July news and notes


HHIJGA Golfer 2nd at Optimist Junior
Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy student Siriko Thamonpat tied for second place at the Optimist Junior, held July 26-29 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The Bangkock, Thailand, native fired rounds of 75, 77, 73 and 74 on the Squire and Palmer courses. She will be a rising junior this fall at the HHIJGA, based on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Island, golf featured in local coloring book
A new golf-related local coloring book is on the market. The storybook to color is called, “Golf?! What’s That?” The non-traditional story centers around Hilton Head Island and the world of golf, as seen through the eyes of Santa’s vacationing reindeer. Vixen wants to meet girls. Blitzen wants to get blitzed on Antelope Ale. The book retails for $5.95 and can be purchased Monday through Friday at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island. The book can also be purchased online at www.wil-coe.com.

Hoft wins HHIAGA 1-Day
J.D. Hoft fired a 71 to win the Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association 1-Day Tournament on July 15 at Callawassie. Keith Potts came in second with a 73 followed by Terry Lanning with a 75. Scott Berkner won the handicap division with a 70. Chris Morris and J.R. Evans tied for first in the senior division with 76s.

Nisbet wins Players Am
It wasn't the finish Daniel Nisbet envisioned, but the 21-year-old Australian enjoyed the perks of winning the 13th annual Players Amateur just the same, claiming the title after the final round was cut short because of storms on July 15 at Berkeley Hall Club. With the tournament shortened to 54 holes, Nisbet won with a 205, one stroke better than second-place finisher Bobby Wyatt.

Sanctuary hosting Lt. Dan Classic
The third annual Lt. Dan Classic golf tournament will take place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 14 at Sanctuary Golf Club on Cat Island. The cost of the four-person scramble is $80 per person before Aug. 14 and $100 after. Golfers may enter individually or as a team. The event is part of the third annual Lt. Dan Weekend to benefit severely injured veterans in Beaufort. Other events include a concert featuring Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band, a 5K and a bike ride. For more information, call 843-379-8877 or 843-473-5165 or go online to www.ltdanweek.com.

Weary wins division in Carolinas JPGA Championship
Bluffton golfer Drew Weary won the Boys 12 and Under flight in the 2012 Carolinas Junior PGA Championship tournament, which took place June 30 through July 1 at the Hackler Course at Coastal Carolina University in Conway. Weary fired a 37-39 – 76 to win the flight by five strokes. Other local golfers in the tournament were J.D. Lehman, Kasidy Beckel, Josh Fickes, Alec Weary, Bryson Nimmer, Wesley Long, Matthew Lehman, Kylie Mizolek and Brenden Fick.

Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational returning to Haig Point
Senior Ben Greene of Duluth, Ga., will lead the defending champion Owls of Kennesaw State University at the 2012 Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational men's golf tournament Oct. 1-2 at Haig Point Club on Daufuskie Island. The 54-hole event format will have 36 holes of play. Other teams in the fifth annual event include host school the University of South Carolina, Charleston Southern University, East Carolina University, Francis Marion University, Iowa State University, Liberty University, Presbyterian College, Tennessee Tech University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington and Winthrop University.

IJGT announces fall schedule
The International Junior Golf Tour released its fall 2012 schedule. Seven tournaments will be played in Beaufort County at Oldfield Golf Club (Sept. 1-2), Hilton Head National (Sept. 8-9), Shipyard Golf Club (Sept. 29-30), Planters Row Golf Course at Port Royal (Oct. 13-14), Oyster Reef Golf Club (Nov. 3-4) and Old South Golf Links (Dec. 1-2). The final tournament of the fall schedule is the fifth annual Hank Haney Invitational, set for Dec. 8-9 at Harbour Town Golf Links and the Ocean Course at Sea Pines.

Team USA wins North America Cup at Oldfield
Team USA won the International Junior Golf Tour’s North America Cup, held July 1-4 at Oldfield Golf Club in Okatie. Team USA defeated Team Canada. The event featured fourball matches, singles matches and a skills competition. Four golfers with local ties participated in the event: Ben Dietrich, Zach Boe, Mark Folkwein and Derrick Villarreal. The annual competition has alternated between countries each of the past 10 years. Team USA leads the series 8-2.

Golf writer plays 100 holes at Secession for charity
Golf writer Joel Zuckerman played 100 holes of golf on June 28 at Secession Golf Club to help raise money for Liam Steffen, a 2-year-old child born with lymphatic malformations. Zuckerman, 51, lives in Savannah and is a member of Secession Golf Club. He completed the challenge through the Hundred Hole Hike organization, a national network of golf marathons where participants plan to walk 100 or more holes of golf in one day. Find more information online at www.hundredholehike.com.

Bear Creek hosts Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open
Bear Creek Golf Club was the site of the Hank Haney IJGA Junior Open June 25-28. The tournament marked the 30th time an American Junior Golf Association event has come to Hilton Head Island and the first partnership the association has had with the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Association. Ben Reeves (Knoxville, Tenn.) won the three-round boys tournament with a 220 while Taylor Tomlinson (Gainesville, Fla.) won the girls event with a 224.

