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Shooting for the top-junior golfs have pro hopes

July 21, 1998|By MIKE WOLFF

For some of the players in Monday's Tri-State junior golf tournament, golf is not just playing a game, it is total devotion to the sport at which they want to excel.

Sixteen-year-old Steve Caron's priority in his life is playing golf and perfecting his game. He practices six to seven days a week in addition to the tournaments he plays in.

"I want to take my golf game all the way," said Caron, "All the way to the professionals."

The third junior tournament of the season was held at Waynesboro Country Club in Waynesboro, Pa., and was sponsored by the Landis Gardner Company.

Caron had the best round of the day when he shot a one-under- par 71 and won the 16-18-year-old division.

"It makes me feel really good to win this tournament," said Caron, "I would like to be able to consistently shoot in the low 70s."

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Terry Staubs finished second with a 75, and Matt Graham, who won the last Tri-State tournament at Fountain Head Country Club, finished third with a round of 76.

Ryan Stumbaugh won his second consecutive Tri-State tournament, shooting an 82 in the 14-15- year-old division. Like Caron, he spends three to four days a week practicing his golf strokes.

"Golf is a priority in my life. It is more important than the other sports I play," said Stumbaugh, "I spend time at the driving range or in my backyard working on my game."

Jim Moyer finished second by winning the tie-break over Jacob Smith after both shot 85.

Watching professional tournaments, such as the recently compelted British Open, gives the junior golfers motivation to practice their game and become better players.

Although Caron and Stumbaugh said they want to be among the professional ranks winning tournaments one day, others who played don't have the same notion.

Nick Moyer does not want to devote his life to golf. His true passion is baseball. Despite that fact, Moyer went out and shot his best round ever and won the 12-13-year-old division with a round of 80.

"It felt really good to win the tournament," said Moyer, "even though we were playing from ladies' tees."

Moyer plays three to four times a week but he focuses more on his play on the course rather than practicing at the driving range or on the putting green.

Christian Breed shot an 82 and finished second. Seth Maul and Neil Rotz finished tied for third with rounds of 87.

The last open tournament of the 1998 season will be held next Monday at Black Rock Country Club in Hagerstown.

On Aug. 10, the golfers who finished first, second or third in each of the four tournaments this summer will compete in the Tournament of Champions at Beaver Creek Country Club.

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