STATHAM, GA- The Southeast section totaled 64.16 points to claim the 38th annual GSGA Junior Sectional Challenge Match at The Georgia Club in Statham, July 26-27, 2011. The Southwest section finished second with 44.83 points, almost 20 points behind the SE team, to earn runner-up honors.
With the win, it’s the Southeast’s 10th title of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match, and first since 2006. The Southeast has won this annual competition (10 times) more times than any other section.
The Southeast section was led by three players who won their respective age groups. In the 18-hole division, Jake Minchew (SE) beat Carter Mobley (E) in a playoff to medal and finished at 6-over-par 150 in the Boys, 14-15 age group and Lee Bennett (SE) finished first in the Boys, 12-13 bracket with a 7-under-par 137 36-hole score. In the 9-hole division, Bailey Buie won the Girls, 12-13 age group with a two-day total of 4-over-par 74.
This year’s runner-up in the Junior Sectional Challenge Match, the Southwest section, was led by Jake Flynt (SW), who medaled in the Boys, 16-17 18-hole group with a final score of 1-under-par 143, and Elizabeth Funderburk (SW), who medaled in the Girls, 11-under 9-hole division with a final score of 18-over-par 88.
Other competitors who earned medalist honors in their respective age groups were Lorenzo Elbert, Jr., (NW, 1-over-par 71) in the Boys, 11-under 9-hole division and Hannah Barger (NE, 2-over-par 146) in the Girls, 14-17 18-hole division.
The shot of the day came from Thomas Bearden of the Southwest section when he recorded his seventh ace of his young golfing career on the par-3, 183-yard 17th hole using a 5-iron.
The Junior Sectional Challenge Match is a statewide competition that brings together the top performers from the summer-long GSGA Junior Sectional Program. Participants earned the opportunity to compete and represent their section in the tournament by accumulating points in their section’s qualifying events. Each of the seven geographic sections sends their top four point earners from each boys age division, the top three from each Girls’ 14-17 division and the top two from the Girls’ 12-13 and 11 and under divisions to the Challenge Match. The team winner, or winning section, is determined by cumulative points earned based on order of finish in the various age divisions during each round.
The Junior Sectional Program began in 1974 and was established by the Georgia State Golf Association as a grassroots effort to provide juniors across the state with the opportunity to experience competitive golf.