Dylan Harris closed out his junior career in style.
The Southern Pines resident led from start to finish while winning the American Junior Golf Association’s Webb Simpson Junior Championship at the Tanglewood Park Championship Course in Clemmons.
A closing 69 on Aug. 18 followed rounds of 67 and 70 and enabled him to hold off Tanner Owen, a high school sophomore from High Point, by one shot.
“That was the most nervous I’ve felt in quite a while,” Harris said. “It started on No. 17 when I still had a two-stroke lead. On No. 18, I thought I hit a great shot from 140 yards with my pitching wedge, but it went over the green. Maybe that was a little adrenaline, but I’m glad to win.”
Harris is the only freshman on the roster at UNC Wilmington and will battle seven returnees for playing time. The Seahawks made the NCAA regionals last season.
Evelyn Dole captures Dogwood
SNOW HILL • Aug. 9-11 – Evelyn Dole of Raleigh emerged from a tightly-bunched leaderboard and captured her first CGA title, the Dogwood State Junior.
Dole shot 74-75-77 and her 226 total was one better than Jessica Kittelberger of Raleigh (77-75-75) and Virginia Lane of Winton (74-77-76).
The top nine players in the seventh annual event were separated by just five shots.
Catherine Ashworth of Fuquay-Varina was fourth, three shots off the pace with 75-78-76.
A.J. Beechler rolls to 8-shot
win in U.S. Kids Worlds
SOUTHERN PINES • Aug. 4-6 – A.J. Beechler of Pinehurst finished at 10-under par for three rounds at Talamore Golf Resort and cruised to an eight-shot win in the boys 11 division of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship.
Beechler opened with a 69 and never looked back, adding 68-69 to claim his first world championship. He previously won four U.S. Kids regional titles.
Gina Kim of Chapel Hill closed with a final-round 69 and surged to a third-place finish in the girls 11 division. She had opened with 72-74.
Benjamin Griffin claims 2nd
straight U.S Kids Teen title
PINEHURST • July 28-30 – Benjamin Griffin of Chapel Hill claimed the U.S. Kids Teen World Championship’s 15-18 age division for the second straight year.
Griffin, the state 4-A champ from East Chapel Hill High where he is a sophomore, shot 71-70-71 to finish at 4-under-par, one better than William Gordon of Davidson.
Griffin followed up by winning the sophomore-freshman division of the Tarheel Golf Foundation’s Wake County Junior, carding 74-70 at The Club at 12 Oaks.
In the girls 13 division of the U.S. Kids Teen World Championship, Jessica Spicer of Bahama shot 73-75-73 to finish second.
Casey Ward ties for 4th
at Big I national tourney
MADISON, Miss. • Aug. 1-4 – Casey Ward of Chapel Hill shot 73-81-71-75 and tied for fourth in the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship at Reunion Golf & Country Club.
Ward earned an exemption into the 2012 national tournament, which will be played at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst.
Micah Alexander wins
Wake County title
HOLLY SPRINGS • Aug. 20-21 – Micah Alexander of Durham fired a 70 in the opening round and went on to post a two-shot win in the Wake County Junior at The Club at 12 Oaks.
Alexander followed with a 72 to finish two shots ahead of Jacob Hicks of Mebane in the Tarheel Golf Foundation Tour event.