FRIENDSHIP — Throughout each and every summer, any aspiring golfer can count on the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour to put on a good show.
And at the home course of TSJGT directors Jason and Joe VanDeusen, the Shawnee Golf Course facility in Friendship put together exactly that as the fourth of six stops proved to provide excellent course conditions and competitive action from top to bottom throughout the day on Monday evening.
In the eyes of the VanDeusen’s, the course represents the best of the best as far as the sport of golf is concerned.
“The folks at Shawnee are always good to work with here,” the elder VanDeusen said. “This is mine and Jason’s home course. We play here every Monday evening, so we really enjoy coming here. Actually, when the Elks worked on its course, we came here twice last year. The folks love it. They love the course. The weather cooperated with us too, so we were pleased on all fronts.”
Girls Division continues to grow
As the TSJGT continues to gain recognition, the membership continues to grow, as well. That is especially evident in the girls division, where two separate flights — the Girls 10-12 Division and the Girls 13-15 Division — were held. Morgan Kennedy’s 55 (through nine) won the former and Sydnie Kozee’s 89 took home the latter.
“For the year, our numbers are up,” VanDeusen said. “We’re really pleased with that. We’ve been especially pleased with our girls division. We’re going to have a Player of the Year Award in the girls divisions, and that’s the first time that we’ll be doing that. We’ve had enough show up consistently to have a girls division. We’re really pleased with that.”
Stevenson, Phillips collect for Scioto County
As with the TSJGT’s earlier stop, Scioto County was represented well as local hands in Cameron Phillips and Tanner Stevenson took home their respective flights. Phillips not only shot the low score of his flight with a stroke of 37, but also claimed the lowest score of both of the 10-12 Flights with his dandy nine-hole mark.
As for Stevenson, the Wheelersburg hand showed excellent improvement from his performance at the Elks to his play at Shawnee, as Paul Boll’s golf hand improved from a 100 to an 84. Stevenson, who tied West Union’s Jacob Pell for the top score with that stroke, then edged Pell on the playoff hole (No. 6, 4-6) to claim top honors in the Flight II ranks.
“We really enjoy watching the kids grow and progress,” VanDeusen said. “A lot of them go into college golf, and we follow them after that. This competitive golf helps these kids progress and be able to get up on the first tee, hit the ball, and get the jitters out of the way. These tournaments really help with that.”
Shawnee in solid shape
Despite the official release of its announced sale last month by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Watercraft Division, Shawnee’s greens proved to provide plenty of competitive action throughout the day. In fact, five of the eight flights were decided by five strokes or less between first and second place.
“The course is in great shape,” VanDeusen said. “They’ve had a lot of water this year, which helps. It’s plush and the fairways and greens are in great shape; in fact, they’re some of the best that we’ve seen this year. We just hope that we can keep this course going. With it being up for sale, we’re worried, but we hope that Shawnee stays around for a long time.”
NEXT: Creekside and Bellefonte
With its fourth stop at its conclusion, the TSJGT will prepare for its final pair of stops on the tour — Creekside Golf Course and Bellefonte Country Club. The former, which is located in Lavalette, W. Va., will commence on Monday, July 16, while the latter, which is located in Ashland, Ky. and is the final stop for the tour in 2018, will follow on the following Monday, July 23.
“Creekside, from what we have heard, is in really good shape,” VanDeusen said. “It’s under new management, and we’ve dealt with nothing but good people so far with them. We’re really looking forward to that one. Then, Bellefonte’s always treated us well. It’s hard to believe that in two weeks, we’ll be finished with this year’s version of the tour.”
TSJGT RESULTS — Elks Country Club, McDermott, Ohio
Morgan Kennedy 55
Kristen Ramey 64
Sydnie Kazee 89
Deanna Caraway 100
Skylar Sayre 101
Bryant Stephens 39
Emi Ledford 55
Olivia Frye 60
Cameron Phillips 37
Brock Brown 42
Braydon DeHart 43
Brody Kilburn 50
Alec Conway 55
Clayton Jones 96
Logan Cummins 100
Jackson McComas 104
Hunter Goble 74
Elijah McCarty 77
Cole Haislop 83 (stroke of four on sixth, playoff hole)
Bradon Wooldridge 83 (stroke of five on sixth, playoff hole
Nicholas James 85
Brynden Roark 87
Jake Damron 89
Cameron Ruckel 91
Tanner Stevenson 84 (stroke of four on sixth, playoff hole)
Jacob Pell 84 (stroke of six on sixth, playoff hole)
Andrew Sapp 89
Andrew Cochenour 90
Jacob Hoover 96
Max Waddell 99
Jonathan Grubbs 100
Hunter Musser 102
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT