Golf Bag: Clement, Hammond Junior Champs
Justin Clement won the 41st North Carolina Junior Boys' Championship last week in Greenville without a match reaching the 18th hole on the Bradford Creek Golf Club.
A rising high school senior from Lexington, Clement closed out first-round opponent Matthew Younts 5 and 3, defeated Rich Leeper 5 and 4, Robert Hoadley 2 and 1, Andy Knox 3 and 2, Will Shearin 7 and 5, and Mitchell McGlamery, of Morganton, 3 and 2.
McGlamery had reached the finals by disposing of John Connors of Apex 4 and 2 in the semifinals.
Clement voiced surprise after winning his first Carolinas Golf Association title.
"I was just hoping to make it past the first round of match play," he said. "The best of the best were here and I never thought I would make it this far."
Clement's final round included six birdies and no bogeys.
Local players in the tournament were defending champion Robert Hoadley, Michael McGowan, Patrick Barrett and Sam Packard in the boys' division. Amanda D'Ostroph, of Whispering Pines, competed in the girls' division, advancing to the round of 16.
Hayley Hammond, of Mooresville, won the girls' title, defeating Jessica Hook, of Wilmington, 2 and 1. She won the 16th hole with birdie, then closed the match with a two-putt par on the 17th.
Carolinas Girls: An impressive field will compete for the 52nd Carolinas Junior Girls' Championship, which will be played at the Donald Ross-designed Southern Pines Golf Club, July Tuesday-Thursday.
Courtney Taylor, of Gastonia, who won the title last year at the Country Club of South Carolina, is the defending champion. Also entered are all four of the 2007 semifinalists and seven of the eight quarterfinalists. Taylor is ranked No. 2 among junior girls in North Carolina.
Amy Otteson, of Wilson, hopes to finish one spot higher than a year ago when she was ousted 4 and 3 in the finals by Taylor.
Meghan Moore, of Bahama, the top-ranked girl in the state, is entered, as well as Haley Stephens, ranked No. 1 in South Carolina. Taylor defeated Stephens 4 and 3 in the semifinals last year.
Some other highly-regarded players include Elizabeth Thompson, of Charleston, S.C., who fell to Otteson in the semifinals last year and from 2007 quarterfinalists Maureen Dunnagan, of Lexington, S.C., Taylor Weaver of Spartanburg, S.C., and Jessica Hook, of Wilmington.
The Carolinas Golf Association received 81 entries for the match play championship. It will be contested in a junior division, which consists of players ages 13-18 and of players under age 13 with a handicap index less than 15.0; and a sub-junior division, which will be made up of girls under age 13 with a handicap index of 15.0 or higher. Match play berths will be determined by an 18-hole stroke play qualifying round on July 1.
The tournament was originally scheduled for Jacksonville (NC) Country Club, but course conditions caused the CGA to seek another venue and Southern Pines Golf Club agreed to host the championship.
The par-72 course will play at 5,814 yards for the juniors and about 5,200 yards for the sub-juniors.
The first 50 Carolinas Junior Girls' championships were run by the Women's Carolinas Golf Association, but in 2007 the Carolinas Golf Association began to conduct both this event and the Girls' Twin States Championship, which will be played later this summer.
In addition to trophies, the overall champion and runner-up will be invited to be members of the eight-player Carolinas Junior Girls' team that plays a similar team of girls from the Virginias and Maryland in the Mid-Atlantic Challenge at the Country Club of Danville (Va.) Aug. 2-3.
For more information about the 52nd Carolinas Junior Girls' Championship and many other CGA events, visit the Web site at www.carolinasgolf.org.
HT Senior Tour: George McKean, of Raleigh, got a taste of playoff pressure at The Pit Golf Links competing in Flight C of the Harris Teeter Senior Golf Tour.
McKean toured the 6,138-yard, par-72 Dan Maples-designed course with an 88, as did Madison's Rob Leggett and Charlie Williams, of Autryville, forcing a three-way playoff.
McKean won on the third hole when he had the only par of the playoff.
The championship flight, which played from the longer (6,559 yard) back tees, had only one competitor break 80. Durham's Willie Hendricks shot a 79 to take first, while in the A flight, Steve Romito, of Cornelius, posted a 74 to win.
Gene Greenawalt, of Carthage, shot 78 to take fifth in flight A.
Gene Martin, of Apex, and Asheboro's Joe Prairie tied in flight B at 82. Prairie conceded the playoff victory to Martin.
"I've personally been playing this course for the past 20 years," said Tour Director Bruce Hallenbeck, "and we've used it as a venue for the past 10. It's never been in better shape. The fairways were like carpet."
Egolf Tour: Mike Tyra, of Fort Bragg, shot 74 to win the championship flight of the Egolf Amateur Golf Tour event held at The Pit.
Greg Grabus, of Raleigh, also shot 74 to win flight A.
Winston-Salem's Robert Laws shot 83 to win flight B, while David Schmanke, of Apex, won flight C with 83.
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