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Excitement building for youth golf in the Mid-Ohio Valley

It was a tough one for the golfing world on Tuesday when news broke about Tiger Woods’ car accident.

Forget the fact he already was debating about skipping the Masters because of recent back surgery.

Following his plethora of leg injuries from the Tuesday morning crash, it’s safe to say Woods is going to be out of action on the PGA Tour for a good length of time.

Although far from the PGA Tour, the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Tour received some interesting good news.

The MOVJGT, which is designed to allow junior golfers from ages 7-18 to compete locally in a series of golf tournament throughout the summer, got the attention of the Under Armour Junior Tour recently.

Eric Keffer, the tournament director, admitted “the long and short of it is basically I stumbled across their website and I thought how cool.”

When I received an email from Keffer about what was going on I can say I felt the same way.

This summer will mark year three of the MOVJGT, but pairing with Under Armour means a special six-event tour this spring, which starts on Sunday, April 11 at Lakeside Golf Course.

The second event will take place the following Sunday at Woodridge. The first Saturday tournament is slated for April 24 at Oxbow and that will be followed on Sunday, May 2 at Eagle Sticks in Zanesville. The final two stops are on Saturday, May 8 at Green Hills and then Sunday, May 16 at Mingo Bottom.

Keffer said he emailed and then spoke with a representative at Under Armour about what they’ve been trying to do here in the Mid-Ohio Valley for youth golfers.

Needless to say, he didn’t have to make too hard of a pitch.

“I’m about the same things they are about kids-wise,” Keffer said. “It was basically an email and a phone call and we’re off and running from there.”

The significance of pairing with Under Armour is the top eight players in each of the four age groups — 6-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-18 — during the six-event spring tour will earn automatic entry into the regional championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort on June 26-27 in York, Pa.

“At the regional event you are competing as a team, kind of like an all-star team,” Keffer added. “Our (MOVJGT) top eight automatically qualify for the national event.”

The winners of each local age group will have their entry fee paid for the regional at Heritage Hills and also will have the opportunity to do the same for the national championship on July 16-18 at Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Orlando.

“Pride, representing the Mid-Ohio Valley in a regional format. It’s a chance to go compete and win that age division to get your entry fee paid for at Disney,” added Keffer, who noted the six-event summer schedule is nearly set for dates and the courses are “locked in and ready to go.”

Registration is currently open at — https://www.uagolftour.com/page/show/6115092-mid-ohio-valley –and Keffer noted he has more than 20 players registered so far and hopes to have upward of five dozen.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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