Tri-State Junior Golf Tour visits Elks


By Jacob Smith - jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com



The 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday.

The 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

The 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

McDERMOTT — Joe and Jason VanDeusen have ran the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour for the last nine years and 2020 is no different.

Well, sort of.

Instead of the usual certainty of youth golfers from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia competing in the tour as they have for its entire 38-year existence, amid the coronavirus pandemic through the springtime months, there was in fact some uncertainty if the VanDeusens would be allowed to keep up the annual tradition.

“It’s something that we were kind of holding our breath on for awhile, but once they started to open up golf courses, we were really excited,” said Jason VanDeusen.

Saturday, June 6 at Riviera Country Club in Lesage, W. Va. marked the first event of the 2020 season for the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour, a welcoming sign for both the VanDeusens and the golfers who would take the course this summer.

With businesses and golf courses beginning to reopen during mid-to-late May, and as the number of COVID-19 cases across each of the Tri-State area states went down, so came the response of people interested in seeing their child have a busy, golf-filled summer.

“Response has been wonderful. We’ve got great, great kids and great parents,” VanDeusen said. “Last week with 8 a.m. tee times, we had a lot of people beat us to the course before 7 a.m. They were anxious, ready to go. We had everyone there early and ready to roll, and we were also. First time that we’ve had everyone there really early and checked in. It went very smooth and this week has went just as smooth.”

In addition to changes regarding measures such as social distancing, the TSJGT made the move to allow those who recently graduated high school in the spring the opportunity to play in the tour.

“If you just graduated high school and going into college, you can still play that summer, even if you’re 18,” VanDeusen said. “Younger than that, we’ve had four-year olds come out and play. We set the course up to suit the younger kids’ skill levels. We have great kids to play with, and we flight the kids so they’re playing against similar competition.”

In recent years, some TSJGT players have gone on to play at the collegiate level — at Shawnee State University, the University of Rio Grande, and Eastern Kentucky University.

Collegiate coaches did make the trip to the Elks on Monday morning, as Shawnee State University’s Dave Hopkins and University of Rio Grande golf coaches Keith Wilson and J.P. Davis were in attendance.

If you had blinked, you wouldn’t have noticed much of a difference in the game of golf at the youth level during Monday’s second event of the 2020 season for the TSJGT — only an excited group of players and organizers happy to provide them an opportunity to play the game they love.

With four events scheduled for the rest of the summer through July 20 — including trips to Sugarwood Golf Club, Hidden Cove Golf Course, Creekside Golf Club and Bellefonte Country Club — the area’s youth golfers indeed will finish their summer as it normally would be.

A busy one.

“Had a lot of people show interest, messaging us since February and March, after everything slowed down. The courses have been wonderful, minor regulations that affect play — things like social distancing, people in the clubhouse. It’s went very smooth; we’re just glad to be out here and get the kids out of the house,” VanDeusen said.

Results from 2nd Tri-State Junior Golf Tour Event — Elks Country Club, June 15

7-9 Division

Dylan White, Russell, Ky. — 46

Sean Lucas — 67

Emma Dodson — 69

Gatlin Hale — 69

Teagan Conway — 70

10-12 Division

Flight 1

Bryant Stephens, Flatwoods, Ky. — 37

Brock Brown — 38

Evan Johnson — 42

Alec Conway — 48

Flight 2

Emi Ledford, Grayson, Ky. — 40

Olivia Frye — 54

Kinzie Kilgore — 56

Addy Blakeman — 69

13-15 Division

Price Harris, Grayson, Ky. — 85

Brody Kilburn — 88

Titus McGlone — 88

Brady Blevins — 97

Myles Phillips — 97

Kolten Kirk — 100

Eli Hall — 102

Torin Kirk — 105

Jeremiah Fizer — 106

Brayden DeHart — 106

Girls 13-18 Division

Morgan Kennedy, Ashland, Ky. — 90

Lauren Nolty — 90

Taylor Ralston — 90

Kileigh Mitchell — 92

Abbi Zornes — 93

Bre Boggs — 98

Laney Sorrell — 99

Kristen Ramey — 114

Victoria Brown — 119

Boys 16-18 Division

Flight 1

Brynden Roark, West Portsmouth, Oh. — 83

Clayton Ison — 83

Gunner Cassity — 83

Clayton Jones — 85

Max Waddell — 86

Dakota Pell — 87

Boone Gibson — 89

Logan Cummins — 95

Derrick Pell — 95

Hunter Musser — 96

Flight 2

Jackson Stephens, Kitts Hill, Oh. — 83

Eli Adkins — 89

Matthew Koverman — 95

Jackson McComas — 96

Gavub Baker — 99

Aden Weeks — 102

The 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2020/06/web1_ELKS-TSJGT-6-15-20-Boy-Putt-.jpgThe 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

The 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2020/06/web1_ELKS-TSJGT-6-15-20-Girl-Chip-.jpgThe 2020 Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made its second stop of the season at Elks Country Club on Monday. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

By Jacob Smith

jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at jsmith@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved