Junior Golf

PGA Junior League Cleveland County Chapter advances

If at first you don’t succeed, well you know the rest.

The kids in the PGA Junior League – Cleveland County Chapter are ready to try again to advance out of Sectional play in Charlotte next week.

“We have some really good players and they are super competitive,” said Chip Ridley, from The Creek Golf Club who is the PGA professional and Team Captain. “We have come up short the last two years and they are more determined than ever to get to the next level,” he said.

Davis Petty owns a US Kids World Championship and a couple of SCJGA Championships.
Will McCraw won the SCJGA Pee-Wee championship earlier in the spring.

Ridley and Assistant Captain Danny Agapion, the PGA Professional at Cherokee National Golf Club in Gaffney, used a different strategy to pick the 8 golfers from the 7 golf clubs who will represent the Cleveland County Chapter next week.

In year’s past all the spots on the team were based on a qualifying tournament. Sometimes a very good player could have a bad day and not make the “travel squad”. When that would happen, it would hurt the entire teams chances.

And while the idea of almost every junior competition is to learn and have fun, all the kids know the most fun comes when you win.

Without naming names or pointing fingers Ridley and Agapion have seen “super teams” come to the sectional tournaments and wondered how did all those good players happen to be in one chapter.

This year the two captains decided to try a little of what their competitors have been doing, by putting their team together with some captain’s picks, but still keeping it among the kids in the chapter’s seven clubs.

Ty Childers has picked up a number of age group wins in the SCJGA Hootie Summer Series
Dawson Szabo has won two SCJGA summer tournaments and has 3-top-10 finishes.

“We have four golfers from the clubs who have demonstrated they are outstanding players with the way they played in the Junior League this year and other tournaments. We put them on our team to start,” said Ridley.

Davis Petty, from The Creek, already has world and national championships to his name. Dawson Szabo, also from The Creek, has experience playing in national and high level competitions.

Will McCraw, from Carolina Country Club, is this year’s SCJGA Pee Wee Champion and Ty Childers, from Cherokee National, has been winning his age group in SCJGA tournaments. The four are captain’s picks.

“We had some really good play from the other kids to make the last four spots and they are going to help our team,” said Ridley, after the qualifying was completed at River Bend near Shelby on Wednesday.

Four young golfers played their way onto the Cleveland County Chapter team for the PGA Junior Sectional in Charlotte. Moses Zikusooka, from Carolina Country Club, Harley Wood and Trevor Blanton from Cherokee National and Minyan Ou, from River Bend.

Moses Zikusooka, from Carolina Country Club shot a 72 as did Harley Wood from Cherokee National. Trevor Blanton, also from Cherokee National shot a 75 along with Minyan Ou, from River Bend, to lock up the last spots on the team.

The seven clubs in the Cleveland County Chapter are, River Bend, Meadowbrook, Cherokee National, Woodfin Ridge, The Creek, Carolina Country Club and The Country Club of Spartanburg.

The team will be in action on Monday at Charles T. Myers Golf Club in Charlotte were they will square off with teams from Charlotte, Tega Kay, Rock Hill and State Line.

There are other Sectional events all around the country, including Columbia, as PGA Junior chapters try to advance to the national finals at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona in October.

” We hope we can keep playing after Monday, but if we don’t we have had a fun year with all the kids, and a special thanks to the PGA Professionals at all the clubs,” concluded Ridley.

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