Golf Bag: Martin Defends Ross Junior Title
Joshua Martin, a sophomore at Pinecrest High School, is now a member of an elite group to have defended a Donald Ross Junior Championship.
Only six players have ever won more than one Ross title, and Martin is only the fourth to be able to defend the championship.
He will conceivably have two more opportunities to win the event, which was played on Pinehurst Resort courses 4 and 5.
Martin was the picture of consistency as he posted 4-under-par 70-70—140, nipping Carolinas Golf Association Player of the Year Carter Jenkins of Raleigh and Ben Griffin of Chapel Hill by a stroke.
Billy Tom Sargent of Georgetown, Ky., and Will Long of Gastonia were at 142 in the 15-18 division.
Joshua Stockwell of West End, the current Moore County Amateur Champion, shot 70-74—144 to tie for sixth. Zachary Martin, the older brother of Joshua, tied for 19th with 149. Blake Martin of Pinehurst shot 164, and Gray Linzel III of Southern Pines and Griffin Cryan of Pinehurst were at 172.
Nathan Chuwait of Herndon, Va., shot 66-70—136 to win the 12-14 age division played on the par-70 No. 1 Course. James Sugg of Pinehurst was three strokes back in second with 70-69—139.
Anderson Allgeyer of Pinehurst tied for fifth with 146. A.J. Beecher of Pinehurst tied for 18th with 153.
Grayson Woronsky of Wake Forest won the 11-and-under division with 72-74—146. He edged Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest by a shot.
Symon Balbin of Pinehurst was eighth with 159.
Junior Elite: A lot of high school girls are going to be happy when Sarah Bae of Cary takes her golfing talents to High Point University this coming fall.
This is the third straight year that Bae has been named the junior girls player of the year by the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA) and the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA). Carter Jenkins of Raleigh has been named the junior boys player of the year.
The N.C. Junior Player of the Year award recognizes one girl and one boy who have had the most successful year in amateur and junior golf events at the local, state, regional and national levels.
Bae, a 17-year-old high school senior at Athens Drive High School, finished 2012 with seven victories, including the last four she competed in.
Her most impressive victory was the NCHSAA 4-A state girls’ championship in which Bae had enjoyed three previous high finishes, but had been unable to pull off the coup. She made the most of her final opportunity and captured the coveted prize.
In the 24 tournaments Bae competed in, she placed in the top 10 in all but two. In June, Bae qualified for the USGA’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Pub-Links Championship where she advanced to match play and finished tied for 33rd.
Her impressive play earned Bae a scholarship to High Point University.
Jenkins, a 17-year-old high school senior at Leesville Road High School, finished first in six tournaments in 2012.
Over the summer Jenkins captured the N.C. Junior and Dogwood State Junior Championships, both major junior events conducted by the CGA.
Jenkins was also the medalist in U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifying where he advanced to match play at the championship proper and finished tied for 33rd.
Jenkins finished the year with a tournament stroke average of 70.82, the lowest of more than 410 junior golfers in North Carolina.
He has signed to play college golf at UNC Greensboro.
The player of the year awards were determined by a combination of each player’s tournament scoring differential and the total points earned in the TYGA N.C. rankings events from Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2012.
These outstanding juniors, along with the 2012 N.C. All-State Girls’ and Boys’ teams, will be honored at the N.C. Junior Golf Night Awards Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 at Pine Needles Resort in Southern Pines.
Shootout: Michael Hocker, one of only four of the 12 qualifiers to tackle Pinehurst Resort’s renowned No. 2 Course in the Pinehurst Shootout, braved inclement weather and low temperatures to shoot two over par and claim the title by 11 strokes over second-place Patrick Barrett of Pinehurst.
Jacob Mast of Liberty University was third at 14 over par, and Christopher Hickman of East Tennessee was plus-16.
The field was to have consisted of the low 12 qualifiers from a 45-hole qualifier in the Country Club of North Carolina Amateur.
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