Golf Bag: McGowan Cruises to Victory
Teenager Michael McGowan, who continues his quest to become the best golfer in the McGowan family, made another statement over the weekend with a 10-stroke victory in the Junior-Senior Division of the Winternational Junior Series being held at Pinehurst Resort.
McGowan, whose father, Pat, is a former PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and a current member of the PGA Champions Tour, blossomed into prominence last summer when he became the youngest player in the match play portion of the U.S. Men's Amateur, at 15.
The division's 2005-2006 Player of the Year posted rounds of 76-75-73--224 to blitz the field. Oscar Neubauer of Bethlehem, Pa., was at 234. The first two rounds were played on the Tom Fazio-designed No. 4 Course, while the final round was held on the No. 3 Course, a Donald Ross creation.
McGowan, who attends the O'Neal School, had eight birdies in the three rounds.
This was the second event of the season and the first 54-hole stroke play event in the 13-year history of the Winternationals.
In the ladies' division, Desire' Blaauw of Gouda, The Netherlands, scored an impressive 79-74-75--228 to defeat her nearest competitor, Michelle Ahn, by a comfortable 12-shot margin.
Blaauw is spending her senior year as an exchange student at The O'Neal School in Southern Pines.
After Friday's opening round, Blaauw was only two shots ahead, but her 2-under par 33 on the front nine of Saturday's second round opened a gap over Ahn, a sophomore from Chapel Hill who recently finished in the top six in the state high school championship.
The Freshmen/Sophomore Boy's division was the most closely contested of the weekend. Justin Evans of Spring Lake came from two shots back after two rounds to defeat joint runners-up Bert Subin and Brandon Jobe.
Subin, of Pinehurst, was the second-round leader on the strength of a 72 in Saturday's second round.
Evans, a former all-American team member of the Winternational Series, shot 80-76-78234 for his one-shot victory.
Matt DeJohn of Geneva, N.Y., shot the low round of the weekend during Sunday's final round on No. 4 and finished fourth.
The next Winternational event is scheduled for Dec. 9-10. Call Peter deYoung, Inc. at (910) 295-5661 for further information.
Plantations Junior: Zachary Martin of Pinehurst fell just short with a final-round 73 in the Plantation Tour's Golf Pride Junior Classic held at Pine Needles Nov. 18-19.
Martin equaled the low round of the tournament in the 12-13 Age Division to catch Drew Johnson and Wil Brown, but lost in a three-way chip-off for the title. He had rounds of 78-73.
Johnson, of Oak Ridge won the chip-off with Martin taking second place.
Michel Wade of Bassett, Va., won the 16-19 division with rounds of 74-73, with Jonathan Capecci of Petersburg, Va., finishing second with 76-72.
Murray Grayson of Raleigh won the 14-15 bracket in a chip-off after tying with Zak Deaninger of Chapel hill at 148. Sam Packard of Pinehurst shot 82-75--157 for third place.
Nicholas Cortez of Simpsonville, S.C., shot 154 to win the 8-9 division, with Tanner Owen of Parkville, Mo., second two shots back.
Kristen Hamel of Chesterfield, Mo., won the 15-19 Girls Division with 78-76--154. Sarah Almond of Albemarle was second with 157.
Mariana Sims of Bethesda, Md., and Taylor Ramsey of Augusta, Ga., tied for first with 165 in the 12-14 division with Sims winning in a chip-off. She had rounds of 82-83, while Ramsey shot 83-82.
Ramsey's younger sister, Ashlan, posted rounds of 74-73 in the 8-11 division to win by nine shots over second-place Shannon Aubert of Augusta.
The Plantations Junior Tour is in its 13th season and lays claim to being the nation's foremost fall-winter-spring junior tour.
Play runs from Labor Day weekend of 2006 until Memorial Day weekend of 2007. Tournaments are being held in 17 states this season, including such courses as Pine Needles, The Rail, Bethpage State Park, Cog Hill, Notre Dame, four TPC courses, The Homestead, Kiawah Island Resort, Kingsmill, The Club at Savannah Harbor and Shaker Run.
For information including future tournaments and results from past events visit the Web site at www.pjgt.com, call (843) 875-2054, or e-mail IntegrityFirst@pjgt.com.
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