19TH HOLE: McGowan Named Top Player in Series
Michael McGowan was able to finish only third in the seventh and season finale Winternational Junior Series event held at Pinehurst Resort last weekend.
But that was good enough to earn Player of the Year honors in the junior/senior division.
The seven-tournament series has been held at Pinehurst for the past 15 years, and more than 175 players were members during this season.
McGowan, son of Pat and Bonnie McGowan, of Southern Pines, and a senior at The O'Neal School, was named Player of the Year on the strength of three victories and two second-place finishes. He is scheduled to attend the University of North Carolina on a golf scholarship next fall.
Beau Cutts, of Henderson, was runner-up to McGowan in the points race. Cutts defeated McGowan in a playoff in the fifth event of the season. He was also presented the Bud Shulby Memorial Sportsmanship Award.
Shulby was a rules official for the Winternational for 10 years until his death. His wife, Ellen, still serves in that capacity. Cutts' attitude and demeanor during competition demonstrated the qualities exemplified by this award.
David Koystal II, of Wilmington, won Player of the Year honors in the fresh-man/sophomore division after winning five of the seven events.
Sarah Almond, of Albemarle, was girls' division Player of the Year, winning six of the seven events. Her only loss was to Katie Kirk of David-son in the final tournament of the year held last weekend.
The complete All-American Team announced Sunday includes McGowan; Cutts; Koystal; Quent Mather, of Charlotte; Keri Muse, of Sterling, Va.; Steve Johnson, of Raleigh; Sam Packard, of Pinehurst; Tyler Hashimoto, of Marvin; Charles Valuzzo, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Ben O'Geary, of Henderson; and Jonathan DiIanni of Kernersville.
Cutts won the season finale, held on courses 1 and 2, knocking off Durham's Stratten Waldt with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff that began on the 18th hole of No. 2.
Cutts used a 74 in Sunday's round to catch Waldt, who shot 76. McGowan was third, while Alex Wise of Eden was fourth and Packard fifth.
O'Geary won the freshman/sophomore division with a 150 score that was two strokes clear of runner-up Robert Boyce, of Raleigh. Kirk ended Almond's bid for a perfect season, shooting 74-77 -- 151. Almond shot 75-77 despite an even-par on the front nine Sunday.
The Winternational Junior Series will return for its 16th season in November.
For information on scheduling or results, visit the Web site at www.juniorgolfpienhurst.com, or call Peter DeYoung at 295-5661.
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