Juniors from the Myrtle Beach area competed Tuesday in a Drive, Chip & Putt Championship local qualifier at Legends Resort in the hopes of taking the first step toward reaching the national finals next April at Augusta National Golf Club.
The skills contest is in its fifth year and is supported by the the USGA, PGA of America and Masters Tournament. Boys and girls ages 7-15 are eligible to compete in four age divisions for each gender.
The top three players in each division Tuesday qualified for a sub-regional, giving them a chance to advance to a regional and eventually the national finals on April 1, 2018 – the Sunday before the Masters Tournament – at Augusta National Golf Club.
More than 100 juniors participated at Legends and 14 of the 24 qualifiers were residents of the Grand Strand.
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There are 268 local qualifying sites including all 50 states, 53 sub-regional sites and 10 regional sites.
Legends qualifiers advance to a sub-regional Aug. 26 at Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia and will have an opportunity to advance to a regional Sept. 3 at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C. The regional winners in each division advance to the 80-player finals.
The local qualifiers:
Girls Ages 7-9
▪ 1, Ella June Hannant, Pikeville, N.C., 105 points; 2, Natalie Echols, North Augusta, 49 points; 3, Kennedy Leonard, Chapel Hill, N.C., 45 points.
Girls Ages 10-11
▪ 1, Ella Kate Barnett, Galivants Ferry, 118 points; 2, Madison Messimer, Myrtle Beach, 116 points; 3, Staci Pla, West Palm Beach, Fla., 109 points.
Girls Ages 12-13
▪ 1, Mia Gray, Conway, 107 points; 2, Emily Echols, North Augusta, 93 points; 3, Sophie Leak, Myrtle Beach, 86 points.
Girls Ages 14-15
▪ 1, Amanda Meno, Murrells Inlet, 86 points; 2, Kalynn Basehoar, Little River, 66 points; 3, Rylie Saffles, Loris, 60 points.
Boys Ages 7-9
▪ 1, Taft Courie, Fayetteville, N.C., 105 points; 2, Gavin Gaskins, Leesville, 73 points; 3, Brady Barr, Myrtle Beach, 68 points.
Boys Ages 10-11
▪ 1, Thomas Horne, Fayetteville, N.C., 109 points; 2, Ty Obrien, Myrtle Beach, 105; 3, Teddy Dunn, Edmond, Okla., 94.
Boys Ages 12-13
▪ 1, Dylan Starnes, Myrtle Beach, 123 points; 2, Elijah Fesperman, Georgetown, 121 points; 3, Camden Brown, Conway, 118 points.
Boys Ages 14-15
▪ 1, Braeden Barnett, Galivants Ferry, 136 points; 2, Harrison Devers, Murrells Inlet, 117 points; 3, Charlie Barr, Salisbury, N.C., 114.