Callawassie Island hosts Senior Open
Callawassie Island was the site of the Carolinas PGA Senior Open June 26-27. Greensboro’s Robert Linville won the tournament with a 145. Hilton Head Island’s Thomas Bell was the top local player with a 168. Bluffton’s Jim de Leon (172) and Rich Owen (181) also competed. Local golfers in the Super Senior flight were Hilton Head’s Eric Dollenberg (158), Okatie’s Stew Butler (162) and Gibby Young (164).

Rogers wins HHIPGA Professional’s Championship, Assistant’s Championship
David Rogers of Secession Golf Club won his third straight championship in the Hilton Head Island PGA Chapter’s Professional’s Championship on June 26 at Hilton Head Lakes. Rogers fired a 65-70 – 135, beating Cherokee Valley’s Mark Tomedolskey (137) by two strokes. Other top finishers were Golden Bear’s Colby Wilson (138), Old South’s Pete Popovich (141), Moss Creek’s Tom Logue (148), Pinecrest’s J.P. Politian (149) and Colleton River’s Matt Lucchesi (150). On June 18, Rogers won the HHIPGA’s 2012 One Day Assistants Championship by three strokes at Old South Golf Links. Berkeley Hall's Nicholas Coursey was second at 71, followed by Berkeley Hall’s Charles Fox Jr. in third with a 72.

Locals fail to qualify for US Senior Open
Blythewood’s Eddie Hargett qualified for the U.S. Senior Open at a qualifier in Florence on June 26, firing a 67. Hargett beat out several local golfers, including Bluffton’s Tom McKnight (75), Hilton Head’s Gordon Gourley (81), Hilton Head’s James Ferguson (83) and Bluffton’s Stephen Johnson (WD). The U.S. Senior Open was completed July 15 at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich.

Woodard holds off Buchanan in WSCGA Match Play final
Dawn Woodard of Greer successfully defended her 2010 and 2011 Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Match Play title by winning the 2012 event over Sammy Buchanan of Bluffton on June 22 at Sanctuary Golf Club. Just like 2011, Woodard’s opponent was a recent high school graduate heading off to her freshman year in college. Buchanan will be attending UNC-Greensboro in the fall. Woodard jumped out to an early lead during the final round and never trailed during the match.

Local golfers compete in WSCGA Junior Championship
Four local golfers were in the field for the 2012 Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Junior Girls Championship, held June 11-14 at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood. Bluffton’s Brandi Hammonds fared the best, firing a 230 to finish 18 strokes behind winner McKenzie Talbert of North Augusta. Other local golfers in the field were Bluffton’s Kasidy Beckel (239), Hilton Head’s Nathalie Lezcano (241) and Hilton Head’s Anna Eddy (264).

Local golfers compete in SC Junior Amateur
Hilton Head Island golfer J.D. Lehman came up on the short end of a playoff in boys 15-18 division of the 54th annual South Carolina Golf Association Junior Championship, held June 12-14 at Woodside Plantation in Aiken. Lehman forced a playoff with Daniel Island’s Jeremy Grab after firing a final-round 67 on the Wisteria-Jones Course to close a four-stroke deficit. Grab then sealed the victory on the first playoff hole, knocking the ball to three feet for an easy putt. Both finished at 217. Bluffton’s Wesley Long and Josh Fickes of Lady’s Island also competed. Hilton Head Island’s Andrew Orischak won the boys 13-14 division with a 225. Bluffton’s Matt Lehman fired a 241 in that division. The SCGA Junior Championship is one of 19 major events conducted by the SCGA.

Local golfers make US roster for Euro Cup
The International Junior Golf Tour competed against the Canadian Junior Golf Association and the FIFE Scotland team in the Euro Cup, a 54-hole triangular match held July 20-28 in St. Andrews, Scotland. The Euro Cup was played on three courses -- Leven, Scotscraig and Drumoig. Divisions were boys 15-19, boys under 14 and girls under 19. Hilton Head Island’s Nicholas Russell and Hank Hankey International Junior Golf Academy student Daulet Tuleubayev (Kazakhstan) were both selected to compete in the boys under 14 division. HHIJGA students Elizabeth Hammel (Wexford, Pa.) and Kali Boyer (New Ringgold, Pa.) competed in the girls under 19 division.

New restaurant open at Palmetto Dunes’ RTJ course
Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers and Pizza opened June 12 at the Robert Trent Jones Course clubhouse inside of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island. The restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu has signature Southern dishes such as barbeque, gourmet burgers and grilled pizza, as well as soups, salads, seafood, steaks and ribs. It also offers a children’s menu along with a wine and beer menu. The restaurant has big screen TVs and expanded outdoor seating. Happy hour specials are from 4-7 p.m. daily and live entertainment is from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. The restaurant is named after Jim Self, who acquired Palmetto Dunes in 1979.

Old Tabby Links scheduled to reopen in November
The award winning Old Tabby Links golf course on Spring Island closed March 12 for restoration. The restoration project will be headed up by the course’s original design firm, Arnold Palmer Design Company, with construction by MacCurrach Golf Construction. The restoration will include a new state-of-the-art irrigation system, re-grassing greens, and enhancements to restore the natural character of the course and heighten the strategic interest of each hole. Work is estimated to be done in the fall with the course re-opening for play by November.


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