MCDERMOTT — A highly competitive tournament with local talent abound across the board.
It’s a dream for any person looking to promote a sport from a local standpoint.
On Monday afternoon, the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour showcased such a tourney when the TSJGT made its second of six stops in 2018 at the Elks Country Club in McDermott — a course that finished renovations in the summer of 2017 and provided much of the same great action that it has been lauded for since the installation of $37,000 worth of bermuda grass last summer.
And that, along with the competitive play across all flights from the 40 golfers in attendance — in temperatures that exceeded 90 degrees for the fifth day in a row, no less — had Jason VanDeusen pleased with the overall results.
“It’s great,” VanDeusen said. “We had a great turnout, a great number of kids, and great scores. When we assign kids to their respective flights, we want them to be competitive against one another in their flights. All of the golfers competed very well and really gutted out the heat. They had to want to play and want to finish today. It was a great tournament. We like showcasing our local courses here (in Scioto County), and the Elks ended up being in beautiful shape and condition.”
Maults, Phillips stand out
Well-known for their golf prowess on courses across the area, Trevon Mault and Cameron Phillips each took home first-place medals in their respective age brackets, while Owen Mault obtained a second place showing to finish two strokes behind Phillips in the boys 10-12 age bracket.
Trevon, who competed in Flight I of the 13-15 age bracket, easily took home top honors in the flight by shooting a splendid 78, including 39s on the front and back nine.
His score not only was the best in the flight by 19 strokes, but the best in the entire 13-15 age bracket overall as the elder Mault was the only player to record a stroke of under 80 and one of only two players to record a stroke of under 90 in the age bracket due in large part to recording a stroke of three on the ninth, 12th, 13th, and 17th holes.
Phillips and the younger Mault, who also finished one-two in their age bracket (Mault 33, Phillips 35) at Riviera Golf Course in Lesage, W. Va., switched places on Monday as Phillips’ 36 bested Mault’s 38. Both players were tied entering the final hole in the nine-hole flight, but Phillips’ birdie bested Mault, who bogeyed the final hole.
Fellow local hand Tanner Stevenson, who competed in Flight II of the 16-18 age bracket, had his own impressive moments as his stroke of four on the sixth and 17th holes were the best among his fellow competitors, while his five on the 10th and four on the 15th tied for the best mark on those particular greens. The Wheelersburg hand battled through the heat to collect a 100.
“That’s a tribute to Darren (Mault) and Tyson (Phillips), and those guys that are getting kids out,” VanDeusen said. “Then you’ve got the Elks doing a golf clinic out here. There’s some really good people that are trying to get these local kids out playing and practicing, and it’s paying off. We’re seeing it in the scores and we’re seeing it in the number of kids that are coming out to play the sport.”
NorthBridge and Latitude 36 service provides great play
The Elks, once again, provided the competitive play that was also desired as well as the NorthBridge and Latitude 36 bermudagrass that was installed last June — which ultimately spanned 14 acres upon completion — led to strong action at the front of the flights.
In all, every flight with the exception of two (six of eight) saw the first and second place finisher come within five strokes or less of each other. Mault, Nicholas James, and Elijah McCarty all finished with 18-hole scores under 80 while Molly Fitzwater and Deanna Caraway finished with scores under 100 on the girls side of the coin over an 18-hole stretch.
“The course looks fantastic and play is just as good on it,” VanDeusen said. “We couldn’t play out here last year because the timing was off and the fairways weren’t ready yet, but my goodness, they look phenomenal right now.”
With the tournament at its end, the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour will head to the Sugarwood Golf Course, which is located in Lavalette, W. Va. on June 25. The TSJGT will take a week off before coming back to Scioto County with an appearance at the Shawnee Golf Course on Monday, July 9.
“We’re pulling a lot of kids from out of Kentucky and Adams County in addition to the Scioto County kids who compete on this tour, so if we can add the normal amount of players that we get from Huntington (W. Va.) and Ashland (Ky.), it’ll be another great tournament at Sugarwood,” VanDeusen said. “Then, when we come back to Shawnee, it should be great there as well. The course is in great shape, and my Dad (Joe) and I really like it. That’s where we play, and we like to showcase what it has to offer. However, we’ve got the best kids and the best parents that you could ask for when you’re doing something like this, and that’s so vital in these tournaments. We’re really looking forward to the upcoming weeks, as well as the remainder of the tour.”
TSJGT RESULTS — Elks Country Club, McDermott, Ohio
Molly Fitzwater 98
Deanna Caraway 99
Bre Boggs 103
Sydnie Kazee 105
Bryant Stephens 48
Olivia Frye 49
Emi Ledford 62
Teagan Conway 72
Cameron Phillips 36
Owen Mault 38
Alec Conway 58
Christian White 64
Taylor Ralston 46
Myles Phillips 51
Landon McGraw 63
Kristen Ramey 68
Jackson Heaberlin 74
Trevon Mault 78
Logan Cummins 97
Clayton Jones 85
Dakota Pell 91
Derrick Pell 99
Jackson McComas 100
Parker Williams 186
Nicholas James 75
Elijah McCarty 78
Cole Haislop 80
Cameron Ruckel 81
Brett Bentley 83
Denzel Endicott 84
Bradon Wooldridge 86
Reece Bellville 91
Bryndon Roarke 83
Jacob Pell 88 (stroke of five on 10th, playoff hole)
Jacob Hoover 88 (stroke of seven on 10th, playoff hole)
Hunter Musser 97 (five on 18th)
Jonathan Grubbs 97 (seven on 18th)
Tanner Stevenson 100
Max Waddell 103