A spot in the Nationwide Tour’s Rex Hospital Open on May 20-23 will be awarded to the winner of the Rex Hospital Junior Invitational.
The junior event, presented for the first time by the Tarheel Golf Foundation, will be played May 15-16 with the first round at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course and the second round at TPC Wakefield, host course of the Nationwide Tour event.
The field is limited to North Carolina boys who are highly ranked in the state.
UNC Greensboro recruit Andy Knox of Cary won last year’s junior event and came within three shots of making the cut on the Nationwide Tour with his even-par (73-69) performance.
Knox, the top-ranked junior in the state according to the Carolinas Golf Association formula, will try for a repeat performance this year.
Among the other top-25 area players already committed to the field are Grayson Murray of Raleigh, Michael Cromie of Cary, Richard Fountain of Raleigh, Sam Packard of Pinehurst and Patrick Sawrey of Smithfield.
There is also a girls division for top-ranked juniors. Area entries so far are Michelle Pilo of Apex, J.B. Shavlik of Raleigh, Hilary Gugig of Cary and Evelyn Dole of Cary.
This is the first year the Rex Hospital Junior is being contested over 36 holes.
Tar Heel Golf Foundation
CHAPEL HILL • March 27-28 – Kendrick Vinar Jr. of Chapel Hill fired a second-round 69 and then won a scorecard playoff for first prize in the freshman/sophomore event at Finley Golf Club.
In the junior/senior division, Reeves Zaytoun of Raleigh shot 73-76 and tied with Kane Wilkerson of Winston-Salem. Wilkerson won the playoff on the second extra hole.
Pine Needles Invitational
SOUTHERN PINES • April 3-4 – Andrew Fowler of Cary shot a pair of 72s and tied for second in the boys 17-18 division. Austin Dunlap of Pinehurst, Bryan Stewart of Pinehurst and Todd Eckstein of Durham finished 4-5-6.
Joshua Martin of Pinehurst fired a pair of 72s to win the boys 15-16 division and Catherine Ashworth of Fuquay-Varina was the girls 15-16 winner with 84-80.
Peggy Kirk Bell Tour
CHAPEL HILL • March 13-14 – Sarah Bae of Raleigh fired a second-round 69 at rallied to win the UNC Finley Classic.
DURHAM • April 5 – Raleigh Ravenscroft, showing that it is again a contender for the NCISAA state 3-A championship, won the Tarheel Youth Golf Foundation Invitational at Treyburn Country Club with 298.
Charlie Killian shot 70 and Wilson Day 72 to lead the Ravens.
Ravenscroft, which won last year’s title by 31 shots over Forsyth Country Day, will be seeking its fifth state championship in six years when the top teams gather at Bryan Park in Browns Summit on May 10-11.
In the NCHSAA state tournament, Raleigh Leesville Road will be one of the favorites. Leesville Road finished a shot back of Ravenscroft at Treyburn after winning the Keith Hills High School Kickoff the previous month with 298, beating Ravenscroft by nine shots.
Sophomore Grayson Murray is Leesville Road’s top-ranked player but he has plenty of help from Carter Jenkins, Larry Han and Zack Seabolt. Murray shot 71 at Keith Hills but finished three shots back of medalist David Germann of Clayton.
The state 4-A championship will be played at Pinehurst No. 8 on May 10-11.