By David Droschak
Siranon Shoomee, a senior from Sanford shot rounds of 69 and 70 to capture the 2015 Joe Cheves Junior girls championship by two shots at Mimosa Hills Golf Club in Morganton.
Shoomee, who shot the only sub-70 round of the tournament, has committed to play collegiate golf next fall at East Carolina University. Her round of 69 was bogey-free.
Shoomee, ranked sixth among the junior girls in North Carolina heading into September, also finished second in the Peggy Kirk Bell SRIXON TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP in late August after winning it in 2014.
Fourteen-year-old Aneka Seumanutafa of Frederick, Md., shot 70-71 to take runner-up to Shoomee at the Cheves tournament, followed by Jennifer Chang of Cary (70-72–142), Ashley Czarnecki of Greenville, S.C., (73-70–143) and Grace Yatawara of Salisbury (71-74–145).
Raleigh’s Holly McCann was one of five players one shot off the lead after the first day, but she ballooned to a second-round 77 to tie for eighth, eight shots off the pace.
On the boys side, six players cracked the top 10, but the title went to University of Georgia signee Spencer Ralston of Gainesville, Ga., who shot rounds of 63 and 72 and captured the title with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
Senior William Nottingham of Kingsport, Tenn., a Clemson signee (65-70–135) captured second place in a chip-off on the 18th green against Jordan Warnock of Roebuck, S.C.
Carson Ownbey of Candler, a sophomore, carded rounds of 68 and 70 to finish three shots off the pace and in sixth. Cary’s Parker Gillam was another shot back in a tie for seventh despite opening the tournament with a round of 66.
Walker Cress (Concord), Jimbo Stanley (Raleigh), Michael Freeman (Asheville) and Fulton Smith (Pinehurst) were four of five golfers who tied for ninth.
UNC Tar Heel Junior
Chapel Hill • Aug. 29-30
Josh Bryan of Chapel Hill placed fourth at the 2015 UNC Tar Heel Junior at UNC Finley Golf Course, eight shots behind winner Dustin Blank of Elon. Blank shot an opening-round 66 and never looked back while Bryan shot rounds of 70 and 74.
Austin Bonfiglio of Holly Springs finished two shots behind Bryan in fifth, tying Michael Coe of Cary.
Trans-Pacific Junior Golf Match
Beijing, China • August 26-28
Raleigh’s Doc Redman was among eight junior golfers – four boys and four girls – to represent the United States in the 2015 Trans-Pacific Junior Golf Match, conducted by the USGA and the China Golf Association.
The USA Team partnered with Mexico to face the People’s Republic of China and Chinese Taipei in the team match-play competition, which took place at Topwin Golf and Country Club in Beijing, China.
The 17-year-old Redman was the 10th ranked junior boy in North Carolina heading into September, according to the Tarheel Youth Golf Association.
The purpose of the match was to promote high-level competition and foster friendship among global athletes. The Trans-Pacific is a counting event for the World Amateur Golf Ranking, and holds elite status for strength of field for both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.
Dogwood State Junior Championship
Cary • August 4-6
Walter Brinker of Sanford went wire-to-wire to win the 11th Dogwood State Junior Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, edging Jack Massei of Cary on his home course.
Brinker started the tournament in the first group on Tuesday morning, then ended the tournament in the final group with the winning putt on Thursday evening.
The rising senior shot rounds of 67-71-72 for a three-day total of 6-under-par. Brinker started the final round the way he wanted with a birdie on the first hole.
Two separate rain delays totaling three plus hours occurred during the final round with Massei and Brett McLamb of Coats both making runs at Brinker, but they were unable to catch him as Brinker birdied two of his last four holes for a two shot victory of Massei, who finished solo second.
Callista Rice of Mars Hill, a rising junior, successfully defended her title as she fired rounds of 71-73-74 to cruise to a three-shot victory. Rice managed to beat 2014 Carolinas player of the year Sarah Spicer of Bahama, as well as Sarah Funderburg of Wilmington.
After bogeying Nos. 15-16, Rice saw her four shot lead dwindle to two, but she remained calm, converting pars on her final two holes of the Meadows course to claim the victory.
Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship
Greensboro • July 28-30
Charlotte’s Henry Shimp carded rounds of 67-73-68 at Forest Oaks Country Club to become just the six player to win consecutive Carolinas Junior titles, winning by three shots.
“It has been a goal of mine this year to come back and win,” the 18-year-old said. “I think it’s a little harder the second time to come back and win because you are thinking about it more, it puts a little bit more pressure on you.”
Shimp used his length off the tee to his advantage, reaching four of the par-5s in two shots, resulting in four birdies.
Nicholas Lyerly of Salisbury and Christian Salzer of Sumter, S.C., made a final-round charge, both finishing at 5-under. That meant Shimp had a two shot lead playing the par-5 18th. From the left-side rough, he hit a 227 yard 4-iron to 25 feet. Another two putt birdie sealed the victory.
The co-leader with Shimp heading into the final round was 15-year-old A.J. Beechler of Pinehurst. The rising sophomore struggled early, making three bogeys in his first six holes en route to a 73 and a tie for fifth.
To have a chance at a three-peat, next year’s championship will have to end by July 25, when Shimp will celebrate his 19th birthday.
Junior Girls Rankings
The Triangle area is certainly front-and-center when it comes to the state’s top junior girls, securing the top five positions in the latest rankings heading into the fall season.
Cary’s Jennifer Chang, a sophomore, holds the top ranking, followed by Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, Sarah Spicer of Bahama, Emilia Migliaccio of Cary and Jessica Spicer of Bahama.