Avery Jones repeats as girls champion at St. Marys G&CC
By Pat Payton
For the second year in a row, the Junior boys club champion was determined in a playoff at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
Peyton Lobb was involved in the playoff both years. In 2019, Lobb won the title on the second playoff hole. Last Thursday, he had to settle for second place following a one-hole, sudden-death playoff against Thomas Kooy.
The par-4, No. 8 hole was used for the playoff. After Kooy, 16, and Lobb, 14, both smashed good drives down the middle, Lobb appeared to have the edge when he hit his approach shot onto the front of the green. Kooy was a few feet off the putting surface, but chipped his ball to within eight feet of the pin and made par. Lobb had a lengthy putt and three-putted for a bogey.
During the regulation 18 holes, both Kooy (41-48) and Lobb (45-44) posted scores of 89. Kooy competed in the 15-and-over age division, and Lobb in the 13-14 grouping.
Strong iron play
Kooy said a big positive in his game last Thursday was his iron play. The lefthander used his trusted 60-degree wedge in the playoff and it paid off.
“My iron shots were really good today; I was able to place most of them pretty close,” Kooy told the Independent. “It was kind of wet today, and I used it to my advantage and got a little spin on the ball.
“In the playoff, I tried to place my iron shot close. I hit a 6 iron because we were into the wind, but I missed the green. My 60-degree wedge is the one I always go to, and I managed to get it close (to the pin).”
Jones defends girls title
Eleven girls competed in last Thursday’s Junior Club event. There were two divisions for the girls — 13-and-over and 12-and-under.
Avery Jones fired a 57 over nine holes to finish first in the 13-and-over division. It also made her overall girls champion for the second year in a row.
Second place went to Anna Ropp with a 60. She earned the title of girls Senior champ. Charlotte Clinton had a 65 and placed third.
In the girls 12-and-under division, Libby McCurdy topped the field with a 61, followed by Marin Chateauvert with a 63.
There were a total of five boys age divisions.
In the eight-and-under grouping, Talan Ward posted a tidy score of 39 (over six holes) to finish first. Elliott Wilhelm (44) was second and Mark Richardson (49) third.
In the nine-and-10 division, Declan McCotter took top spot with a 50 over nine holes. Nate Hern (55) was second and Evan Wolfkamp (57) third.
The biggest field in the tournament was the 11-12 boys division, featuring 16 golfers. Donovan McGregor emerged the winner over nine holes with a 45. He edged two other golfers by one shot — Chase McDougall (second) and Harper Murrell (third).
In the 13-14 division, Peyton Lobb’s 89 gave him top spot, followed by Nate Schiedel (96) and Cyler Pickering (97).
With Thomas Kooy the overall boys champion, Jimmy Schiedel (92) was awarded first place in the 15-and-over grouping. Chase Carter (108) was second and Jack McCotter (111) third.
Thrilled with turnout
Matt Staffen, General Manager and Director of Golf at the G&CC, was thrilled with the turnout for the 2020 Junior Club championships.
“It’s really great to see the skill development with these kids,” he said. “I think Junior golf is alive and well in our community. Four or five years ago, we had a vision of really growing Junior golf, and today is a testament to how well our Junior golf program is doing.
“We had 75 kids overall in our Junior golf programs this year, and to see 55 of them out for the Junior Club championships is tremendous to see. It exposes them to competition as well and golf just brings so many things to people’s lives.”
Junior Club notes:
–All boys, 13 and up, played 18 holes.
–Coach Kellen Fifield was thanked for his contributions to Junior golf.
–Every Junior golfer received lunch and a prize last Thursday.