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Bowles, Hand fire 71s to lead Junior Am

CHIP ELLIS | Gazette
Lauryn Davidson of Vienna floats her approach to the tricky 15th green at Sleepy Hollow Tuesday.

HURRICANE — Fourteen-year-old Colin Bowles had no problem Tuesday backing up to the gold tees at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club. His 1-under-par 71 told the tale.

The Oceana native tied Wheeling’s Cole Hand for the overall championship, which is contested by boys ages 15-18 and those younger players opting to play up in class — namely, Bowles.

The final round of the 36-hole event takes place today.

When Bowles opted to climb out of the 13-14-year-old flight, he gave up the 5,913-yard white tees for the golds, which are listed at 6,928. A thousand extra feet?

It’s kid’s play for someone who just won the Father-Child tournament.

“I started off kind of slow, but when I turned to the front nine [he teed from No. 10], I started making putts,” Bowles said.

Bowles’ shot of the day wasn’t hard to figure — an eagle on the par-4 14th hole.

“I think it was about 90 yards. It one-hopped in,” he said.

Hand, entering his senior season at Wheeling Park, had an up-and-down even-par 36 on the front nine before settling down on the back. He punctuated his finish with a birdie on the 17th, a tough hole playing at about 240 yards. He hit a 15-foot putt.

“The only thing I could have done better is hit my driver better,” Hand said. “From 9 to 13, I think I missed every fairway by 50 yards. Everything was right, right, right.”

In the girls event, Lauryn Davidson of Vienna shot 72, taking a five-shot lead. Playing from the 5,688-yard black tees, she enjoyed an even more dominant start, scoring four birdies in the first 10 holes without a bogey. She finished bogey-double bogey-bogey, with the 17th tripping her up. (It is listed at 160 yards from the blacks.)

“There were a couple of holdups. We had to wait a little bit, so I think that got in my head a little bit,” she said. “I’m proud of the way I played; it’s been hard to put everything together this year. To have a good round for the first time this year, it’s a good feeling.”

Austin Davis of Vienna and Travis Covert of Red House were tied for second in the boys event with 74s, while Madison’s Sterling Chafin rang up a 75. Alex Hamrick of Red House, Samuel Corns of Logan and Christian Casingal of Charleston each shot 76s.

In flight play, Bridgeport’s Mason Williams shot 71 to lead the 13-14 group by one over Weirton’s Howie Peterson IV and Huntington’s Josef Dransfield.

Sam White of Hurricane leads the 12-and-under division with an 80. Olivia Hand of Hurricane is the only participant in the girls 10-14 flight, finishing with a 96.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, or follow him at

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