June 16, 2013

Fairways and Greens: The Farm to host elites in GSGA junior

— Since its opening in 1988, The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face has seen some of the best players in the nation stand on its tee boxes and attempt to decipher its greens. The next generation of the state’s best players will attempt to do the same this week.

Beginning Monday morning, The Farm will host the 48th Georgia Junior Championship. The 54-hole tournament will see a field of 144 players on the course Monday and Tuesday with the field cut to the low 70 and ties after the first two rounds. The tournament will conclude on Wednesday.

Presented by the Georgia State Golf Association, the Junior Championship has an illustrious past with several of the state’s biggest names in the sport having played in the event. Last year’s champion, Andy Shim, led all three rounds to win the title with an 11-under-par 205 that included a 6-under 66 on the opening day. Shim then when on to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and turned pro later that summer.

This will be the fifth time that the Tom Fazio-designed course has hosted a GSGA-sanctioned event, including the 1990 Georgia Amateur Championship. The club has also played host to the U.S. Senior Amateur in 2005.

Five players who finished in the top 15 in last year's Georgia Junior Championship are back in this year's field. Tye Waller of Griffin (T-5th), Jack Larkin Jr. of Atlanta (9th), Tyler Young of Kennesaw (T-10th), Tyler Joiner of Albany (T-14th) and Nickolaus Budd of Woodstock (T-14th) look to improve upon their finish from a year ago.

There will be a lot of local flavor as well. Tyler Clayton, Landon Hicks, Ethan Hayes, Tucker Sniper and Allen Behr are all Whitfield County natives who will take on their peers from around the state.

A few players who have become familiar to the area will also be back.

During the Georgia High School Association’s Class 4A boys state championship at Dalton Golf and Country Club, Marist took the state title with all of their golfers either at or below par. Three Atlanta natives, Will Chandler, Will Duma and Larkin Jr. led Marist to the Class 4A championship. Chandler also won the individual title. All three will be in the field Monday.

In all, 11 competitors are fresh off helping their high school teams win state championships last month. In Class 5A, Jackson Bishop, Lawson King, Grant Lasseter, Spencer Ralston and Nathan Williams, all of Gainesville, helped the Red Elephants capture the state title.

JUNIOR SECTIONALS: Several of the area’s golfers are atop the leaderboards of the GSGA’s Northwest Sectional summer schedule. Chatsworth’s Tori Owens and Savannah Satterfield are both in first place in their age groups.

Satterfield is the leader in the girls 12-13, earning 14 points in two events. She won at Field’s Ferry on June 3 and at LaFayette Golf Club on June 10. In that same age group, Satterfield’s sister, Shelby, is third in the standings with a third-place finish at Field’s Ferry and a fourth-place finish at LaFayette. Savannah shot a 3-over 39 at Field’s Ferry and a 2-over 38 at LaFayette.

Owen, like Satterfield, won both of her events at the same courses. Owens was 10-over 49 at LaFayette and a 51 at Field’s Ferry.

In the boys 14-15 division, Dalton’s Landon Hicks is second overall in the standings, winning his only tournament in the series. At LaFayette, Hicks shot a 1-over 72 to win by seven strokes over his nearest competitor.

Area golfers Marlee Bingham, Mable McKone and Ashleigh Peters are all in the top 5 in the 14-18 girls division.

Fairways and Greens is a regular feature of The Daily Citizen. Send your golf news and notes to Chris Whitfield at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.