Corrine Carr of Pinehurst returns to defend her title that she won when the event was held at the Country Club of North Carolina last year.
Carr and Barrett have just returned from the 38th Big "I" Junior Classic in Odessa, Texas. Carr, who plans to attend Furman University in the fall, and Barrett both rallied from tough starts to post top-10 finishes in their respective fields.
Barrett opened the tournament played at Odessa Country Club on Monday with a 76, needing a low second round to make the 36-hole cut in the 72-hole stroke-play event.
He went on to break par in each of the next three rounds, finishing in a tie for eighth place. His scores of 76-70-70-71--287 put him 1-under par for the tournament.
Carr also had to have making the cut on her mind after a first round 78. She improved each day, finishing in a tie for seventh place with scores of 78-77-74-72--301.
Those aren't the only local juniors entered in the elite field. Robert Hoadley, a rising sophomore at Union Pines and a product of the local The First Tee program, is scheduled to compete. Joining Carr in the girls' field will be Jordan Ridge, rising senior at Pinecrest.
Juniors from 17 states are entered in the event. Play at Pine Needles, the home of the 1996, 2001 and the upcoming 2007 U.S. Women's Open Championship, begins Tuesday with tee times running from 7 a.m. until 11:57 a.m. each day.
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