Golf Bag: McGowan Shines Again
Michael McGowan, a three-time All-American of Southern Pines, posted 3-under-par 71-70 -- 141 to win the junior/senior division in the season-opening Winternational Junior Series of Golf at Pinehurst Resort last weekend.
McGowan, son of former professional golfer Pat McGowan, was four strokes better than runner-up Noah Ratner, of Asheville. A senior at The O'Neal School, McGowan is scheduled to attend the University of North Carolina where he will join the golf team in 2009. He is a past U.S. Amateur match play competitor and a former high school champion.
McGowan posted five birdies and an eagle during the two rounds.
Beau Cutts, another former All-American, claimed third place and also had a hole-in-one on the 180-yard par-3 15th hole during the first round.
Sam Packard, of Pinehurst, tied for 14th with 158.
Tyler Hashimoto, of Marvin, shot 75-74 -- 149 to win the freshman/sophomore division. Charles Valuzzo, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; David Kostyal II, of Wilmington; and Troy Guy, of Fayetteville, tied for second at 152.
Sam Kosich, of Pinehurst, was 20th with 167.
The girl's division saw a junior from Albemarle, Sarah Almond, win her first Winternational title in her initial attempt. Her three-over-par 71-74 -- 145 total included five birdies and outdistanced the field by 20 strokes. Brianna Clemmons, of Oak Ridge, an All-American and co-player of the year in 2007, was second with 165.
In third place was Kathryn Rand, of Hampstead, with 176.
The Winternational Junior Series will hold its second event Nov. 29-30 on Pinehurst Resort's Centennial No. 8 Course. Contact Peter deYoung at 295-5661 for further information.
Rock Barn Sr.: Former PGA Tour professional Chris Tucker, of Rock Hill, S.C., defeated Rick Murphy, of Greensboro, in a one-hole playoff to win the Carolinas PGA Senior Open held at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover.
Tucker (68-72) and Murphy (70-70) had tied at 140 in regulation. Tucker won his third senior title of the season with a par on the extra hole.
Larry Boswell, of Jamestown, and David Eaker, of Forest City, tied in the overall amateur division at 144 (plus 1). Boswell had rounds of 70-74, while Eaker had matching rounds of 72. Wiley Barrett, an amateur from Southern Pines tied for 57th with 166. Barrett was 12th in the 60-62 amateur division.
Gary Strickfaden, of Pinehurst, shot 70-75 -- 145 to finish as runner-up to Boswell in the 63-and-up amateur division and tied for third overall.
Dick Wilson, of Whispering Pines, shot 74-78 -- 152 to win the super senior 65-69 age division. Herb Conway, of Whispering Pines, was second with 154.
John Green, of Ocean Isle Beach, was the overall super senior division winner with rounds of 76-73 -- 149. Wilson was second, while Conway was third.
John Gerwig, of Whispering Pines, tied for 11th with 161. Hal Dugenske, of Whispering Pines, was 13th with 162. Chuck Daley, of Whispering Pines, was 15th with 165, and James Dockery, of Southern Pines, was 19th with 171.
Readers' Choice: The first-ever Golf World "Readers' Choice Awards," recognizing the 50 best private, public and resort golf destinations in the country have been released.
The distinctions are based solely on the input of Golf World readers and were published in the Oct. 17 issue.
Pinehurst was voted the No. 5 resort, while Tobacco Road in Sanford was ranked No. 5 in public courses.
The full lists, including special online-only sections, can be viewed at www.golfworld.com. The "Readers' Choice Awards" is the first ranking published by Golf World in its 61-year history.
Readers were asked to evaluate the nation's courses in three distinct categories -- private, public and resort -- based on 13 different performance criteria, such as quality of the course, course conditions, reputation/prestige and service. Over 21,000 individual golf course evaluations were received.
Augusta National Golf Club, the famed Masters venue, is the top-rated course in the private category. Rounding out the top-five are: No. 2, Pine Valley G.C. (Pine Valley, N.J.); No. 3, Hidden Creek Golf Course (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.), No. 4, Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio); No. 5, Oak Hill Country Club (Rochester, N.Y.).
New York (nine) has the most private clubs on the list of any state, followed by New Jersey (six) and California (five).
On the public side, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Grand National Golf Club in Opelika, Ala., was voted by Golf World readers as the No. 1 public course. The rest of the top-five includes: No. 2, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill (Prattville, Ala.); No. 3, Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Course (Sandia Park, N.M.); No. 4, Longaberger Golf Club (Nashport, Ohio); and No. 5, Tobacco Road (Sanford).
Nevada (six) has the most clubs on the public list of any state, followed by Arizona, California and Florida (each with five).
The No. 1 resort is Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. The rest of the top-five consists of: No. 2, Turning Stone Resort (Verona, N.Y.); No. 3, Sea Island Golf Club (Sea Island, Ga.); No. 4, Reynolds Plantation (Greensboro, Ga.); No. 5 Pinehurst Resort (Pinehurst).
Florida (10) has the most resorts on the list of any state represented, followed by Hawaii (eight) and South Carolina (five).
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