Juniors wrap up local series

Friday, July 23, 2004

Jordan McLaurin of Arcadia Valley topped the field with a 74 at Dalhousie Golf Club.

By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian

Jordan McLaurin wasn't all that impressed with his round Thursday at Dalhousie Golf Club as the PGA Gateway Section Southeast Missouri Junior Series ended with the last of eight tournaments.

"It wasn't that great," McLaurin said. "It was so-so."

But Dalhousie director of golf Jack Connell begged to differ after McLaurin -- about to enter his freshman year at Arcadia Valley High School in Ironton, Mo. -- fired a 2-over 74 to win the boys 14-15 tour division with easily the best round of the day in any age group.

"That kid is a player," said Connell, who serves as the series director for the Southeast Missouri region. Added Connell with a laugh, "He's a munchkin, but he can play."

The diminutive McLaurin, participating in only his second tournament of the series -- he won both -- has played competitive golf for about six years.

"I should have shot lower," he said. "I had three 3-putts that hurt me."

Josh Dowdy, who will be a senior at Poplar Bluff High School, had the day's second-best score as he won the boys 16-18 tour division with a 5-over 77. Dowdy also lamented his failure to shoot lower after firing a 1-under 35 on the front nine. He said the extreme heat and humidity probably played a role.

"I played good on the front side, but I had six bogeys on the back," Dowdy said. "It was heat exhaustion pretty much. The heat just gets to you."

Megan Agey won the girls 16-18 tour division with a 90.

In the regular division, 18-hole winners were Tanner Werner in 12-13 (82), Peyton Beasley in 14-15 (85) and Andrew Stuever in 16-18 (89).

Regular division winners for nine holes were Jesse Hency in 10-11 (50), Jon Bowman in 12-13 (48) and Mark Crews in 14-15 (54).Players advance

All players who finished in the top three of their age group during any of the eight tournaments qualified for the upcoming Gateway PGA Section Junior Championship in St. Louis. Roughly 40 of the approximately 55 players who competed in the local series made the cut.

Cape Girardeau's Kirk Lohmann, who will be a junior at Central High School, placed first in the final series standings in the boys 16-18 tour division, based on each player's four top finishes. Lohmann, who won two of the eight tournaments, had 64.5 points to edge out Dowdy's 60.5 points.

"I'm pretty excited to finish first overall," Lohmann said.

Lohmann played toward the bottom of the five-man lineup this past season for Central's strong team that qualified for the Class 4 state tournament. Since the Tigers graduated five seniors, Lohmann said making solid improvement this summer was a priority for him.

"I've wanted to play well this summer because I know we lose so many really good players," Lohmann said.

Other series winners in the tour division were Danner McCauley (14-15 boys), Lindsay Riffle (14-15 girls) and Agey (16-18 girls).

Regular division series winners for 18 holes were Werner (12-13), Beasley and Sam Birk (tie, 14-15) and Stuever (16-18).

In the regular division for nine holes, series victors were Eric Hayes (10-11), Bowman (12-13) and Crews (14-15).

Connell said the local series went well and was a good experience for all the participants.

"It's great for the kids, and we had some very good players," Connell said.

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