Junior Golf

PGA Junior League teams begin playoffs

These are the Cleveland County PGA Junior League All-Stars after the tournament at Woodfin Ridge. Dawson Szabo, Davis Petty, Minyan Ou, William McCraw, Luke Robertson, Ben Smith and Ty Childers will compete in the regional competition in Charlotte on July 26th, (GolfClub Photo)

All over the Carolinas and in fact around the entire country, young golfers in PGA Junior Leagues are getting ready for the playoffs.

Up until this point the spring and summer matches have been for developing golfing skills, socializing and having fun, but now things get series.

Dawson Szabo had the best score in the All-Star tournament shooting a 6-under par 66 from the 5,200 yard junior tees at Woodfin Ridge. (Golf Club Photo)

“The great thing about the PGA Junior League is that it helps young golfers in so many ways,” said Phil Wallace of River Bend Golf Club in Shelby, who helped organize the league. “It of course helps them learn to play the game, make friends and enjoy golf, but this is the time of the year when competition becomes important too,” he said.

The Cleveland County league includes, RIver Bend, Cherokee National, The Creek, Carolina Country Club, The Country Club of Spartanburg, Meadowbrook and Woodfin Ridge.

The teams of young golfers at each club have played a round robin schedule to square off against every other team in the cluster.

The team from Cherokee National in Gaffney won the league with The Creek from Spartanburg coming in second.

Instead of just the winning team advancing to the opening round of the playoffs most leagues hold an all-star tournament to select players from the other teams in the league to make the league’s entry a stronger team in the playoffs.

The Cleveland County league held its All-Star tournament at Woodfin Ridge. While most events during the year are team events or captain’s choice with substitutions allowed the qualifier was a stroke play for 18 holes.

“We wanted to see who are the strongest individual golfers in our league and then put them together for the matches at the regional in Charlotte,” said Chip Ridley, the PGA professional at The Creek Golf Club who will be the assistant coach for the team in the playoffs.

Around 20 of the leagues better players competed for seven team spots. Since Cherokee National won the league PGA Professional Danny Agapion from the club will be the coach and will make one selection to bring the number of golfers up to eight.

The kids who ranged in age from 10 to 13 years old played some outstanding golf to qualify for the all-star team.

Dawson Szabo from The Creek team had the best round of the day shooting a 6-under par 66 from the course set up at 5200 yards for the juniors at Woodfin Ridge.

Minyan Ou from River Bend Golf Club shot even par at Woodfin Ridge to earn a spot on the All-Star team. (GolfClub Photo)

The only girl in the field made the All-Star team with a strong finish to her round.

Minyan Ou from River Bend was 3-over par with 4-holes to go. Ou made 3-birdies on her last 4-holes to finish at even par and earn one of the All-Star spots.

Davis Petty from The Creek Golf Club followed up a busy weekend of golf with a good day at Woodfin Ridge making the All-Star team.

Petty won the 10-year old division at the US Kids Red, White and Blue Championship at Pinehurst over the holiday weekend. The tournament is considered a preview of the US Kids National Championship later in the summer.

Davis Petty tries to help his approach shot on number 18 reach the green during the the PGA Junior League All-Star tournament at Woodfin Ridge. Petty qualified for the All-Star team and will play in the regional tournament later this month in Charlotte. (GolfClub Photo)

If 10-year old golfers can have arch rivals than Petty and Dento Assis from Brazil have the makings of a lifelong rivalry.

The two young golfers finished first and second at Pinehurst. They have traded the top two positions in the age group back and forth with Petty winning the US Kids World Championship in the 9 year old Division last year.

Szabo, Ou and Petty will be joined by Luke Robertson, Ben Smith and Ty Childers From Cherokee National along with William McCraw from Carolina Country Club and and a coaches pick to play in the regional tournament at Raintree Golf Club in Charlotte on July 26th.

“We got within a shot of advancing out of the regional last year and I think we are sending a stronger team to the tournament this year,” said Ridley. “We hope we can keep the season going a little longer and advancing to the next level of competition,”

A few pictures of the talented young golfers at the PGA Junior League Tournament at Woodfin Ridge. (GolfClub Photos)

Categories: Junior Golf

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