Juniors wrap up eight-tournament summer series

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tanner Werner shot a 68 in the finale at Kimbeland.

Higher participation and mostly mild weather were some of the highlights of another summer of the Gateway PGA Southeast Missouri Junior series, which wrapped up its eight-tournament series Monday with an event at Kimbeland Country Club.

There will be a year-end tournament for nine-hole competitors at Ballwin Golf and Recreation Center July 24 to 25 and 18-hole competitors July 31 to Aug. 1 at Crystal Springs Quarry. Typically, the top three from each age group qualify for the tournament.

"I thought it was a really good series," series coordinator Jack Connell said following Monday's event. "We had tremendous weather. It was very hot today and at Poplar Bluff, but the first six tournaments the weather was terrific and we didn't have any rainouts.

"We had more than 60 kids involved in the program. It's really a good way for some of the kids to meet some of the juniors they'll compete against in high school and some of the courses they'll compete at."

Jackson native Tanner Werner had the low round among those playing 18 holes on Monday, shooting a 3-under-par 68. Werner was the top finisher in the 12- to 13-year-old regular division.

"He's a great player, and has been," Connell said. "I look for him to do real well in St. Louis if he gets to go, along with several of the other players."

In the 16- to 19-year-old tour division, Danner McCauley shot a 3-over 74. T.J. Smith and Sam Birk each shot 76.

Austin Hunter (16-19 regular) shot a 79 to win his age division, and Brett Slaten (14-15 regular) also won with an 87.

"I've seen the scores get lower as the summer moves along and the kids get more practice," Connell said.

Kassie Walker (16-19 regular) won on the girls side with a 91, edging Emily Matthews' 94. In nine-hole girls competition, Kate Edwards won with a 56.

While the number of girls competing in the series is still far smaller than the number of boys, Connell said he's happy to see more and more come out.

"The other good thing is we have girls involved, and seemingly more and more each year," Connell said. "The girls that aren't playing need to realize this isn't just for boys. Even though there are only a few girls in some flights, we've had years where there were no girls in the whole deal."

Among the nine-hole winners on the boys side were Gabe Wheeler (10-11), Jesse Hency (12-13) and Ryan Richardson (14-18).



10-11 (nine holes) -- Gabe Wheeler 53, Luke Kinder 57, Zach Downing 57

12-13 (nine holes) -- Jesse Hency 39, Evan Deere 41, Corey Connell 46, Drew Hosp 46

14-18 (nine holes) -- Ryan Richardson 44, Michael Weber 59

12-13 (18 holes) -- Tanner Werner 68, Zach Vaeth 96

14-15 (18 holes) -- Brett Slaten 87, Brock Walker 88, Cole Viers 89

16-19 (18 holes) -- Austin Hunter 79, Blake Martindale 86, Matthew Whitehead 87

16-19 tour (18 holes) -- Danner McCauley 74, T.J. Smith 76, Sam Birk 76


12-13 (nine holes) -- Kate Edwards 56, Caroline Harding 57

16-19 (18 holes) -- Kassie Walker 91, Emily Matthews 94

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