Junior Golf

Smith eagles his way to the Transou Junior title

Jay Smith from Florence shared the first-round lead and used a pair of eagles in the second round to break out of a tie with Aiken’s Cameron Biddle to go on and win the Henry Transou Junior Classic tournament at the Cherokee National Golf Club in Gaffney. (GolfClub Photo)

Taking home hard ware from any one of the highly competitive South Carolina Junior championships in a year lets you know you are a pretty good player.

When you haul the hardware away from two tournaments, you let everyone else in the state know you got game.

Jay Smith won his second important South Carolina Junior event with a convincing 7-shot victory over a solid field at the Henry Transou Junior Classic tournament played at Cherokee National Golf Club in Gaffney.

The SCJGA Heritage Foundation rankings had Jay Smith as the #3 player in the state, only runner-up Andrew Gregory was ranked higher (#2) entering the tournament at Cherokee National in Gaffney. (GolfClub Photo)

Smith, who is a senior at Trinity Collegiate School in Darlington, last spring won a pair of big high school tournaments including the Anderson Brothers Bank Invitational.

He helped his high school team win the SCISA AAA championship and last July won his first significant SCJGA title when he edged out Spence Hagood for the championship at the Grant Bennett Junior played at the Florence Country Club.

His best tournaments have been played around his home in Florence and the Pee Dee, but his win in Gaffney shows his game can travel.

“I’ve played here three times and I love the course and the way the tournament is run,” said the 2022 Transou Champion. “I felt comfortable here and was able to play well,” said Smith who improved on his 17th place finish in the 2021 Transou.

Smith opened the 36 hole championship shooting a 2-under par 70 and finished the first day in a tie with Cameron Biddle from Aiken.

The two had a slim lead over Reed Burton from Shelby, NC and a little further back, but within stroking distance of the lead was Jerry Bruns from Beaufort, Woodruff’s Gage Howard, Andrew Gregory from Boiling Springs and Major Lenning from Simpsonville, who all have show the ability to win big tournaments

In the second round Smith found a way to break out of the tie with Biddle and put some distance between himself and the other good players in the field.

He eagled two holes, both from the fairway and both were made with a wedge in his hands.

On the sixth hole he hit driver and pitching wedge for his first eagle.

His second eagle came on the 15th hole, a 553 yard par five that required a driver, three-wood and lob wedge to put Smith’s second eagle on his scorecard.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve never had two eagles in the same round,” he said

Smith signed for a second round 4-under par 68 and a two round total of 138.

“I had two good days of ball striking,” said Smith. “I was able to put the ball where I wanted it and my putting and chipping was very good both days,” he added.

Boiling Springs High School golfer Andrew Gregory shot a final round 1-under par 71 to move up into second place at the 2022 Henry Transou Memorial. (GolfClub Photo)

Andrew Gregory finished as the runner-up in the Transou. The Boiling Springs High School golfer matched Spartanburg High School’s Connor Williams each with 71s for the second lowest round of the day.

Smith and Gregory were the two highest ranked Heritage Classic Foundation players in the field and entered the tournament ranked #2 and #3 behind Indian Land’s Mason Kucia.

The top of the Boys 13-18 leader board included Medalist Jay Smith (center) and runner-up Andrew Gregory, Granger Amick, and Reed Burton. Not pictured Conner Williams. (GolfClub Photo)
Gaffney’s Ty Childers won his second Pee-Wee title by shooting identical 9=-hole rounds of 35 for the victory at Cherokee National in Gaffney. GolfClub Photo)

In age group competition Gaffney’s Ty Childers won his second Transou title playing in the Pee Wee Division.

Pee Wees play 18 holes divided into two 9-hole rounds and Childers who won his first Transou title at the age of nine repeated the win two years later.

Childers shot identical rounds of 35 each day to win the age group competition by six shots over Parker Adler of Gaffney, Kingston Linder and WIll Miller from Spartanburg who all tied for second place.

Childers, who thinks he has been playing golf with a scorecard since he was around 6 years old kept control of his ball in both rounds.

“I hit a few bad shots, but not many and I made some good pars,” said the young winner who finished at 2-under par for his 18 holes.

Cherokee National Golf Club PGA Professional Danny Agapion congratulates the boys 13-15 age group champions. Will Ruth from Moore (center) finished second while Owen Atkinson from Columbia was the age group champion. (GolfClub Photo)

In the Girls 13-18 year old division Teryn Dalton from York finished in front of Bella Bozard from Holywood and Reese Richardson from Aynor for the girls championship.

In the Boys Sub-PeeWee Davin Kozic from Gaffney topped Lucca Parker also from Gaffney for the age group victory.

Scores from the Henry Transou Junior Classic can be obtained at http://www.cherokeenationalgolfclub.com/the-henry-2022-results.html

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