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George E. Bryan, III
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Haley Cleary, of Lexington won the 2017 Carolinas Women’s Match Play Championship at Rock Hill Country Club last week by defeating Mary Chandler Bryan, from Chapin, in an exciting 18 hole final.

It was a fabulous match where the finalists both played well. Cleary started off by making birdie on the challenging first hole. Bryan squared the match on the third and at the turn the match was all even. Number 10 is where the excitement started. Bryan, who recently graduated College of Charleston and has her heart set on being on the LPGA Tour, won numbers 10, 11, and 12 to build a three up lead with six holes remaining. Cleary, a sophomore at Limestone, then won 5 consecutive holes to win 2 & 1. Pretty impressive.

I had the privilege of watching the match and it was truly well played. Both players demonstrated incredible skill, with Cleary hitting high and long tee shots, with clutch putting while Bryan was consistent and steady. Cleary earned her victory and the trophy.

This event once again shows how special golfers in our community are on the local, regional and even world golf stage. This championship had the best amateurs, juniors and seniors and all of North and South Carolina. This is one of the most prestigious amateur events in the southeast, and even the country, so it was very special to see an all midlands final.

I reported last week that Stephen “Twig” Hartwig had recently accepted the Mid-Carolina head professional job. Apparently I need to re-tee and hit number three. Twig decided not to accept the position so he will remain at the Country Club of Lexington.

The South Carolina Junior Golf Assoication Hootie and the Blowfish Summer Series is coming to an end soon. The players in this program are competing in a series of one day tournaments where they earn points on their finish each week. The players that are medalist for the week earn 30 points, 2nd place is 20 points, 3rd is 19 points, 4th is 18 points. The top two players in each age group earn a spot on the All Star team at the Upper State Championship.

The following players are in the running for an All Star birth for the Tri-County Chapter:  In the boys 15-18 Division tied for 1st is Partick Jacobs and Blake Dimsdale at 163.5 points, Hogan Hardee is third with 91 poinst. Boys 13-14 Mavrick Mullinax is first with 140 points, Charlie Beiers second with 137.5, and Luke Hammond third at 108 points. Boys 10-12 Liam Stilwell is first with 195 points, Roman Mullinax second with 152 points, and Gage Gaskins third 123.5 points. Boys 7-9 Gavin Gaskins first 159 points, Trust Winters second with 88 points. For the Girls 13-18 Madison Branum first with 139.5 points, Kennedy Gooding second with 120 points, and Molly Hardwick third with 110 points. Girls 10-12 Meredith Price is first with 200 points and Addisyn Sease second with 59 points.

Stay tuned to see who earns their all star spots after the August 10 tournament at Ponderosa Country Club.

Photo: carolinasgolf.org