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Junior golfers blaze in return to links

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By Robert Howey

CHESTER – The Lancaster chapter of the S.C. Junior Golf Association matched the weather with a blazing return to the links at the Chester Golf Club on July 10.
The juniors, despite some sweltering playing conditions, posted some stellar scores in their first tournament coming off the chapter’s annual two-week break.
Buford High School star golfer Caleb Henson captured the win in the boys 15-18 age group, shooting an even 72 (35-37) to take a two-shot win over Nick Mangano, who finished with a 74, 37-37, over 18 holes.
Henson, an all-region and all-state golfer at Region IV-AA champion Buford High School last spring, carded three birdies and 12 pars in a solid round.
Mangano, an all-region golfer at Lancaster High School, was steady in his play with four birdies and nine pars.
Zach Tremblay was third, shooting a 78, 39-39, with two birdies and eight pars.
Mason Tucker was strong in his play, carding a one-under 71 to win the boys 13-14 age group.
Tucker’s effort gave him a four-shot win over fellow LHS all-region golfer Trey Crenshaw, who had a 75, 35-40.
Tucker’s 71 – 36-35 – included four birdies and 11 pars, while Crenshaw fashioned five birdies and seven pars.
Simon Wright, a Bruins golfer, placed third with an 83, 42-41, aided by nine pars.
David Oliver IV won the boys 10-12 age group with a 37 over nine holes, which included two birdies and three pars.
Grant Burback finished second a 44, keyed by four pars. Luke Benfield followed with a 50 and Mason Deese finished with a 52.
In the boys 7-9, Landry Williams won with an even round 20, including a birdie and three pars over five holes.
Jake Milhorn was second, carding a 23, with a birdie and a par. Gaines Reed was third with a 30, including a par.
Catherine Mangano won the girls 13-18 age group, finishing with a 47 over nine holes. Mangano’s round included a pair of pars.
Braelyn Oliver won the girls 10-12 age group with a 64 over nine holes.
The LJGA, in its 23rd campaign, wraps up regular-season play with the annual Roy Small Junior Championship on July 24-25 at the Lancaster Golf Club.
Roy Small, a member of the Lancaster Athletic Hall of Fame, was an avid supporter of junior golf in his lifetime.
Small, as a star prep athlete at Lancaster High School where he graduated in 1943, was a member of the elite 1941 Blue Hurricanes’ football team, which was the co-state champion that season.
The team, led by head coach Harry Lee and assistant Paul Gaffney, set a record for wins in a season, 11, and scored 513 points, an average of 42.7 points a game. The team notched eight shutouts and allowed only 54 points in its 11-1 campaign.
Small’s son is Phil Small, the Lancaster Golf Club pro. Small’s son Butch has also been a strong supporter of the LJGA chapter through the years.
The chapter all-stars will be decided with the Small Championship tournament and the LJGA all-stars will play in the annual Thomas D. Dodd tournament at the Patriot Golf Club in Ninety Six on Aug. 19-20.