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Junior golfers to open play Monday

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2011 LJGA season

By Robert Howey

The Lancaster chapter of the S.C. Junior Golf Association tees off on its 17th season on Monday at the Lancaster Golf Club.

The LJGA begins play at 8 a.m. with play for youngsters, ages 6-18.

“We’re looking for another good season,” said Lancaster chapter director Raymon Chisom. “We have a good group of returning players and a good group of newcomers.”

The Lancaster tournament opens a five-date schedule, which includes stops in the area at the Chester Golf Club (June 13), White Plains Golf Club in Pageland (June 20), Edgewater Golf Club (July 11) and Kershaw (July 18).

The local juniors’ season concludes with the Roy Small Junior Championship at the Lancaster Golf Club on July 25-26.

The title tournament is held in memory of Roy Small, a member of the Lancaster Athletic Hall of Fame who was an avid supporter of junior golf in his lifetime. Small is the father of Lancaster Golf Club pro Phil Small.

“The area golf courses do an outstanding job of supporting our junior golf program,” Chisom said. “These people know golf is a sport for life and these youngsters are the future of the sport.”

Girls age groups are 8-10, 11-13 and 14-18. The boys’ age groups are 8-9, 10-12, 13-14 and 15-18. The 6-7 age group draws girls and boys in the same division.

Following the Small Championship tournament, the top finishers in each age group earn a bid to the state tournament in Pickens on Aug. 13-14 as the chapter’s all-stars.

Last August, Lancaster junior golfers “T” Sutton and Baylee Evans captured state titles during play in the 20th annual Thomas D. Todd all-stars championship at the Pickens Country Club.

Sutton, a Buford Elementary School student, blitzed the boys 8-9 field, shooting a 69 (36-33) over 18 holes to post an 11-shot win.

Evans, in the girls 8-10 age division, registered a one-shot win with an 84 over 18 holes to edge Jensen Castle of West Columbia, who had an 85. Evans shot 43-41.

Earlier this week, the chapter held its annual clinic at the Lancaster Golf Club where a group of 25 youngsters participated in the three-day event, which stressed golf fundamentals.

Chisom along with Small, Delbert Moore, Mack McConnell and Ron Burke worked the juniors.

The clinic was held each day, Tuesday-Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m.

Chisom said one of the participants was Sally Rose Wilkerson, a young golfer who comes from Alabama.

“She did last year and is planning to do so next year,” Chisom said.

The clinic closed with a hot dog lunch sponsored by Larry Honeycutt and the Lancaster Junior Golf Foundation.