Local Golf Notebook, July 18: IJGA's Werenski only one shot behind at Southern Amateur

sports@islandpacket.comJuly 18, 2013 

Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy product Ricky Werenski, a Georgia Tech senior from South Hadley, Mass., is one shot off the lead at the 107th Southern Amateur at the Club at Carlton Woods Nicklaus course in The Woodlands, Texas

Nineteen-year-old Zachary Olsen eagled his closing hole for an 8-under 64 to take the lead after Wednesday's first round. The Cordova, Tenn., golfer who is headed to Oklahoma State as a freshman in the fall. He's one stroke up on Werenski and 40-year-old Las Vegas developer Kevin Marsh in a field dominated by collegiate golfers.

An 80-minute rain delay left a handful of players on the course at darkness, but none were in position to catch Olsen when they finish Thursday morning.

Players Amateur champion Hunter Stewart is 10 shots back at 2-over 74, while Bluffton's Michael Balzer is at 10 over through 15 holes.


Hilton Head Island High School teacher Todd While just missed qualifying for the U.S. Amateur on Wednesday at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood and is the first alternate.

The top four and ties qualified for the 113th U.S. Amateur to be held Aug. 12-18 at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Pendleton's Carson Young, who will be a freshman at Clemson in the fall, shot 7-under 69-66--135 to win the event, followed by Chapin's Will Starke (69-67--136) and North Augusta's Matt NeSmith (69-68--137). NeSmith, a South Carolina sophomore, was the 2011 Junior Heritage winner.

White (72-67--139) tied for fourth with Knox Lee (68-71--139) and Jordan Byrd (69-70--139). Lee took the last qualifying spot and Byrd is the second alternate.


Gilbert's Zach McLain shot a two-day total of 66-72--138 to win the Blade Junior Golf Classic's Boys 13-18 Division by a stroke over Mount Pleasant's Jamie Wilson on Wednesday at Greer's Thornblade Club.

Bluffton's Bryson Nimmer (72-73--145) was the top local finisher. He was tied for 12th.

Hilton Head Island's Andrew Orischak (74-77--148) was tied for 22nd, while Beaufort's Josh Fickes tied for 31st at 73-79--153. Bluffton's Alec Weary was tied for 62nd at 83-81--164.

Okatie's Kasidy Beckel tied for sixth in the Girls 14-18 Division after shooting 78-73--151. Hilton Head Island's Anna Lesemann Eddy shot 90-89--179 to finish 24th.

In the Boys 10-12 Division, Hilton Head Island's Daniel James Azallion was 3 over to finish tied for sixth. Bluffton's Drew Weary finished 10th at 5 over, and Max Green finished 25th at 28 over.


Beaufort High's Josh Fickes will lead the South Carolina squad in the 38th annual Ga.-S.C, Junior Challenge Matches to be held July 26-27 at the Forest Lake Club in Columbia. Fickes is on the team by virtue of his win in the SCGA Junior Championship at the Country Club of Lexington in June.

Fickes will face Marcus Byrd in his first match on Saturday and then Tye Waller on Sunday.


Bluffton golfers fared well this past weekend at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour's Coastal Carolina Junior Challenge at Wexford Golf Club.

Drew Weary won the Boys 11-14 Division, while Kayla Kozak won the Girls 11-14 Division. Weary won with a two-day score of 8-over 152, while Kozak shot an 18-over 162.

Kylie Nizoleck finished second in the Girls 15-18 Division with a 20-over 164, a stroke off the pace.


  • Bob Antler hit a hole-in-one July 11 on the 17th hole at Hidden Cypress Golf Club. He used a 4-hybrid. Witnesses were Chuck Watts, Jim Telzrow, and Joe Catapano.

  • Penny Calf hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at Moss Creek's South Course. She used a 7-iron. Witnesses were Melissa Nieberding, Gloria Johnson and Bobby Sue Earnhardt.

  • Dennis Jackson hit a hole-in-one on the second hole at Argent Lakes Golf Club. He used a 5-wood. Witnesses were Gary Welsh, Joe Marques, and Ray Baltz.

  • Send golf news to sports editor Mike McCombs at

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