Keur beats McNellis in playoff for Al Esposito Junior Golf title
In a battle of rising high school seniors that pitted the past two winners of the Al Esposito Junior City Championship, R.J. Keur of Fort Dorchester topped Lucas McNellis of James Island Wednesday at Municipal Golf Course.
Both players finished 36 holes of regulation at 7-under-par 137, and Keur, the 2011 Esposito winner, scored the victory with a par on the first extra hole.
Other age group winners were: Boys 13-14, Ethan Willis, 163; Boys 10-12 (9 holes), Drayton Stewart in a one-hole playoff, 77; Boys 9-under, Zach Adams, 72; Girls 13-17, Taylor Kate Mayers, 186; and Girls 12-under, Telie McCoy, 73.
Keur started the final round with a three-shot cushion, but that lead slipped to one after McNellis birdied the seventh and eight holes. Keur managed to maintain the one-stroke lead until the final hole of regulation, when McNellis drilled a 17-foot birdie to force the playoff.
On the first hole of sudden death, McNellis sent his approach shot over the green, chipped long and missed the 5-footer for par, while Keur two-putted for the win.
“I felt pretty good coming into the tournament. My last two tournaments I played solid and finished in the top five. I’ve been playing well,” Keur said.
McNellis, who won a year ago, said he knew he had a chance to force the playoff if he left himself a reasonable birdie try.
“My putter was on,” he said. “I guess I was a little juiced (on the approach shot in the playoff). I didn’t hit a bad chip. I thought the putt would break and it was straight.”
BOYS 15-17: *R.J. Keur, 67-70—137; Lucas McNellis, 70-67—137; Christopher DeMarco, 75-76—151; Christian Woods, 74-78—152; Evan Rodwell, 75-80—155; Wil Sheppard, 78-77—155; Dane Henderson, 78-78—156; Colin Frazier, 82-79—161; Michael Glennon, 81-80—161; Barron Knight, 80-82—162; David Monroe, 80-82—162; Jared Rushton, 79-87—166; Andrew Purcell, 82-87—169; Chandler Lunny, 85-92—177; Reece Keegan, 96-98—194; Jacob Ponte, 97-99—196; Jake Bryan, 95-106—201; Matthew Ponte, 102-110—212.
BOYS 13-14: Ethan Willis, 79-84—163; Spencer Warner, 83-82—165; Nick Bunken, 82-89—171; Jacob Daley, 88-86—174; Jackson Trigiani, 86-89—175; Ky Matsumoto, 95-80—175; Clay Crenshaw, 92-90—182; Jacob Morris, 93-93—186; Jay Westmoreland, 92-94—186; Brodie Crenshaw, 96-96—192; Kyle Sawyer, 99-97—196; Max Kastenholz, 99-100—199; Brian Oliver, 104-99—203; Zach Dalzell, 113-102—215; Gil Altman, 113-114—227; Dunk Yodice, 116-113—229.
BOYS 10-12 (9 holes): *Drayton Stewart, 40-37—77; Carson Crocker, 39-38—77; Luis Thompson, 41-37—78; Joseph Keene, 43-37—80; Koury Sandness, 43-41—84; Willis Rogers, 45-40—85; Cole Warner, 45-42—87; John Paul Velasquez, 43-47—90; Nick Ceva, 43-47—90; Brock Connelly, 50-44—94; Price Lenoir, 53-49—102; Patrick Churchill, 54-50—104; Ethan Warner, 65-47—112; Ryder Boring, 54-60—114; Wyatt McGrath, 63-54—117.
BOYS 9-UNDER (9 holes): Zach Adams, 37-35—72; Jonathan Graham, 41-35—76; John Bagwell, 45-45—90; Reid Warden, 42-48—90; Tyler Brown, 46-47—93; Benjamin Patrick, 49-57—106.
GIRLS 13-17: Taylor Kate Mayers, 91-95—186; Annette Paxton, 90-97—187; Delanie Mortier, 99-95—194; Grace Zoller, 101-93—194.
GIRLS 12-UNDER (9 holes): Telie McCoy, 36-37—73; Gaby Martinez, 41-37—78; Danielle Paxton, 40-46—86; Olivia Erwin, 43-43—86; Ella Drew Dodd, 50-54—104; Regan Clifford, 57-53—110.