Junior golfers are taking up all the headlines this week as young golfers from the Palmetto State are playing in national competition, a Carolinas major and a South Carolina favorite event.
At the USGA Junior, being played at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, the defending South Carolina Amateur champion Jonathan Griz from Hilton Head won his round of 16 match,
Griz defeated the #5 seed, Caleb Surratt from Indian Trail, NC, 3 and 2 to advance to the quarter final in the national championship.
Griz fell behind at the start of the back nine, but won four of the next five holes to win the match and advance.
Future Gamecock golfer Gene Zeigler from Florence was down 2 after the 11th hole, but was able to take the lead in the match with a pair of birdies and a par on the next three holes.
Luke Potter, the #15 seed from Encinitas, California was able to birdie his final two holes to pull out a victory 1 up.
Nick Dunlap from Huntsville, Alabama who played high school golf for a year at Riverside in Greenville needed 20 holes to top Matthew Comegys to gain a spot in the final 8.
Griz, who entered Match Play as the 12th seed will face #13 Cohen Trolio from West Point, Mississippi in the quarterfinal match at 7:27.
A victory by Griz would send him to the semi-finals also to be played on Friday.
Adams and Paolucci win titles at The Blade
Zach Adams had a walk in the park while Paige Paolucci had to play her final round feeling tournament pressure as the two juniors won top honors at The Blade Junior Classic.
Adams, from Charleston, outdistance the field through the first two rounds taking a 6-shot lead into the final round of the tournament.
“I knew it was going to be a little tough at the start today going in with a six shot lead,” said Adams. “So I gave myself a goal to win by 10 shots and I won by 12, so I just kind of steadied my way to a 64,” he said.
Adams shot rounds of 67-67 and 64 to finish with a 198 total at 15-under par. Since this was the first time The Blade played 54 holes Adams has a tournament record that will be hard to beat.
“It feels great to be the champion. I’ve been playing here for so long and I’ve come close a few times, so I’m just proud of myself and excited,” said Adams.
Adams was never threatened as the only suspense on the leader board was who would finish second.
Tip Price from Greenville and Jerry Bruns from Beaufort battled to a draw for the runner-up spot.
Both golfers finished with 3-under par 210 totals. Bruns was 4-under in the final round while Price finished at 3-under par.
In the girls championship, Paolucci started the final round tied with three other golfers. Maddie Peake from Pauline and Carolina Hawkins from Columbia were tied with Paolucci at 150 for the first two rounds.
In the final round Paolucci carded a 2-over par round of 74 for the second time in the tournament and it proved to be the difference.
Paolucci finished at 8-over 224 for the tournament which earned her a 3-shot victory over Hawkins while Peak finished in third place 5-shots behind the winner.
“I never would have thought I would win this year,” said Paolucci. “I came in this year thinking I was going to win and wanting to win, so I’m super excited that everything fell the way I wanted it to,” she said.
Earlier in the week Davis Petty from Spartanburg won the 10-12 year old boys title with a playoff win over Connor Wolfe from Blythewood.
Mia Carles from Clinton won the girls 10-12 year old title by 2-shots over Kinley Brazell from Blyrthewood.
The tournament held at the Thornblade Club has a well earned reputation for being more than a golf tournament.
Over the 23 year history of the event “Kids helping Kids” had raised over $1.5 million for local charities in the Greenville area.
The Hendley family in association with the event will begin presenting a special scholarship for a male and female golfer.
The Dick and Lucille Hendley Scholarship Fund will recognize two young golfers who exemplify great character, a passion for community service and desire to excel in the classroom.
The Hendleys’ were the grand parents of 2009 US Open Champion Lucas Glover and long time residents and members of the Thornblade community.
The Blade Junior Classic scores https://scjga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scjga21/event/scjga2110/contest/13/leaderboard.htm
Pate wins third CGA summer championship
In Gaffney at the Cherokee National Golf Club Macy Pate of Winston-Salem continued her dominance in Carolinas Golf Associations Junior Girls events with a 7-shot victory in the 65th Carolinas Junior Girls Championship.
Pate took the lead away from Sydney Roberts of Chesnee in the second round and went on to add the Junior Girls title to her North Carolina Junior and Twin States Junior championships.
Pate shot the best round of the tournament with a 6-under par 66 to finish the tournament at 12-under par and 204.
“My ball striking was really good all week and I gave myself a lot of birdie looks,” said Pate. “The putter got really hot today and I was making a lot of putts from a long way away. It was a lot of fun,” said the winner.
Roberts started the day with a chip in eagle on the first hole to cut into Pate’s lead, but Pate would go 4-under par on the back to close out Roberts and the rest of the very strong field of competitors from both Carolinas.
Adrian Anderson from Murrells Inlet finished in third place and was the only other golfer under par in the championship.
Carolinas Junior Girls scores from the CGA https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2843865