Local Juniors Sweep Winternational Honors
Local golfers enjoyed a clean sweep in the Player of the Year competition of the Winternational Junior Series that concluded at Pinehurst last weekend.
Austin Dunlap, Joshua Martin, Elizabeth Hall and Summer Barmore claimed the honors in their respective divisions, and all of them were also named to the 12-player All-American team.
Dunlap, a junior at Pinecrest High School, dominated the Junior/Senior Division, scoring four wins in the weather-plagued season. Second place went to Kane Wilkerson, a senior from Winston-Salem. Wilkerson had one victory, a second- and a third-place finish.
Martin, a seventh-grader at West Pine Middle School, played in only five of the events but won three times in the Freshman/Sophomore Division.
Martin is the youngest division Player of the Year in the 16-year history of the Winternational Series. Benjamin Dietrich, of Conover, was runner-up.
The Girls’ Division was a battle from beginning to end as Elizabeth Hall and Summer Barmore slugged it out through the eight events, with each winning three times. It almost seemed fitting that, although the season finale was won by Christina Vosters, of Chesapeake City, Md., Hall and Barmore tied for second place and ended up sharing the Player of the Year honors.
Both are students at The O’Neal School.
Joining the Player of the Year winners on the All-American team were Erik Benson, of Norwood, Dietrich, Andrew Fowler, of Cary, Sam Kosich, of Pinehurst, Tanner Owen, of High Point, Bryan Stewart, of Pinehurst, Wilkerson and Alex Wise, of Greensboro.
The points system for the All-American team is based on the four highest point totals for each individual across the eight-event series.
Marshall Ritchie Jr., of Concord, won the prestigious Bud Shulby Memorial Sportsmanship Award.
The award was named for the late Bud Shulby, who served as a rules official for the Winternational for 10 years prior to his death. His wife, Ellen, completed her 16th year as a rules official with the series. According to Winternational Chairman and founder Peter deYoung, Bud Shulby displayed morals and ethics intertwined in the game of golf.
Ritchie’s attitude and demeanor during competition throughout the season demonstrated the qualities exemplified by this award, according to deYoung.
It was almost as if Dunlap found the final event of the season anticlimatic as he suffered his worst showing of year in the event held on Pinehurst Resort’s Centennial No. 8 Course. Dunlap shot an uncharacteristic 78-80—158 and finished 12th.
Fowler posted rounds of 76-73 for a 149 total that was shared by William Dull, of Winston-Salem, then survived a two-hole playoff to claim the win.
Wilkerson, who fired the low round of 72 on the final day, missed the playoff by a stroke and finished a solo third.
Stewart led after the first round with a level-par 72 but skied to an 80 on Sunday and finished tied for fourth with Brad Burgess, of St. Catherines, Ontario. Sam Packard, of Pinehurst, tied for 13th at 159.
Martin went out in style, posting matching rounds of 73 for a 146 total that was one shot better than runner-up Stanhope Johnson, of Greensboro, in the Freshman/Sophomore Division. Johnson shot a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday to take Martin to the wire.
Dietrich and George Kilgore, of Raleigh, tied for third with 151. Sean Chang, of Aberdeen, was 11th with 185.
Vosters shot 80-79—159 to win the Girls’ Division. Hall shot 92-96 while Barmore posted rounds of 97-91, as the pair tied with 188.
More than 155 high school boys and girls were members during the season. The series has been based in Pinehurst since its inception and conducts championships on all of the eight Pinehurst courses.
The Winternational Junior Series will return for its 17th season in November. For membership information, future scheduling and results from the past season, visit the Winternational Web site at www.juniorgolfpinehurst.com or contact Peter deYoung, series chairman and founder, at (910) 295-5661.
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