Looking around at almost 130 junior golfers playing the Cobbs Glen course he grew up on, Daniel Seawell allowed himself a moment to reflect on what his father, the late Jackie Seawell would have thought of the Junior tournament held in his memory.
“He would have been excited to see so may juniors playing golf,” said Daniel, “My dad loved helping get kids started playing, but he would have wanted somebody else’s name on the tournament,” said Seawell’s son with a chuckle remembering how unassuming his Hall of Fame father was about his contributions to the game in Anderson and later in Aiken and around South Carolina.
No other name would have brought the Anderson community together last year to begin the tournament and this year to help it grow to serve even more young golfers in the name of the first PGA professional at Cobbs Glen.
Seawell was the soft spoken, ever positive golf professional, who taught the game to hundreds if not thousands of golfers in and around Anderson.
Matt Harbin, who along with Cobb Oxford and other community leaders developed a love for the game that began when Jackie Seawell gave them their first lesson.
“Its been a great two years since we began. The support we have received from the Anderson community and from Mr Seawell’s following in Aiken has been overwhelming,” said Harbin..
The financial and volunteer support has allowed the local organizers to put on a junior event at the least the equal of other two-day tournaments in the state.
“We have been able to take care of the juniors and their parents at the tournament and our support has allowed us to join with the South Carolina Junior Golf Association to develop a scholarship,” noted Harbin.
Harbin is an example of the lasting influence Seawell had with a number of people in Anderson.
Harbin came to the game and learned to play under Seawells’ direction. He helped the TL Hanna team win a state championship and went on to become an All-American golfer at USC Aiken.
After school he worked for Mr. Seawell, as he always called Jackie, for 20 years before moving into a business of his own.
Two years ago as Seawell’s health began to fail, Harbin headed up the group that developed, funded and produced the new junior tournament for the first time last fall.
And just as his son said, Seawell would have liked to have the tournament named for someone else, but at Harbin’s urging allowed his name to be connected to the event.
Seawell passed away a little over a year ago.
While the boys and girls tournaments are divided by age group competition, any junior playing can win the overall championship and that is what happened on Sunday at Cobbs.
Charles Cauthen, from Columbia, carded a sizzling 5-under par in the final round to make up a shot on the first round leader, Dawson Szabo from Greer, and go on to win the Jackie Seawell Junior.
Cauthen, who was a member of the outstanding AC Flora High School team that dominated play in the state and won the South Carolina High School League AAAA title last year, shot rounds of 70 and 67 for a 137 total and an 8 shot margin of victory..
Playing for Flora last spring Cauthen was the runner-up for medalist honors in the AAAA tournament.
He enjoyed the team win, but with the Jackie Seawell junior individual title under his belt and with the belt given instead of a trophy Cauthen got to experience another form of victory.
“I mean it feels a little better (than the win with the team) and I know I could get used to it,”said the high school sophomore.
First round leader Szabo, opened the tournament with a 3-under par 69.
Szabo, like several of the other leaders had trouble negotiating the challenging finish at Cobbs Glen on Sunday and posted some big numbers on their score cards dropping them off the lead.
None of the other golfers were able to get close and Cauthen went the distance with a comfortable lead
Casey Kosney from Spartanburg finished in a three way tie with Easley’s Dillon Park and Szabo.
The girls championship was won by Anderson’s Marisa Scarlleta, who shot identical rounds of 76 for the win. Her 152 total earned her a three shot victory over Robin Zetrouer from Bluffton
“My iron play was good and my chipping and putting around the green also helped,” said Scaletta.
A pair of scrambling pars turned out to be a big part of the difference between Scaletta and the second place finisher.
“On number 4, I hit a good chip and made the putt. On number 7 my chip wasn’t as good and I had to make an 18 footer to save par and keep her lead.
Mia Carles, the Orange Jacket winner from a few weeks ago, finished in third place at the championship.
In the girls, 10-12 year old division, Zoey Meldrum from Aiken topped Kinley Brazil form Blythewood for the title. Arlen Jennings from Spartanburg just missed winning a medal.
In the boys 16-18 division, Chuck Stanley from Warrenville finished 1 shot in front of Greenville’s Henry Hall for the age group title.
Davis Petty won his Seawell 10-12 year old title last year and he did it again in 2022.
The very young golfer, who mirrors a 12 year PGA Tour pro, shot rounds of 35- 33 for a 68 (9 holes each day).
Greenville’s Cullen Beck held the first round lead and increased it at the start of the second round.
Beck birdied his first hole while Petty bogeyed his starting hole, but Petty went on to card four birdies to finish three-shots in front.
Greenville’s Thomas Demint and Ty Childers from Gaffney all finished tied for 3rd place
The tournament uses a unique belt as a first place prize, it looks like a World Wrestling Federation belt, but it is a throw back to the original prizes at St. Andrews.
Seawell and his Mom helped hand out the awards to the winners after the second successful event played in his father and her husbands name.
“Dad would have been very proud of all of this today.”,.,… concluded Daniel Seawell with a knowing smile.
Scores from the Jackie Seawell Junior at Cobbs Glen
Categories: Junior Golf, Video Highlights & Interviews
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