Junior golf title goes to Mekus|[07/21/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

Before Friday morning, Nick Mekus had never won a golf tournament.

That changed when the 12-year-old claimed the title in his age division at the Warren County Junior Championship.

Mekus, who will be a seventh-grader at St. Aloysius in the fall, said he had played in a few tournaments around Mississippi this summer but hadn’t fared well because of his unfamiliarity with the courses.

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That wasn’t a problem for Mekus at Clear Creek Golf Course, a place where he takes lessons and plays often.

&#8220I hadn’t ever really had a big shot at winning a tournament,” Mekus said. &#8220This was my first chance.”

And Mekus took full advantage of the opportunity, beating out eight other golfers for the trophy.

After the first nine holes of the tournament Thursday morning, Mekus trailed Cade Oldenburg by one stroke. Oldenburg, however, didn’t show up to finish his round Friday morning.

Mekus and his playing partner, Todd Davidson, each fired an 88 through 18 holes to force a playoff on the par-3 13th hole.

It appeared all but over when Mekus mishit his tee shot and Davidson’s tee shot landed on the outside edge of the green. But Davidson three-putted, and each golfer finished with a double bogey to force a second playoff on the same hole.

In the second playoff, Mekus bogeyed and Davidson double bogeyed again to give Mekus his first tournament title.

Mekus’ 88 was a 31-stroke improvement over his score at this same tournament last summer.

Davidson, 13, a Warren Central Junior High student, said he wasn’t too disappointed with second place considering this was the first non-school sponsored tournament in which he had ever played.

Davidson said he only started playing golf a year ago when he was living with his father in Missouri.

&#8220My dad’s the one who got me into it,” Davidson said. &#8220He let me play one time and I just started teaching myself how to do it. I’m a self-taught golfer.”

Mekus and Davidson dominated their age division, with the next closest finisher 15 strokes back.

Defending tournament champion Parker Rutherford shot a 103 to tie for third with Nathan Fordice. Rutherford had fired an 85 to win last year’s title, but is playing with only his left arm this summer because of a broken growth plate in his right elbow.