Junior golfers launch play

-A A +A

LJGA opens 2012 season on Monday

By Robert Howey



The Lancaster chapter of the S.C. Junior Golf Association opens its 18th season Monday morning when the juniors play at the White Plains Golf Club in Pageland.

The Monday opener marks the first of two stops at the Chesterfield County golf course.

The chapter’s season-ending tournament – the Roy Small Junior Championship – will be played July 23-24 at White Plains. The Roy Small Junior Championships had previously been played at the Lancaster Golf Club, but the tournament was moved this year because of a major renovation at the LGC.

Roy Small, a Lancaster Athletic Hall of Fame member after an outstanding athletic career at Lancaster High School in the early 1940s, was an avid supporter of junior golf during his lifetime.

Small is the father of Lancaster Golf Club pro Phil Small and Butch Small, a LJGA supporter.

The annual state all-star tournament will be played Aug. 25-26 at the Anderson Country Club in Anderson.

“I’m excited about our new season,” said chapter director Raymon Chisom. “We have a solid group of 70 junior golfers. I think we’re going to do well.”

The Lancaster junior golf program is open to area youngsters ages 6-17.

Chisom noted the 13-14 boys age division and the boys 10-12 age group each has 15 players.

“We also have 12 girls playing in three age divisions,” Chisom said.

The girls age divisions and number of holes they play are 8-10, five holes from special tees; 11-13, nine holes from the red tees; and 14-18, nine holes from the white tees.

In the boys, the age divisions are 6-7, five holes from special teams; 8-9, five holes from special tees; 10-12, nine holes from the red tees; 13-14, 18 holes from the white tees; and 15-18, 18 holes from the championship tees.

A year ago, the Lancaster chapter of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association produced a first at the Thomas D. Todd all-stars championship tournament at the Pickens Country Club.

The Lancaster chapter won its first-ever overall boys title based on the effort of its eight all-stars in four age divisions.

The Lancaster chapter actually tied for first with Spartanburg, 229 points each, but took the title outright with a pair of first-place finishes.

Caleb Henson, 8-9 division, and Brady Hinkle, in the 10-12 age dvision, each took top honors.

Henson shot an 80 (39-41) over 18 holes to take the crown. Hinkle tied for first in his age division with a two-under 70 (36-34) in 18 holes.

Top returnees this season include Hinkle, who is in the 13-14 age group; Michael Williams, who is in the 13-14 age group after a ninth-place effort in the boys 10-12 age group with an 87 (44-43) last season in Pickens; and Matthew Terry, the Central High School standout golfer who has moved to the 15-18 age group after placing fifth in the boys 13-14 age group with a 155 (79-76) last season.

Hinkle is also coming off a recent win in the Fuzzy and Friends junior golf tournament and long drive championship at Edgewater Golf Club where he won the boys 9-10 age division with a one-under 35 over nine holes.

In the girls division, Emily Cox, who played with the Andrew Jackson High boys team this spring and the Lancaster High girls last fall, is in the girls 11-13 age group.

Cox tied for fifth with a 90 (45-45) over 18 holes last summer in the girls 11-13 age group.

Baylee Evans, the top LJGA girls finisher overall last summer with an 86 (44-42) in the girls 8-10 age group, is back.

Ashley Miller also returns to play in the girls 11-13 age division after placing 14th overall in the all-star tournament with a 124 (62-62) in the girls 8-10 age division last summer.

Evans also placed second in the girls 10-12 age group, shooting a 42 over nine holes at the Edgewater junior tournament last month.

2012 juniors schedule

June 4 White Plains Golf Club, Pageland

June 11, Edgewater Golf Club (golfers 18 holes) Chester Golf Club (nine holes and under)

June 18, Kershaw Golf Club

July 9, Chester Golf Club

July 16, Kershaw Golf Club

July 23-24, Roy Small Junior Championships, White Plains Golf Club

Aug. 25-26, State All-Star tournament, Anderson Country Club, Anderson