Local news and notes

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Former HHIJGA student wins LPGA Championship
Former Hank Haney International Junior Golf Association student Shanshan Feng won the LPGA Championship on June 10 at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. With a two-stroke victory, the 22-year-old became the first Chinese player to win an LPGA Tour title and a major event. Feng earned a scholarship to the Hilton Head Island-based HHIJGA in 2006 and worked with instructors Matt Fields and Gary Gilchrist. She became the first Chinese player to qualify for the LPGA Tour the following year.

Junior golfers named to Team USA
Four junior golfers with local ties were named to Team USA for the International Junior Golf Tour’s 2012 North America Cup. Ben Dietrich, Zach Boe, Mark Folkwein and Derrick Villarreal will face members of the Canadian Junior Golf Association in the event, scheduled for July 1-4 at Oldfield Golf Club in Okatie. All four will compete in the boys 15-19 division. Dietrich and Boe are both from Bluffton. Dietrich, Folkwein (Midland, Mich.) and Villarreal (Hartland, Wisc.) are students at Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. The North America Cup will feature fourball matches, singles matches and a skills competition.

Dataw announces renovations of Morgan River course
With its Cotton Dike course complete, officials at Dataw Island Club have moved construction activities to the Morgan River course as they complete a $5.4 million renovation of the private island’s 36 holes of golf. Director of golf maintenance Brian Hollingsworth said the Arthur Hills-designed course is scheduled to reopen in September. Renovation plans include replacing irrigation, straightening and repairing cart paths, coring out and re-contouring greens, re-grassing of all greens, improving bunkers, lake bank restoration, tree pruning and cart parking improvements at the driving range.

Sea Pines Resort to host Els for Autism Golf Challenge
Sea Pines Resort will host the Els for Autism Golf Challenge Sept. 10 at Harbour Town Golf Links. The event will benefit the Els for Autism Foundation, an organization spearheaded by PGA Tour player Ernie Els and his wife Liezl. The foundation helps children worldwide living with the disorder. The two-person team that records the low net winning score will advance to the EFA grand finale in Las Vegas. Registration is $600 per player. Teams can automatically qualify for the finale by raising $10,000. For more information or to register visit www.elsforautism.com/harbourtown.

Longtime Heritage tournament information director dies
Arnie Burdick, the longtime Heritage tournament information director for Hilton Head Island’s PGA Tour event, died June 5 at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center. He was 92. After a distinguished career as a sports journalist, Burdick and his wife, Mimi, retired to Hilton Head Island. His journalism background prompted Mike Stevens, then the Heritage tournament director, to approach Burdick in 1986 and ask him to become the tournament’s media relations director -- if only for a year. Burdick worked his 29th Heritage this spring. “Arnie was a gentleman whose contributions have been a huge part of the success of the RBC Heritage and the Heritage Classic Foundation for more than 20 years,” current tournament director Steve Wilmot said. “He will be truly missed by all of us who worked with him every day.”

Collar, Bartlett win HHIAGA Four Ball
The Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association hosted its 2012 Four Ball Championship June 2-3 at Bear Creek Golf Club on Hilton Head Island. Bob Collar and Jonathan Bartlett won the championship division with a 64-69 – 133. Joe Vignati and John Hencken won the senior division with a 144. Bryant Turner and Jim Manning won the handicap division with a 135. The HHIAGA will host the 2012 1-Day Tournament July 15 at Callawassie Island followed up by its 2012 Amateur Championship, set for July 21-22 at Oyster Reef Golf Club on Hilton Head Island. Find more information online at www.hhiaga.com.

Local golfers fail to qualify for US Open
Five golfers with local ties attempting to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Open Championship stumbled in the sectional qualifying round in early June. Former Hilton Head Island resident D.J. Trahan fired a two-round total of 2-under-par 138, tying for 15th place in a Memphis, Tenn., qualifier. The top nine finishers advanced. Beaufort’s Mark Anderson tied for 14th in a Columbus, Ohio, qualifier with a 143; Hilton Head Island’s Chris Epperson tied for 43rd in a Rockville, Md., qualifier with a 151; Bluffton’s Nathan Stamey tied for 27th in a Lecanto, Fla., qualifier; and Hilton Head Island’s Josh Schrader was disqualified in a Suwanee, Ga., qualifier. The U.S. Open was played June 14-17 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Stolen truck found in pond at Pinecrest
Workers at Pinecrest Golf Club in Bluffton located a hazard in one of their hazards on June 5, discovering a stolen pickup truck in the pond on the fifth hole. A gray GMC Z71 truck stolen from a home on Hilton Head Island was pulled from the pond by members of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office dive team. According to assistant professional Tony Hagwood, vandals did a few donuts on the hole and made one pass across the green. Despite the damage, Pinecrest workers had the hole playable less than three hours after the truck was discovered.

Palmetto Electric hosts Million Dollar Hole-in-One Shootout
Palmetto Electric hosted the Touchstone Energy Million Dollar Hole-in-One Shootout May 31-June 2 at Old South Golf Links. While no golfers won the grand prize with a hole-in-one on the final day, Bluffton’s Chris Muth did win $1,000 and a spot in a Las Vegas pro-am later this year for getting closest to the pin, landing 7 feet, 2 inches from the hole. Hilton Head Island’s Ted Morris won the putting contest, earning $100, a round of golf at Sea Pines Resort and a new putter. Event organizers say more than 400 golfers took more than 18,000 shots during the week, raising more than $10,000 for the Bright Ideas teacher grant program.

