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Summer fun on the links

June 30, 1998|By MIKE WOLFF

Fun is the name of the game for local youth golfers who participated in Monday's Tri-State Junior Golf Tournament at the Fountain Head Country Club.

Many of the kids who took part in tournament were playing simply for the joy of competition and the love of golf.

Matt Graham, 16, from Chambersburg, Pa., won the 16-18-year-old age group by shooting a 74 and edging Ryan Reid and Josh Spreng, who both shot 75 on the par-71 course. Despite the victory, he said winning is not the most important thing.

"It's just fun to play in these tournaments," said Graham. "It's no big deal if I win or lose."

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Graham has been playing golf since he was 5 years old, and he has been competing in tournaments since he was 8. He credits his father, and not any professionals, for influencing him as a golfer.

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"He got me out there on the course when I was much younger," said Graham. "He has had the most influence on my desire to play golf."

Fifteen-year-old Ryan Stumbaugh, also from Chambersburg, shot an 80 to win the 14-15-year- old group over Raul Moul and Dave Bradshaw, who both shot 81.

Stumbaugh started playing golf three years ago when he was 12, and he is in his second year of competitive play.

"I just do it for the fun of the game and to have a good time," said Stumbaugh. "My goal, though, is to become a professional golfer one day."

Stumbaugh also credits his father with getting him started in golf.

The winner of the third division was Chris Breed, who shot an 80. He took the 12-13-year-old title by defeating Seigi Hirai by two strokes.

The youth tournaments have been held since 1995 when 60 kids took part. This year, Don Mowen, president of the Dick Kelly Memorial Foundation, expects approximately 250 golfers to participate.

The winners have the opportunity to earn college scholarships as long as they participate in at least three of the four tournaments during the summer. Six scholarships have been awarded so far this year.

Trophies and gift certificates are awarded at the lunch ceremony after players complete their rounds.

In addition to the awards, kids who finish in the top three in their age groups in each of four tournaments will get to play in the Tournament of Champions at Beaver Creek Country Club on Aug. 10.

The tournament held at Fountain Head was sponsored and funded by Allegheny Power.

The next Tri-State Junior Golf Tournament takes place on July 20 at Waynesboro Country Club in Waynesboro, Pa.

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