Junior Event Features Local Golfers
Joshua Martin of Pinehurst shot rounds of 73-77--150 on Pinehurst No. 1 last week, coming in second in the 11-and-under division of the 59th Donald Ross Junior Championship.
Martin, the 9-year-old age group winner in last July's U.S. Kids Golf World Championships, was the highest local finisher among more than 190 juniors from 16 states that competed in three different age divisions.
Pinecrest junior Jack Fields (70-73--143) and O'Neal sophomore Michael McGowan (72-72--144), both of Southern Pines, took fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 15-17 age group competition that was played on No. 5.
Martin's U.S. Kids Golf World Championship title at Pinehurst No. 3 last July was his third. In the Donald Ross, he trailed Jim Liu of Smithtown, N.Y., the 10-year-old U.S. Kids Golf champion, by two strokes going into the final round.
Liu began running away from the field with a 32 on the front nine. He won the tournament with an 8-under two-day total of 71-67--138. Tied for third were Tanner Owen of High Point (76-76--152) and Drew Johnson of Oak Ridge (78-74--152). Zach Botts of Jonesborough, Tenn., (76-79--155) was fifth.
Austin Cody of North Charleston, S.C., won the 12-14 age division, also played on No. 1, with a 6-under total of 67-67--134. He began the final round with a one-stroke lead, but Grayson Murray of Raleigh drew even after six holes.
Cody pulled away by finishing the last 12 holes in 3-under-par. Murray was second (68-69--137) followed by Robert Register of Burlington (72-69--141), Tom Lovelady of Birmingham, Ala., (69-73--142), George Whiting III of Charlotte (72-71--143) and Boomer Boyd of Wilmington (74-69--143).
The local players in the age group were Dylan Harris of Southern Pines (78-73--151), Sam Packard of Pinehurst (81-74--155) and Zachary Martin of Pinehurst (83-85--168).
Ryan Sullivan of Winston-Salem outlasted the field in the 15-17-year-old division to win by one stroke with scores of 70-71--141. David Gies II of Charlotte (69-72--142) and Jacob Burger of Orangeburg, S.C. (70-72--142), tied for the runner-up spot.
Fields was in the thick of things until he made a triple bogey on the 14th hole, while Sullivan and Gies were posting birdies. Sullivan went on to birdie the final two holes to capture the win. James White of Acworth, Ga., (72-71--143) finished in a tie with Fields for fourth place.
There were 112 golfers in the 15-17 age group field. In addition to Fields and McGowan, the local players were Russell Burke of Pinehurst (78-76--154), Patrick Barrett of Pinehurst (81-78--159) and Robert Hoadley of Southern Pines (80-81--161).
In Father-Son events held on No. 8, Trevor and Tom Cone of Concord won the 12-14 division with a 1-under 71 and Jackson and Walker Taylor of Wilmington won the 15-17 division with the same score.
Dylan and Keith Harris of Southern Pines combined for a 73 to finish third in the 12-14 age group.
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