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Callaway Junior Tour nearing finish

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Warren’s Chance Weihl hits an iron shot during a high school golf match last season against Marietta at Marietta Country Club.

PARKERSBURG — Although the prep golf season in West Virginia is currently losing two weeks of previously scheduled matches, the Callaway Junior Tour is nearing completion of its season.

Starting at 10 a.m. Monday at Parkersburg Country Club, the top qualifiers in each division will tee it up with hopes of reaching the final event of the year — the second CJRT playoff series event set for Wednesday on the Meadows Course at The Greenbrier Resort.

The only area golfer currently leading their division is Spencer’s Emerson Simons. She currently has 150 points to top the 10-14 age group, but Morgantown’s Aubrey Estel (140) and Vienna’s Brielle Milhoan (130) aren’t far behind. Elizabeth’s Avery Fife and Mya Morgan also qualified for Monday’s match and sit in fourth (95 points) and sixth place (70 points), respectively.

Only the top three players in the girls 10-14 division will continue play on Wednesday. However, points are awarded at 1.5 times the usual so a first-place finish will add 45 points instead of 30 and a runner-up finish would earn 30 points instead of 20.

In the girls 15-18 division, it’s a two-way race for top honors entering the two-event playoff series with Teays Valley Christian freshman Savannah Hawkins leading Oceana’s Kerri-Anne Cook, 283.5 to 260.5.

The top eight players will advance to The Greenbrier Resort. Parkersburg Big Reds Molly McLean (4th, 118 points), Nicole Lincicome (7th, 71.5 points) and Anna Earl (T11th, 60.5 points) lead the local contingent.

Clarksburg’s Carson Higginbotham has won all 10 events he has entered in the 12-and-under age group for the boys. He’s amassed 300 points and is already the champ. The only area golfer to qualifier for Monday’s event was Parkersburg’s Vince Guice, who is in ninth place.

Grafton’s Chris Miller has a solid lead in the 17-18 age group with 202.5 points. Bridgeport’s Caden Moore sits in second with 149.5. Parkersburg South’s Mace Busch (5th, 108 points), Ravenswood’s Gavin Fox (7th, 101 points) and Roane County’s Garrett Simon (7th, 96.5 points) are hoping to stay in the top eight in season long points to continue play Wednesday. Ripley’s Davis Haynes is 17th in the division.

Cameron Jarvis of Barboursville and Elkview’s Bryson Beaver are in a tight race (184-178) for top honors in the 15-16 age group, which like the 17-18 division will qualify the top eight after Monday’s round.

Warren’s Chance Weihl is currently tied with Charleston’s Mario Palumbo for seventh place with 91 points and they are just five points behind sixth-place Carter Wells of Barnesville. Marietta’s Liam Ritter (11th, 72.5 points) and A.J. Graham (17th, 52.5 points) along with St. Marys’ Brandon Lawhon (15th, 56.5 points) and Grant Barnhart (23rd, 30.5 points) also qualified for PCC.

In the 13-14 boys division, which will see the top quartet in season long points move on to the finale, Huntington’s Jack Michael leads Scott Depot’s Jackson Woodburn, 224-166. Little Hocking’s Edward Kehl is fifth with 128 points and is 22 behind fourth-place Tanner Vest of Shady Spring.

Other golfers from the Mid-Ohio Valley who qualified include St. Marys’ Preston Lawhon (11th, 73.5 points), Beverly’s Carson Moore (13th, 61 points), Friendly’s Trent Renner (15th, 44.5 points), Ripley’s Garrett Brown (19th, 31.5 points) and Williamstown’s William Barniak, who tied Morgantown’s Braxton Martucci for 20th with 27.5 points to earn the last two qualifying spots.

Chris Slack, the tournament director for the West Virginia Golf Association, was able to reschedule three of the four planned Callaway Junior Tour high school series events.

The first event was set for Aug. 10 at Parkersburg Country Club, but that’s the one which is going to be lost.

“They just didn’t have any dates,” admitted Slack. “It’s like almost every other golf course where they had their April, May and June outings postponed or canceled on them and they pushed them back and they are just slammed with outings and stuff. It’s been a crazy year and it’s understandable.”

The other three events are set for Aug. 21 at Bel Meadow Golf Club, Aug. 24 at Oglebay Resort (Jones Course) and on Sept. 3 with the Capital City Classic at Edgewood Country Club.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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