The points race for Junior Player of the Year in the Carolinas often requires an abacus, some advanced level math and a super-computer to determine which golfer is the top junior in the two states.
However, if you just use the “eye” test and consider big wins against top notch fields, Wren High School golfer Chloe Holder is definitely in the running for the award.
Holder added another Carolinas major championship to her record by becoming the first golfer to win back to back titles in the Carolinas Golf Association’s Vikki DiSantis championship at Pine Island in Charlotte.
The 2019 South Carolina AAAA individual champion shot an opening round 3-under par 69 to lead by one shot over an all-star field.
Isabella Rawl from Lexington was a shot back in second place.
Around half of the top-25 in the event recently signed to play college golf and many of the others will follow along in the next two years.
Holder, playing the back 9 at Pine Island first, got off to a fast start making birdies on four of her first 5 holes.
However, she gave back 3-shots when she bogeyed three of her last four holes before making the turn.
“I made some mistakes,” she said. “They weren’t dumb mistakes, but I should have known better than to try a couple of those shots,” she recalled.
On the back nine Holder settled down to par the first 5-holes and then make birdies on two of her last four holes to finish at 69.
“I practiced after the round and got my wedge working again the way I wanted it,” she said.
And it would show in the second round.
Holder and Rawl along with Madison Messimer from Myrtle Beach were in the final grouping setting up a rematch of sorts between Holder and Rawl.
In August, the 2018 South Carolina High School AAAAA individual champion had returned to competitive golf after a year long absence with an injury to top Holder in a playoff at the 2020 Beth Daniel Junior Azalea.
There would be no playoff for the DiSantis title. In the second round Holder started even faster than she did in her first round.
The future Augusta State golfer made 4-birdies in her first 7-holes to turn at 31 and open a 4-shot lead over Rawl.
“My ball striking was solid today. I think I hit fifteen greens and I was hitting them pretty tight. Once I got to the green, if it was within eight feet I felt really confident,” said Holder.
On the back nine Rawl made 5-birdies to four by Holder, but a bogey on number 12 kept her from getting any closer and put Holder in a comanding position for the win.
“Coming down the stretch it was definitely in my mind that I was winning. “I kept my routine the same and that helped me finish,” she said.
Holder’s 8-under par 64 won the championship over Rawl with Abbey Franks from Roebuck finishing third at 2-under par 142.
Not only did Holder claim the title in what was her last CGA Junior event, she broke the old individual round scoring record of 66 by 2-shots with her final round 64.
She also bettered the tournament scoring record of 139 by 6-shots with her two day total of 133.
“Honestly I don’t know if I can put into words just how great it feels. I put in a lot of hard work and dedication just to come out here and play these past two days so really it is surreal and I am so thankful,” she said.
Holder, who won the event in 2019 added her second DiSantis championship to an outstanding year.
In the 15 events rated by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association Holder finished out of the top-4 only 3 times.
Holder’s 2020 wins came in big tournaments against top rated fields like The Blade the Orange Jacket and now the DiSantis.
Her runner-up finishes have been in tournaments just as important the Junior Azalea and Twin-State girls. Add in a third place finish in the WSCGA Junior and a 4th at the Junior Heritage and Holder has had a terrific year.
“Looking back I have had a very good year. I learned a lot and was able to stay within myself and make the shots I needed to when I needed them to win,” concluded the 2020 DiSantis champion.
Complete scoring available at https://cga.golfgenius.com/pages/2747576