Tournament of Champions goes down to the wire at Beaver Creek

August 22, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • The Tri-State Junior Golf Association held its Tournament of Champions on Monday at Beaver Creek Country Club. The age-division winners, from left to right, were Lucas Franki (12-13), Carter Rajtik (14-15) and Christian Grosh (16-18).
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Two of the three age division champions in the Tri-State Junior Golf Association for 2011 were determined by playoffs on Monday at Beaver Creek Country Club.

In the 16-18 group, Christian Grosh defeated Aaron Staley, and in the 12-13 division, Nick Franki defeated Jake Darr. Carter Rajtik won honors in the 14-15 grouping as the Tri-State culminated with its Tournament of Champions.

Grosh, who will be senior at Smithsburg, deadlocked with North Hagerstown junior Staley at 2-over-par 74.

On the par-4 10th hole, Grosh had a tap-in putt for par to claim first place, something he’s not seen much of this summer.

A quick lesson over the weekend proved beneficial as Grosh became more in control of his shots.

“I punched down more shots with better control of my irons,” said Grosh. “I had five birdies from the 5- to 15-foot range. The wins puts me in a good frame of mind going into the prep season.”

Staley had a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine.

Franki, who will be an eighth-grader at Waynesboro (Pa.) Middle School, deadlocked with Darr by virtue of 4-over-par 76s in regulation.

Franki, coming off a broken left wrist, knocked in a birdie on the par-5 11th hole. He drained a 4-foot putt after knocking a 7-iron from 135 yards in close to the pin.

“It’s my best round of the year,” said Franki, who also credited his older brother Lucas, a Tri-State alum, for getting his game back in shape.

Darr also had a 1-under 35 on the front nine.

Rajtik, a sophomore at Chambersburg (Pa.) High, shot a 6-over-par 78 to edge out North Hagerstown’s Drew Miguel by one shot. It was Rajtik’s first win of the year.

“It’s good to finally win one,” said Rajtik. “I had three birdies in succession (holes 3, 4 and 5) and missed 3-footers on the next two holes.”

Rajtik started with double bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12 and reversed the trend for a back-nine 42 after opening with an even-par 36.

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