Nine local players are in the field for the S.C. Golf Association's 30th annual Mid-Amateur Championship, which gets under way Friday at the Patriot Golf Club in Ninety Six.
Tom Stevenson, Jon Piccione, J.D. Hoft and Jeff Wong of Bluffton, Chris Conefry and Bobby Gecy of Beaufort, Andrew Luckey and John Gecy of Lady's Island and Ben Ferguson of Hilton Head Island are among the 120 players vying for the title in the event for South Carolina residents age 30 and older.
The field includes defending champion Steve Liebler of Irmo, who has won three tournaments this year and qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships and the U.S. Senior Open and is seeking his third SCGA Mid-Amateur title in six years.
Other past champions in the field are Walter Todd of Laurens and Marcus Grumbles of Travelers Rest.
The field will be cut to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes.
LOCALS CLEAN UP ON IJGT
Players with local ties dominated the International Junior Golf Tour's two-day event at Shipyard Golf Club last weekend.
Beaufort's Taylor Simonsen fired rounds of 72 and 76 to win the boys 15-19 age group by four shots over Mason Smith of Phoenix, Ariz., and Theron Ornt of Highland Park, Ill., both full-time students at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy.
Two IJGA students won their divisions. Lohith Ramaraju of London shot 76 and 82 to win the boys under-14 title by four shots. Ayaka Nakayama of Japan claimed her third IJGT win of the season in the girls under-19 division, shooting a pair of 74s to win by two shots.
TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS
For the second year in a row, members at Sea Pines Country Club are taking part in the nationwide Tee It Up for the Troops charity event to help support the families of service members who are killed or disabled in action.
Sixty service members from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island will join 60 members of Sea Pines Country Club on Friday for a round of golf and a cookout featuring Bob Masteller's Jazz Corner Quintet.