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'Late' start no barrier for golfer

July 28, 1998|By MIKE WOLFF

Many athletes achieve success by starting young.

That's the case for most junior golfers, that is, unless you're 15-year-old David Bradshaw.

On Monday, Bradshaw shot a 69 for the second time this year in a Tri-State junior golf tournament. Bradshaw won the 14-15 year-old division by shooting three-under par at the Black Rock Golf Course. The tournament was sponsored by the Tri-State Electrical Supply Company.

Bradshaw started playing golf only three years ago at age 12. He picked up the game very quickly, and he has now devoted his life to the sport.

He plays everyday with his coach, Charlie Dameron, who constantly pushes him be the best golfer he can be.

"My coach definitely has had the most influence on me," Bradshaw said. "He is real hard on me, and he calms me down when I get frustrated. He has taught me everything I know."

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Bradshaw says playing tennis when he was younger has helped him deal with the pressures of tournament play.

"I feel mentally prepared when I play in these tournaments," Bradshaw said. "I usually play better during tournaments than when I practice because I am more focused."

Bradshaw also shot 69 at the first tournament of the year at the Cress Creek Golf Course.

Ryan Moul finished second with a round of 79, and Jacob Smith placed third, shooting 83.

Unlike Bradshaw, Matt Graham, 16, has been playing golf since he was 5. He won the 16-18-year-old division for the second time this year, shooting 73. He also won the second tournament, which was held at Fountain Head Country Club.

"It's nice to win these tournaments," Graham said, "I want to become a professional one day. I have to keep playing and practicing a lot to achieve that goal."

Adam Frank finished in second place by winning the back nine tie-beaker over Josh Spreng. Both shot 75.

Christian Breed, the winner of the 11-13-year-old division, has been playing golf since he was 3. He won his second tournament of the year by shooting a par 72.

"It's all right to win the tournament," Breed said, "This wasn't my best round ever, but it was my best this season."

Breed plays everyday on a practice hole at his home golf course in Waynesboro, Pa. He plays on five different junior golf tours and also wants to become a professional golfer when he gets older.

"I have to play a lot and practice a lot to get there," Breed said.

Breed also won at Fountain Head Country Club.

Seiji Hirai finished second with a round of 79. Thomas Gift won the tie-breaker over Seth Moul to finish third. Both fired 82.

The Tournament of Champions, the final tournament of the year, will be held Aug. 10 at Beaver Creek Country Club.

The golfers who finished first, second or third in each of the four qualifying tournaments are eligible to participate. The tournament will be sponsored by Farmers and Merchants Bank and Trust Company.

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