USCB golfers earn postseason honors
University of South Carolina Beaufort golfers Luke McClellan and Kendra Collins both earned postseason honors on June 4. McClellan was named to the second team of the NAIA Men’s Golf All-America team and Collins was listed as an honorable mention selection on the NAIA Women’s Golf All-America team. Both golfers also earned All-Sun Conference team honors. McClellan was a senior from West Columbia and Collins was a sophomore from Bluffton.

USCB golf teams compete at nationals
The University of South Carolina Beaufort men’s golf team finished in 10th place at the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championships on May 25 at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore. The Sank Sharks ended with a team score of 1201, finishing 25 strokes behind tournament champion Oklahoma Christian. Sophomore Brian Langley, a Bluffton native, led USCB, shooting an 80-77-69-73 – 299 to finish tied for 23rd individually. The USCB women’s golf team tied for 15th place at the women’s national championships on May 18 at Link Hills Golf and Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn. The Sand Sharks finished the 72-hole tournament with a team score of 1267, finishing 56 strokes behind champion British Columbia. Senior Adriana Saavedra paced the Sand Sharks with a 21-over-par 313.

Harbor Town put on Celebrated Living ‘Platinum List’
Harbour Town Golf Links, located on Hilton Head Island, is listed No. 4 on Celebrated Living magazine’s “Platinum List.” The magazine, which is the official publication of American Airlines, ranked the country’s top golf courses, hotels, spas and cruise lines in its June issue. Pebble Beach Golf Links (Calif.) took the top spot, Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee (Ga.) was second and Manuna Kea Golf Course (Hawaii) was listed third. Harbour Town is the host course for the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage golf tournament each April. The most recent honor follows on the heels of Harbour Town being named No. 2 in a recent survey of PGA Tour players of the top 10 courses on the PGA Tour.

Hurricane Junior Golf Tour blows into Bluffton
Crescent Point Golf Club in Bluffton hosted the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s HJ Glove Junior Open May 19-20. Bluffton’s Charlie Spencer-White had the best finish of all local golfers in the 15-18 division, firing a 78-72 – 150 to finish fifth, 11 strokes behind winner Payton Taylor of Vero Beach, Fla. The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour will be back in the area Sept. 8-9 for the Kikkor Golf Series at Golden Bear, hosted by Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run on Hilton Head Island. Find more information online at hjgt.org.

High school teams compete in state tournaments
The Hilton Head Island High School boys golf team took fourth place in the Class 3A state golf tournament, held May 14-15 at Coastal Carolina University. The Seahawks turned in a team score of 627, finishing 20 strokes behind state champion A.C. Flora. Individually, seventh-grader Andrew Orischak paced Hilton Head High with a 73-76 – 149. He finished sixth overall, 11 strokes behind medalist Will Starke of Chapin. Bluffton took 11th place as a team with a score of 651, led by Alec Wary’s 155. In Class 4A state tournament at Furman University, the Beaufort High boys took 16th place as a team with a 54-hole score of 979, finishing 82 strokes behind winner Easley. Josh Fickes led the Eagles with a 228.

Ferree defends WSCGA Senior title
Hilton Head Island golfer Karen Ferree claimed her sixth Women’s South Carolina Golf Association State Senior Championship on May 9 at Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet. Ferree entered the final round one stroke ahead of Hilton Head Island’s Susan Cummings and was able to hold on. Ferree finished the two-day event with a 72-78 – 150. Harstville’s Elaine Johnson came in second at 155 and Cummings finished third at 156.

Colleton River to host 2015 US Junior Amateur
The Dye Course at Colleton River has been selected as the site for the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Golf Championship. The prestigious tournament is one of 13 U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. It is open to amateur boys ages 18 or younger that have a USGA handicap index of 6.4 or less. The tournament, which is set for July 2015, will consist of two days of stroke play, with the leading 64 competitors then playing a match play competition to decide the champion. Past winners include Tiger Woods, Johnny Miller, David Duval and Hunter Mahan.

HHIJGA names officers for 2012
The Hilton Head Island Junior Golf Association named its officers for 2012 on April 29. Chris Westine of Eagle’s Pointe Golf Club was named Chairman. Tournament co-chairmen are Barry Pepper of Colleton River Golf Club and Josh Goodman of Moss Creek Golf Club. The Pro-Pal Chariman is Brett Heisler of Colleton River Club. The Hooked-on-Golf Chairman is Ben Smith of Harbour Town Golf Links. The Junior Golf Academy Chairman is Ben Chehval of Long Cove Club. The Director is Larry Kellogg. PGA Advisors are John Farrell of Harbour Town Golf Links, Brent Carlson of Eagle’s Point Golf Club and Heidi Wright-Tennyson of Moss Creek Golf Club.

Chattanooga claims Women’s SoCon title at Moss Creek
The Chattanooga Mocs and sophomore Jordan Britt swept the Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championships on April 17 at Moss Creek Golf Club. Britt was the low medalist over 54 holes with a 2-over-par 74, leading Chattanooga to its third consecutive title. The Mocs trailed by four strokes to start the day but finished strong, finishing with a 57-over-par 921. UNC-Greensboro came in second place with a 924. College of Charleston was third at 939.

JPGA student to play for Rollins College
Junior Players Golf Academy student Momo Sakuragi signed a letter of intent to play collegiate golf for the Rollins College women’s golf team on April 11. Sakuragi just finished her senior training at JPGA, a training academy located on Hilton Head Island. She is from Tokyo, Japan, and finished ranked 66th in the 2012 National Graduation Class. Rollins College is located in Winter Park, Fla.


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