Whittington, Curtis capture titlesPublished 10:48am Friday, July 18, 2014
With an unusually cool summer breeze sweeping through Clear Creek Golf Course Thursday afternoon, Channing Curtis calmly walked up to his ball on the fringe of the 10th hole green and chipped it in for birdie. Slowly pumping his fist, Curtis knew. It was just one of those days.
The 15 year-old blew past the rest of the competition with a second round score of 70, bringing his two-day total to 144 to take home first place in the Warren County Jr. Golf Championship. Curtis was clicking on all cylinders, but it was his work on the green that propelled him over challenger and friend Gabe Riveros, who finished the tourney with a total score of 152.
“I just really just putted my butt off today. I was just making everything pretty much,” Curtis said. “I made a lot more birdies today than I did yesterday too.”
The champ could only sheepishly smile as he reflected on the moment after being presented the trophy.
“I’m kind of shocked. I usually play pretty bad in these,” Curtis said. “I’ve just been working, practicing. I’ve just been working on playing in more tournaments.”
Karley Whittington topped the girls’ division with a two-day score of 152, mainly because she was the only female participant of the tournament. The 14 year-old played both of her rounds with the boys, but it didn’t discourage or intimidate her. It only drove her to hit the links with even more determination.
“I like playing with the guys a lot because it makes me play better, just because they’re better and it just makes me want to beat them, even though I didn’t,” Whittington said.
Had she competed in the male division, Whittington would have tied for second place from the red tees.
“But I was really sad that I was the only girl out here. I wish there were more girls out here to play, but it’s okay.”
A rain delay that derailed the original Tuesday starting date couldn’t shake the pair as they chipped and putted their way to victories.
“It was just a new day,” Whittington said. “If (the rain) would have been during the tournament it would have (affected me) but since it was just a new day, it really didn’t.”
Both Whittington and Curtis plan on playing in the Boys and Girls Junior Amateur at Northwood Country Club on July 29-31 and hope to qualify for more tournaments throughout the summer.
Other two-day total scores include:
• 16 year-old Gabe Rivero — 152
• 17 year-old Austin Neihaus — 178
• 15 year-old Brandon Teller — 199
• 13 year-old Evan Fedell — 211
• 14 year-old Mack Foley — 213
• 8 year-old Nick Neihaus — 69 (10 holes)