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With Claud Allegood’s family moving to his native Wilson, his three sons were introduced to the Larry Pittman Memorial/Wilson County Junior Golf Championship last summer.
Excitement for the 2019 event stirred for 11-year-old Samuel, 9-year-old Noah and 8-year-old Luke weeks ago. Claud Allegood said his sons now consider the Larry Pittman Memorial their yearly “major.”
They played with a purpose this week in the 41st annual tourney with Samuel and Luke seizing age-group championships and Noah placing third.
Samuel dominated by 21 shots in ages 11-12 with rounds of 48-44-42—132, while Luke was the class of ages 8-Under at 24-21-20—65, winning by 15 shots. Noah posted 5-hole rounds of 26-27-29—82 in claiming third in ages 9-10.
Samuel revealed the siblings’ pre-tourney goal was for each to finish first, second or third. Goal accomplished. They couldn’t have been more happier with Noah, who improved from ninth in 2018 to third.
“We did good this year,” Samuel exclaimed, “especially, Noah; he improved a lot (25 shots in three rounds).”
Samuel prevailed in 9-10 last year, while Luke repeated in ages 8-Under.
Gavin Craft took second in 11-12 at 50-59-46—155, followed by Cale Pittman at 61-54-51—166,
A BIG RELIEF
“It’s a big relief,” Samuel described his success. “I have been really nervous. My putting was a lot better and probably the best thing about my game.” Samuel parred Nos. 15, 16 and 18.
Luke sizzled the final round with a birdie at No. 3 and finally subdued 5-year-old Thomas Layton. Layton placed second at 23-28-29—80, with Bowman Smith third at 29-32-24—85.
“My goal was to shoot 25 or under, and I shot 20,” Luke proudly spoke of his final-round plan. “(Layton) was good. But I practiced a lot and played good. I like to play in tournaments and have fun. It’s different this time; last year was a little easier.”
In 9-10, Joseph Butts, at 27-20-25—72, was too much for Noah and runner-up Colby Kennedy (24-26-27—77).
Butts was an age-group winner in 2017 and finished second last July.
“I played all right today,” Butts declared, “but I’ve got to work on my putting. I work on it every night, but I haven’t got it right yet.
“But I feel pretty good; I played good.”
OTHER BOYS CHAMPS
Ryan Richardson, who underwent a liver transplant in August of 2017, breezed to his third age-group title and second straight in Ages 15-16. The Fike High rising senior fashioned rounds of 90-81-80 for a 251 total and 51-shot margin against runner-up Seth Thompson. Richardson birdied Nos. 2 and 14.
“It feels good,” Richardson graciously assured. “It’s nice to get another win. I worked through some back and leg issues, but I finished the round strong. I had a couple of blocks to the right that were not good, but I scrambled well, putted well and recovered from bad shots.”
Dante Gaetano, a rising senior at Hunt High, held off Hunt classmate Patrick Clark for Ages 17-18 supremacy. Gaetano came in at 93-94-86—273, while Clark shot 101-93-89—283.
“I got second place a bunch of times when I was little,” Gaetano noted. “It’s nice to finally get it. I played good on the front (38) and fell apart on the back nine.
“My game plan was not lose 10 strokes (lead after two rounds) and just to hit the ball better than I did the first two days. I hit it exponentially better.”
Bree Council emerged an age-group champion, dominating in 13-14 at 43-44-44—131 in nine-hole rounds. Avery Briley, after a year off, responded with her best score of 46 the final round in claiming second at 55-53-46—154. Anna Brooke Taylor, who has only been playing golf for a couple of months, wound up third.
Council, age 13, lauded the improvement of Briley and Taylor and felt she played better the last nine holes with pars at Nos. 10 and 18.
“I feel pretty good,” she evaluated. “I played a little better than yesterday. My driving was perfect, but I was pulling all my putts.”
Although unopposed in 9-10, Kensley Hill steadily improved with rounds of 36-35-29 for a 100 total.
In 8-Under, 8-year-old Loulie Harrison steadily pulled away from her 6-year-old sister Eloise and Lucy Stadiem. She bested both by five shots with 5-hole rounds of 40-38-37—115.
Brooklyn Scott, a rising 6th-grader at Greenfield School, emerged the class of 11-12, ruling by 28 shots with scores of 58-61-56—175. Katharine Joyner salvaged second, with Claire Proctor third.
“It feels good,” remarked Scott, the 9-10 top finisher last summer. “I could have played a little better, but I am still happy with it.”
Most enjoyable, she noted, was hitting her driver.
The final round at Wedgewood was briskly played and void of complaints about the weather.