Sanford welcomes TYGA tour stop
Lee County High golf standout Walter Brinker had no problem around his home course Thursday as talented young golfers from all over the state visited Sanford Golf Course for a stop by the Tarheel Youth Golf Association for one of the TYGA's one-day tournament summer events.
Brinker rolled in eight birdies on the day for a 1-under-par 70 for the lowest round overall and the title in the boys 16-18 year-old division by six shots.
Brinker, a rising junior for the Yellow Jackets, had the round of the day and was the only golfer to break par.
A golfer in the youngest division had the shot of the day.
Frank Gilliam, a 12-year-old from Raleigh, made his first-ever hole in one. On No. 6, from 124 yards away, Gilliam hit a pitching wedge and his shot rolled into the cup.
"My partner, he was ecstatic, saying "It went in! It went in!," Gilliam said.
"I couldn't believe it. It was crazy. I was just shocked," he said.
Gilliam said his closest call to an ace before Thursday was hitting to about two feet from the pin. He had the ball safely kept and the official paperwork - ready to send to the USGA and the World Golf Hall of Fame - was taken care of following the round.
Gilliam barely claimed the unofficial honor of shot of the tournament, though.
Chapel Hill's David Cho, in the 14-15 age group, came within an unlucky bounce of a double eagle two on the ninth hole.
Hitting a 3 hybrid from the left rough, Cho's long approach shot rolled up on the green, hit the flagstick and rebounded a little more than a foot away where he had to settle for an eagle.
Angier's Jacob Lowe shot 73 and edged Sanford's Dalton Mauldin by a stroke for the boys 14-15 division victory. Clayton's Tyler Dechellis won the 12-13 year-old division with a 78, a shot better than Wells Armes of Raleigh.
Smithfield's Haley Talton won the girls 16-18 division with an 83, edging Asheboro's Alicia Marion and Fayetteville's Brianna Newton by a stroke.
Natalie Petersen of Holly Springs shot a 79, shooting a 2-over 38 on the back nine, to win the girls 13-15 gold medal.
The division champs earned berths into the TYGA's season-ending Tournament of Champions set for Aug. 12-13 at Hyland Golf Club in Southern Pines. The TYGA State Championship will be played Oct. 18-19 at Keith Hills Country Club in Buies Creek.
Tarheel Youth Golf Association
at Sanford Golf Course
Top results by division
1. Walter Brinker, Sanford 34-36 70 (-1)
2. Tyler Griffin, Climax 37-39 76*
3. Jacob Smith, Holly Springs 36-40 76
t4. Brantley Phillips, Greensboro 36-42 78
t4. Jay Minter, Sanford 38-40 78
t4. Colson Hoffman, Asheboro 37-41 78
t4. Bryce Hailey, Raleigh 39-39 78
9. Weston Moore, Raleigh 38-41 79
t10. Milledge Armes, Raleigh 40-41 81
t10. Mitchell McNeely, Fayetteville 42-39 81
1. Jacob Lowe, Angier 33-40 73 (+2)
2. Dalton Mauldin, Sanford 38-36 74
3. David Cho, Chapel Hill 39-38 77
4. Noel Turlington, Clinton 42-37 79
t5. Donovan Durham, Pleasant Garden 38-42 80
t5. Angus Isley, Durham 42-38 80
7. Brad Green, Reidsville 42-39 81
t8. Austin Bonfiglio, Holly Springs 39-43 82
t8. Campbell Rand, Durham 41-41 82
10. Austin Trent, Pleasant Garden 39-44 83
1. Tyler Dechellis, Clayton 40-38 78 (+7)
2. Wells Armes, Raleigh 39-40 79
3. Brady Hooks, Clayton 36-46 82
4. Frank Gilliam, Raleigh 38-45 83
5. Daniel Nunn, Wake Forest 47-43 90
1. Haley Talton, Smithfield 39-44 83 (+12)
2. Alicia Marion, Asheboro 44-40 84*
3. Brianna Newton, Fayetteville 40-44 84*
4. Makenna Hammer, Clayton 45-41 86
1. Natalie Petersen, Holly Springs 41-38 79 (+8)
2. Meghan McPeak, Chapel Hill 47-49 96
3. Channing Henlsey, Wake Forest 52-48 100
* Tie decided by scorecard tiebreaker