Golf Bag: Martin, Hall Repeat Winners
Joshua Martin, of Pinehurst, won his second straight title in the Freshman/Sophomore Division of the Winternational Junior Series' second event of its 16th season this weekend at Pinehurst Resort.
Elizabeth Hall, of Southern Pines, was also a repeat winner in the Girls Division, making up an 11-stroke deficit in the final round.
Seasonal winds but mild weather greeted contestants as 51 teenage boys and girls tackled the Centennial Pinehurst No. 8 course, a Tom Fazio design, Saturday and Sunday.
Martin led both days, shooting 74-73--147, two strokes better than runner-up Jonathan DiIanni, of Kernersville. Martin posted seven birdies over the two rounds. DiIanni, playing with Martin in the final round, eagled the par-5 17th hole to pull within one, but Martin answered with a birdie on the same hole and they both parred the finisher.
Martin is a seventh-grade student at West Pine Middle School.
In third place was Erik Benson, of Norwood, with 155, while in fourth was Will Rainey, of Charlotte, at 158. Sam Kosich, of Pinehurst, was seventh with 163, Sean Chung, of Aberdeen, shot 184, and Josh Stockwell, of West End, was at 201.
Only three shots separated the top eight players after the first round in the Junior/Senior Division, but Kane Wilkerson, of Winston-Salem, and Richard Fountain, of Raleigh, pulled away from the pack to finish regulation play at 149. Wilkerson, a senior at R.J. Reynolds High School, won the sudden death playoff after playing 2-under-par for the first 16 holes in the final round. Fountain played his final eight holes in even par to force the playoff.
Tied for third place with 150 totals were Austin Dunlap, of Pinehurst, and Zachery Munroe, of Charlotte. Fifth place was captured by Bryan Steward, also of Pinehurst.
Hall, who trailed overnight leader Katherine Connell, of Midlothian, Va., by 11 shots after opening with a 101, made up four shots on her front nine and seven shots on the back nine to tie Connell with a division-low 85. She was declared the winner when Connell, who shot 90-96, failed to answer the call for the sudden death playoff.
Summer Barmore, of Pinehurst, was third with a 189.
The Winternational Junior Series will hold its third event Dec. 5-6 on the Donald Ross designed Pinehurst No. 2, as well as Tom Fazio's No. 4 Course. Contact Peter deYoung at (910) 295-5661 for further information or visit the Winternational Junior Series Web site at www.juniorgolfpinehurst.com.
The Bluff: The new ownership at The Bluff Golf Links in Pinebluff has announced its winter rates.
Golfers may walk 18 holes on any day for $15. Carts may be used Monday through Thursday for only $20, and Friday through Sunday for $25.
Single memberships are available for $600 or $50 per month, and family memberships are $1,000 or $83 per month. Also available is the Cart Membership Plan, which allows golfers to pay a $100 membership in full, then pay $15 for 18 holes or $8 for nine holes. There is no membership for walkers under this plan.
For information, call (910) 281-0275.
Golfaris: There will be 10 "Golfaris" scheduled for Pine Needles resort in 2010. The popular five-day golf schools, first conducted in 1965, will begin in February and run until September.
Pat McGowan, director of instruction at Pine Needles, said there would be six Golfaris for women, three for youths and one for couples.
"Teaching golf is something we do well," McGowan said. "Our comprehensive instructional program is one of the nation's first and finest and has proved invaluable to golfers of all skill levels over the years. We take great pride in the effectiveness of our teaching system."
Golfaris for women are set for Feb. 8-12, May 3-7, May 10-14, May 17-21, May 29-June 2 and Sept. 6-10.
Seven-day youth sessions will be held July 5-11, July 12-18 and July 19-25. The lone adult clinic will be conducted June 13-18.
Assisting McGowan, a former touring professional, will be former LPGA star Donna Andrews, school founder and resort owner Peggy Kirk Bell, Bonnie McGowan and golf director Graham Gilmore.
"The emphasis is always upon improving the student's game," McGowan said, "but we also strive to make learning an enjoyable, relaxing and memorable experience. There is never any pressure to perform."
The veteran instructor said the latest high-tech video equipment is utilized.
The nationally-ranked Pine Needles golf course was designed by Donald Ross and opened in 1928. It has hosted three U.S. Women's Open Golf Championships and a number of USGA tournaments over the years. It was renovated by architect John Fought in 2004.
For further information or to make a reservation, call (800) 747-7272.
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